Chengdu 成都: The “Special Flavor” of Sichuan food

Sichuan spice is no joke. Sichuan peppercorns are known for their mouth-numbing properties, while a plethora of other spicy ingredients can have sweat and tears running down your face. Thankfully, not all Sichuan-style dishes are so volatile, though! For those with lighter palates, Sichuan food can also be sweet, savory and refreshing.

Chengdu 成都: Land of Abundance

As the saying goes, those who enter the Sichuan area of China are susceptible to the persuasive charms of the lifestyle there: the slow-paced rhythm of work, the pleasant climate, the mouth-watering cuisine, the sounds of mahjong being played into the night…

Chengdu 成都: The Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base

The animal is puzzling. It does little to merit its popularity. In the wild, it spends all of its waking time wandering aimlessly to find food. Though it is a carnivore, there is little game where it lives, and the panda is not quick enough to catch it anyway. So it eats bamboo, and since…

Anniversary Sirens for the Great Sichuan Earthquake

I woke up this morning to an air raid siren and a woman’s voice issuing a countdown. Groggy and confused, I wondered if we were under attack. I looked out the window and saw cars driving down my busy intersection and figured that it must be a practice signal, like they do with the Amber…

Songyang 松阳: Damunshan Tea Fields and Old Street

Songyang is one of Lishui’s nine counties in Zhejiang and focuses most of its industry in producing high-quality teas. Over 7,500 hectares (about 29 square miles) of the county is devoted solely to the cultivation of tea fields, with more being created every day. A group of friends and I went on an excursion into Zhejiang’s rural countryside in search of these famous tea plantations to experience the hype for ourselves.