Getting to Know Chengdu

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Sims Cozy Guest House

Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Friday, May 6, 2011

We decided to spend our first day in Chengdu wandering around the city and seeing some sights in town. Our plan was to start right from our hostel at one side of the ring road and make our way through central Chengdu and on through to the other side of the ring road; no short stroll that's for sure!

Pretty much right away as we were wandering through the streets trying to follow the map we stumbled upon a street market selling fruits and veggies, meat, snacks, and some clothes and other stuff. We made a mental note to come back later and get some of the very red and ripe looking strawberries at many of the stalls.

Our first destination of the day was the Wenshu temple. Following our map the best we could we ended up on the back side of the temple and had to walk all the way around to find the gate. Then we saw people walking up to a tiny hole in the wall and figured out this was where we were to get our tickets from. The temple was more of a temple complex complete with monks enjoying their meals and walking around and praying. The buildings were all traditional chinese style with turned up roofs and dragon statues on the corners; all very impressive. After wandering around the temples and garden on the grounds we left and went to wander and gaze at some shops outside of the temple complex.

Next we made our way to the city centre to take a look at the giant Mao statue and walk along the city centre square. By this time we had covered a lot of ground and our legs were aching so we made our way to the nearby people's park to find somewhere to sit. When we were wandering through the park we spotted some people dancing and decided to take a seat and watch. They played the music non-stop and there were plenty of older people pairing of and twirling eachother around and dancing. Some couples even looked really into it and seemed to have their only choreographed waltz's and such, which were pretty amusing to watch. After a while of that and once we felt our legs could carry our weight again we wandered around more of the park. There were tea houses, a lake, sitting areas, etc all through the park and then we came upon an area with lots of noise and lots of people. The place was all sectioned of and each section seemed to be playing their own music for plays, kareokee, line dances, etc. It was complete chaos but made for an entertaining walk through the park!

Once out of the park we made our way to one of the "new old-style" streets in Chengdu where they have built old style buildings with temple-like roof along small alley ways and then people have set up shop in them selling all sorts of souveniers and food. It's pretty much just one of those tourist trap type places where everyone is trying to sell you something built it was still neat walking through the small alleyways through old style buildings with red lanterns hanging from everywhere.

Because it was close to the street we had just walked through we went to find a dumpling place that was highly recommended on our map from the hostel. When we got there though we realized it was just a very small street side place with a chinese only menu. We then decided to just point to the name of the dumplings that were recommended on the map and try them. They were sweet dumplings that came submerged in a bowl of warm water. They were filled with different combinations of sugar and peanuts and they were alright but nothing we would really crave. I guess we just have different tastes than the asian hostel owners, haha.

Finally after make it all the way to the other end of the ring road we hopped on a bus that would take us back around to the other side of the ring road. We hopped off and headed to the street market for strawberries before returning to the hostel. When we finally got back our legs were killing us (after 8 hours of walking) and so we just grabbed a movie to watch in our room and sunk into bed.

We did want to do a hike on Emei Shan the next day though so we started reading up on it. As we understood it is a mountain with temples scattered all over it. What we didn't understand was that it is a serious hike that takes around three days to do the whole thing. We realized after reading up on it (well after I, Jackie, read up on it and James watched tv) we would have to get up very early and that we would only be doing parts of it and would probably catch some buses that run along roads around the mountain. After spending that whole day on foot we weren't crazy about the thought of hiking a mountain the next day or getting up early for that matter so finally frustrated I just told James he could decide what we were doing in the morning cz I was tired and wanted to sleep and rest. We had also been looking into the Leshan Giant Buddha and in the back of our minds figured if we got up in time we would probably just go see that instead.
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