Sichuan Overview

Basic Information

  • Chinese Name:四川
  • Location: Southwest China
  • Provincial Capital:Chengdu
  • Area: About 486,100 square kilometers
  • Population: An approximate population of 87 million
  • Minority: All the 55  minorities, mainly Yi, Tibetan, Hui, Qiang, Mongolian, Man, Naxi, etc.

Administrative Division

Sichuan consists of 1 sub-provincial city, 17 prefecture-level cities and 3 autonomous prefectures, among which 53 municipal districts, 17 county-level cities, 109 counties and 4 autonomous counties.


Located in the upper reach of the Yangtze River and the hinterland of Southwest China, Sichuan province is the fifth largest province in the nation, which has a 1,075 kilometers’ length from west to east and a 921 kilometers’ width from north to south, embracing an area of 486,100 square kilometers. The western part of Sichuan consists of the numerous mountain ranges forming the easternmost part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which are known generically as Hengduan Mountains and the eastern part is mostly within the fertile Sichuan basin. Sichuan geomorphology is complex, with mountainous area as its main feature, and has four types of landform of mountain, hill, plain and plateau.

It is also a popular gateway in southwest China and borders Qinghai to the northwest, Tibet Autonomous Region to the west, Chongqing to the east, Yunnan to the south, Guizhou to the southeast, Gansu to the north and Shaanxi to the northeast. Sichuan is known as the "land of abundance" for its fertile land, favorable climatic, abundant resources and beautiful scenery.


With location in the transitional zone between Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the eastern plains, Sichuan Province has tremendous climatic difference resulting from the different regions and vertical changes.

In the eastern basin, it is subtropical monsoon climate characterized by warm winter, early spring, hot summer, and rainy autumn. It has much cloud and fog, while little sunshine and a long growing season. The western part of Sichuan provinces has temperate or subtropical plateau climate characterized by coldness, long winters, almost no summer, sufficient sunshine, concentrated rainfall and distinct dry and rainy seasons, while the southern part of Sichuan shows marked variation in climates in the mountains and canyons. Frost-free period in the basin is 280-330 days per year, but on the plateau is only less than 90 days. The average annual precipitation of Sichuan province is 500-1200 mm, of which the basin has much larger share than the plateau. More about Sichuan Climate.

Best Time to Go

Sichuan is a relatively large province with very large differences in climate and different scenery in each season. Therefore, the best time to travel in Sichuan often depend on the destinations you want to go.

Generally from April to May, and September to October that is tend to be the time with the beautiful scenery in Sichuan, especially in the fall season, it is often the most beautiful time throughout the year.

Things to Do

Sichuan province is blessed with stunning natural scenery and historical cultural relics,  you can visit Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base, Sanxingdui MuseumJiuzhai Valley and Huanglong National Park, Dujiangyan Irrigation System and Mount Qingcheng, Leshan Giant Buddha, etc, and it almost has everything expected to find. More about Sichuan Attractions.


In China, there is an old saying: "Harder to get into Sichuan than into heaven", which indicates that traveling to Sichuan is very difficult in the old days. But now as the most developed province and the transport hub in southwestern China, it formed a modern transportation system of railway, highway, waterway and airlines. In the heart of Sichuan Province, Chengdu is the largest transportation junction in Sichuan and also in southwest of China. More about Sichuan Transportation.

Natural Resources

  • Mineral Resources

    Sichuan province is rich in mineral resources and complete in variety, such as energy, black, colored, rare, precious metals, chemical industry, building materials and other minerals.There are 132 kinds of metals and non-metallic minerals, accounting for 70% of the total and 94 species of proven reserves, accounting for 60% of the total, which are distributed in most of the whole province. In sichuan, there are 32 kinds of mineral reserves ranking in the top 5 in China, 7 kinds of which like natural gas, titanium ore, vanadium mine and iron ore ranking in No. 1.

  • Biological Resources

    First Class National Protected Animals: Giant Panda, Golden Monkey, Wildebeest, Green Tail Rainbow Pheasant, Gazelle, Black Stork, Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard, etc.

    Second Class National Protected Animals: Small Panda, Rhesus Monkey, Black Bear, Large Swan, Water Deer, Red Ventral Pheasant, etc.


Sichuan is a multi-ethnic group, with 55 ethnic minorities and 498,000 people, including Yi Nationality, Tibetan, Qiang, Miao, Hui, Mongolian, Tujia, Lisu, Manchu, Naxi, Buyi, Bai, Zhuang And Dai. Sichuan is the only home of the Qiang ethnic group, the largest agglomeration of Yi ethnic group and the second largest Tibetan area in the country. The minority mainly live in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture, etc. It is known as "China's Second Tibetan Region", "China's Only Qiang Zone" and "China's First Yi communities".

History & Culture

Sichuan has a long history and abundant resources which has been known as the "Land of Abundance" since ancient times. The history of human activities in Sichuan can be traced back to two million years ago. The fossils of human skulls, the production tools and the remains of the animals found in Sichuan are the earliest evidence of the life and labor of the people of Sichuan. In the Shang dynasty, Sichuan has formed a typical multi-ethnic region. Today, the main body of Sichuan residents is the Han nationality, which was formed by the integration of ancient multi-ethnic groups.

Like other regional cultures in China, Ba-Shu culture is an important part of Chinese culture and has a long history and distinct geographical features. Ba-Shu culture is  embodied in the city street and the side of village road of Sichuan, where will see a unique Sichuan style tea house. In 1986, Sanxingdui site was excavated in Sichuan Guanghan, which proved that the Ba-Shu culture had been gradually formed and prosperous in the early 4000 years. As far back as 2000 years ago, Sichuan, the "Land of Silkworms", opened the southwest silk road, starting from Chengdu, through Yunnan and Myanmar, and into India, as far as central Asia and Europe.

Sichuan Opera, Sichuan Tea, Sichuan Wine, Sichuan Medicine, Sichuan Embroidery, Sichuan's Potted Landscape and so on all have strong and outstanding local characteristics, and famous in the world.

See Sichuan History and Sichuan Culture.


Sichuan is a multi-religious province with Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, Christianity and other religions. Besides, Yi, Tujia, Qiang, Lisu, Naxi and other ethnic groups also preserved primitive religious beliefs. Sichuan has a long history of religious communication and a large number of believers. In the geographical distribution, the Tibetan Buddhism in the west is almost universal, Buddhism and Taoism in the east are widely distributed. Along the Yangtze river, Catholic and Christian spreads mainly in the cities. Every religion in Sichuan has a long history and culture and a large number of believers.


The economic development of Sichuan is relatively early. Historically, it has been known for its livestock farming, cooking salt and brocade. Now the economic aggregate of Sichuan province is one of the highest in the country and the first in the west, it plays an important role in the national economic development.

As the financial center in southwest China, it is an important industrial base and grain base of China, the national major producers of livestock products, hometown of economic crops and Chinese medicinal herbs, the largest market and distribution center in the west, as well as an ideal place for investment.


Sichuan is a harmonious land with plenty of ethnic minorities living, which brought up many interesting and fascinating folk festivals, such as the Torch Festival, the Horse Racing Festival, and the New Year Festival of the Qiang People. More about Sichuan Festival.


Due to its natural and humanistic landscape, Sichuan province as one of the most popular destination in China attracts many tourists every year. There are five World Heritage Sites in Sichuan, namely Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic Area, Huanglong Scenic Area, Mount Emei with Leshan Giant Buddha, Mount Qingcheng with Dujiangyan Irrigation System and Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries.

Waht’s more, there are 4 natural reserves listed on UNESCO's Programme on Man and the Biosphere(MAB) , 3 National 5A Tourist Attractions, 48 National 4A Tourist Attractions, 15 State-Level Scenic Spots, 17 National Nature Reserves, 25 National Forest Parks, 2 World Geoparks, 8 National Geopark, 127 Important Heritage Site Under State Protection, 7 Chinese famous historical and cultural city, 10 top tourist city of China.

Sichuan Cuisine

As one of the four dish categories, Sichuan cuisine occupies an important place in the history of Chinese cuisine, which is especially distinctive in taste, and is known for its rich flavor and variety. Sichuan cuisine is characterized by numbing, spicy, savoury, fresh, oily and thick, with most use of chili, Sichuan pepper, pepper powder and fresh ginger. The cooking techniques include fast frying, stir frying, steaming, braising and so on, forms a special flavor of Sichuan cuisine, enjoy high reputation of "a dish of a cell, a hundred dishes Subway" . More about Sichuan cuisine.