Monday, May 11, 2009

Chengdu

I arrived in Chengdu around 11:30 at night. It was past midnight when I got into the city from the airport (by bus). Fortunately I had a brochure to the hostel that was recommended and it had instructions how to get there in Chinese. I grabbed a taxi and made it with no problems. After I checked in I spread all my clothes out because everything was slightly damp. That's the problem with humid areas, nothing ever completely dries.



I give the Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel two thumbs up. It was comfortable, cozy, and there were gardens. It really was a lovely little hostel. It's run by a guy from Singapore, Sim, and his wife who is Japanese. Sim is very friendly and full of good advice. Also, the hostel is pretty conveniently located. After I checked out the next morning I walked over to the Wenshu temple.


The Wenshu temple is located inside a folk street district. Great spot if you're looking for old world Chinese character. Most of the buildings are tea houses, restaurants, or souvenir shops of course.
The Wenshu temple was actually one of my favorite Buddhist temple's I've been too. The grounds are really pretty and the food at the restaurant in the complex was fantastic. I thought it was funny that it was a vegetarian restaurant, but there were a lot of meat dishes listed on the menu. Go figure. I had stir fried bamboo shoots and spicy eggplant. Mmmmmmmm. I didn't take pictures of the temple grounds because I wasn't sure if that was disrespectful or not.


After that I took a bus to the main square in the center of the city. There's a big status of Mao there. They're working on a subway system in Chengdu right now, and it looks like the major hub will be under the square.


I walked over to the Renmin Park and enjoyed the scenery a bit. One of the most interesting things at this park was the dancing/singing area. There were 5 or 6 different groups of mostly senior ladies (some guys) dancing or singing. It was very loud. Very, very loud. It was a cacophony of sound and movement. I mean each group was right next to each other and it was like they were competing for loudness. I found it a bit nerve-wracking, but I guess when you live in densely populated areas where it's never really quiet, the noise doesn't bother you so much. I've lived in and been to some big cities here in the US. They are quiet and calm compared to the big cities in China. Even parts of LA are peaceful comparatively.
video

That's all I really saw in Chengdu. It seems like a cool city, so maybe I'll get back there some day. I read about this game club. It's a nightclub that has all these old school board games. Also, I really like the Sichuanese food, so I'd love to get back somewhere in the Province and get a cooking class or two.
I took a bus to Emeishan in the afternoon and that was that for Chengdu.

1 comment:

sara jensen said...

These pictures are like postcards-everything is so beautiful!!! I can tell that you were totally loving all the great food...we need to make some Chinese next time you come up...hint hint...