The Chinese people voted Chengdu as the nation’s second most liveable city in 2006.
The traditional wooden architecture and tree-wrapped streets are being rapidly given up for glassy skylines, new apartment complexes and flashing-neon-malls. Amidst its slipshod attitude and glimpses of ‘old’ Chengdu, it’s hard to believe that this is China’s fifth-most populous city.
Beyond this rapidly growing city, you can find some of China’s most beautiful natural treasures. Special attractions include the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which has built a more natural environment than the typical zoo for China’s natural treasure.
Mount Quincheng is a World Heritage Site that consists of a natural scenic area and a holy mountain of Taoism. It is easy to reach via high speed train from Chengdu to Qingcheng San (return ticket only costs 30RMB) and a mini bus from the station (10RMB).
Not far from Chengdu city is the Huanglong Valley and its stunning Five Color Pond below the snow peaks (PICTURE).
China is a great place to teach English and travel. The pay is very good for those with a university degree and a 100-hour TESOL certificate, so qualified teachers can visit its beautiful hidden gems on their free time.