With a population of 10 million, Chengdu, meaning Perfect Metropolis, is Sichuans capital city. From here it is possible to visit the Giant Buddha of Leshan, the Giant Panda Research Station and Wolong Nature Reserve. As the dominant economic, educational and cultural centre of South-West China, Chengdu is experiencing rapid development and relative prosperity. However, it is still possible to glimpse the old ways of life - traditional wooden houses are still in abundance and there are numerous bustling backstreets crammed with artisans, markets and street-stalls to explore. Some fine examples of the spicy style of Sichuanese food can be found in the city.