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A tradition that has been around even longer than the legend of Marco Polo is taking the famous Dragon Well tea (lóngjǐng chá), handpicked in the surrounding countryside twice a year and still much celebrated in art and ceremonies throughout the city.
For a chance to see pandas in the wild, head to the Wolong Nature Reserve, two hours west of Chengdu, a vast scenic area that serves to protect the natural habitat of pandas and other important species.
Other Chengdu attractions worth seeing include numerous old pagodas and bridges, as well as religious sites such as the Monastery of Precious Light and Chengdu Huangcheng Mosque, one of China's oldest and most important Muslim sites.
Other important sites worth exploring are the Temple of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion.
If when you think of China, you think of pandas, you'll want to make sure the city of Chengdu is on your list of must-sees.
Must-sees include Shanghai's broad promenade, the Bund, which runs along the west bank of the Huangpujiang River and is popular for its very distinctive European architecture, and the beautiful Yu Garden (the Garden of Happiness) with its many fine old buildings.
Zibo boasts a variety of other interesting cultural experiences, including its unique cuisine and theatrical performances, which can be included as part of a tour package.
Tours of the facility include a chance to see pandas up close (try to time your visit to coincide with feeding time) as well as an on-site museum featuring exhibits detailing everything you'll ever want to know about the challenges of conserving these notoriously placid creatures.Thanks to its connections with Confucius, China's most revered philosopher, the small town of Qufu in southwest Shandong has long been one of the country's most important places of pilgrimage.Not only was Confucius born here in 551 BC, he was also buried here in 479 BC.At the southern end of China's famous 1,776-kilometer-long Grand Canal, a remarkable engineering feat and UNESCO World Heritage site, Hangzhou is one of China's most visited cities.As big a draw as this centuries-old canal that connects Hangzhou to Beijing is the city's picturesque location at the foot of a tall mountain range by beautiful West Lake with its many old shrines and temples, romantic bridges, and pleasant pagodas.Still often called the Silk City for its many silk mills and markets, Hangzhou has attracted many of China's most important artists through the centuries, as well as famous travelers such as Marco Polo, who declared it the most beautiful city in the world.