By Jia Bian
Foreign children enjoy life in Chengdu.
Known as the "capital of leisure", Chengdu has unique charms for both visitors and investors from home and abroad.
To experience the leisure life in Chengdu, one can take part in the activities with strong Sichuan characteristics, such as drinking tea, watching Chuan opera and Quyi - various forms of folk performing arts - and enjoying acrobatics, folk songs and dances.
"Face changing", a signature performance of Chuan opera, can be seen at the Sichuan Drama Theater, as well as in Old Shunxing Tea Shops near Chengdu Convention and Exhibition Center, Shufeng Plaza in the People's Park and Shufeng Yayun Garden in the Culture Park.
There are also many cafes and tea shops in Chengdu, which are mainly located on the south of Renmin Road, west of Yulin Road and along Yangshi Street, catering to the needs of people of different ages.
Chengdu is also the gateway to many natural and historical attractions in southwest China, such as Wolong, home to the giant panda, Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong, one of the most beautiful places in China, as well as Leshan Giant Buddha, the biggest Buddha statue in the world.
In February 2007, Chengdu was rated the Best Tourism City in China by the World Tourism Organization and the China National Tourism Administration. Only three Chinese cities have received the award.
Foreigners in Chengdu
Along with the massive inflow of foreign investments in Chengdu, the expatriate population in Chengdu has been expanding quickly in recent years. At present, nearly 20,000 foreigners from 125 countries and regions live in the city, 20 percent of whom work in the foreign invested enterprises.
"Chengdu has also made great changes, and it is similar to France's central and western regions," said Consulate General of France Jacques Dumsy. "I am very comfortable living in the dynamic city."
The city has three international schools, all located in the Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, to provide education to foreign students.
Provide education from kindergarten to high school, the three schools now have more than 70 foreign teachers and about 500 students from countries and regions including the United States, Canada, France, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
There are also a number of kindergartens that now teach about 100 foreign students.
"Schooling is a very important part of infrastructure. The international schools in Chengdu are good quality at reasonable prices," said David Grime, chairman of British Chamber of Commerce (Southwest).
(China Daily September 27, 2008)