The capital of the Sichuan province, Chengdu, in the foothills of the Himalayas, is renowned for its giant pandas, flavorful cuisine – it is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy – and a laid back vibe. The city is a mix of downtown skyscrapers and well preserved ancient neighborhoods. View endangered giant pandas roam freely in bamboo forests – their natural habitat – at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. The Wide and Narrow Alleys and courtyards in the Qingyang District – one of Chengdu’s historical and cultural reserves – invite you to explore a variety of restaurants and street food, pubs, old lodges, teahouses, and souvenir stores selling the famous Shu brocade and Shu embroidered works. History buffs will love museums such as the Jinsha Site Museum and Sanxingdui Museum, which showcase relics from 3000 years ago, and the picturesque parklands that house historic sites.