Chéngdū (Chinese: 成都), formerly transliterated as Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province, of Southwest China, maintaining sub-provincial administrative status. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centres, transportation and communication hubs in Western China. According to the 2007 Public Appraisal for Best Chinese Cities for Investment, Chengdu was chosen as one of the top ten cities to invest in out of a total of 280 urban centers in China.
More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jīnshā (金沙) established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is also known as "天府之国" (Tiānfǔzhi Guó), which literally means "the country of heaven", or more often seen translated as "the Land of Abundance". It was recently named China's 4th-most livable city by China Daily.
Szechuan cuisine, Szechwan cuisine, or Sichuan cuisine (Chinese: 四川菜) is a style of Chinese cuisine originating in the Sichuan Province of southwestern China famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavour of the Sichuan peppercorn (花椒). Peanuts, sesame paste and ginger are also prominent ingredients in Szechuan cooking. Although the region is now romanized as Sichuan, the cuisine is still sometimes spelled 'Szechuan' or 'Szechwan' in United States. There are many local variations of Sichuan cuisine within Sichuan Province and the Chongqing Municipality, which was politically part of Sichuan until 1997. The four best known regional sub-styles are Chongqing style, Chengdu style, Zigong style, and Buddhist vegetarian style.UNESCO has declared the city of Chengdu to be a city of Gastronomy in 2011, mainly because of its Szechuan style of cooking.
Chengdu is located at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin and sits on the Chengdu Plain; the dominating terrain is plains. The prefecture prefecture ranges in latitude from 30° 05' to 31° 26' N, while its longitude ranges from 102° 54' to 104° 53' E, stretching for 192 kilometres (119 mi) from east to west and 166 kilometres (103 mi) south to north, administering 12,390 square kilometres (4,780 sq mi) of land. Neighbouring prefectures are Deyang (NE), Ziyang (SE), Meishan (S), Ya'an (SW), and the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (N). The urban area, with an elevation of 500 metres (1,600 ft), features a few rivers, three of them being the Jin, Fu (府河), and Sha Rivers. Outside of the immediate urban area, the topography becomes more complex: to the east lies the Longquan Range (龙泉山脉) and the Penzhong Hills (盆中丘陵); to the west lie the Qionglai Mountains, which rise to 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) in Dayi County. The lowest point in Chengdu Prefecture, at 378 metres (1,240 ft), lies in the southeast in Jintang County.