Chengdu itself doesn't offer many traditional historic or cultural sights of appeal to the tourist. However, the city is not only a regional hub for production and trade - as well as being a regional railway and air-traffic hub - it is also at the center of a number of nearby regional tourist attractions (see the list below), making Chengdu a natural "base camp" for the tourist who plans to take a short jaunt to a number of the area's more traditional historic and cultural sights. Being a large, modern city (population: 9.4 million), Chengdu has all the material comforts that the international tourist demands, including a bustling night life where one is likely to run across scads of fellow expats (a 2006 article in the Los Angeles Times dubbed Chengdu as "China's party city"). Chengdu is also home to Sichuan Opera, a traditional Chinese opera with colorful make-up, masks, etc. (think of the film Farewell My Concubine, or "Ba wong bit gei" in Chinese).
Though it may receive no extra tourist points for it, Chengdu is an important city in China's history (for a brief introduction into Chengdu's history, click here). Moreover, did you know that:
Chengdu is the birthplace of paper money (everyone knows, thanks to Marco Polo, that paper money originated in China, now you know exactly where in China it started),
Chengdu was chosen, in 2007, as one of the Top Ten Cities in the world to invest in (Intel recently chose Chengdu as the site for its new, 200-million-dollar factory),
Chengdu was recently ranked as China's 4th "Most Livable City" by the Chinese newspaper giant, China Daily.