Chengdu Trip, October 2013 (Part 1)

First Impression of Chengdu

The ticket that I already paid since months ago, finally I can use that day. A trip for 5 days in Chengdu, China. Not so long for a trip, but again, it’s a worth to escape from the routine and see new places. First, on Thursday, we have to stopped in KL, a friend’s friend, picked us up and let us sleep in her apartment in Selangor. We did nothing in Malaysia, only being lazy and enjoying our day. Good for me too, since when I was in Jakarta, I kind of tired with so many stuff I need to do at work before we went in this trip.

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The blue one it called as Kerabu Rice – and yes, the color is BLUE.

 

Friday, around 6.35 pm our plane ready to took off from LCTT airport. The journey from KL to Chengdu took around 5 hours. It was quite tiring actually, but we were lucky because there was an empty seat between me and Thia, my friend. So we can slept with a bit longer space than normal seats. There was no entertainment in our budget plane, so I just listened music from my phone and tried to sleep with hurt on my neck as the result.

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Ready for another adventure – being in unknown places 🙂

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Let’s just follow this suggestion – It’s time to forget the time!

 

Arrived in Chengdu, as normally happened in every airport, there are so many people who try to offer private car rental. We went to the right side from the exit gate and walk further more until we reach the taxi line stop. We came inside of the taxi, but the man id card on the dashboard was different with the one who really drove the car, a woman. Felt a bit afraid, we tried to keep come inside of the taxi and explained to her about the hotel address, it was Huashun Hotel, No. 127 Shuncheng Street, Qingyang District. And our first challenge appeared. This woman can’t speak English at all! Later on, after 45 minutes driving from the airport to the hotel area, she stopped the car and pointed one direction and speak to us with Chinese language that we thought she asked us to stop and walk to that alley. Guessing, that was what she meant, we grabbed our bags and walk to the alley. At first we can’t find the address, until we met a man with a security uniform who asked us to follow him after we showed him the hotel address. He brought us to a building and pressed the lift button, we stop in 8th floors and yes, finally a hotel reception in front of us.

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Chengdu city in the evening

 

Another challenges came, the reception can’t speak English. Oh No! I thought for work in a services company, every employees suppose to able to speak this international languages. But no, zero. We communicated to each other such like in jungle. We used hands, head, gestures, writing on a note, pointed something, and finally she gave us a key room. After we received the key, we go straight to 11th floor and try to find where was the room. Great, no light in the alley and the room was on the corner. Spooky! More became so spooky when we open the room and there was a woman sleep on the bed, exactly lying like a dead person. We were freaking out and go straight to the reception, the thing is, we have another difficulties to explain to her that there was someone sleeping on the room. Glad that finally she understood and give us another key room.

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Like a drama, every time we need to talk with the reception…

 

The room itself, surprisingly was so good and clean! So this is kind of true for this case, don’t judge a hotel by it’s outside look. There was 2 beds, one in the king size, the other is single one for another friend, Ical, while me and Thia slept together in the big one. Chengdu when we first arrived not so windy, but later on, the weather changed into so cold. Glad that I brought my thick jacket. The unfortunate thing about the room was because the internet signal can’t reach all places, only our mobile phones can be connected if we stand or sit behind the door. It was kind of funny how the three of us some times spend time sitting behind the door, and try to connected to the internet. We can’t open browser, I was possible connecting to Facebook by use Facebook for Blackberry, other than that, I can’t open any link or pages. While What’s App and Wechat still able to use.

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Stuff the hotel offered us to buy

 

Breakfast is terrible. Don’t expect for the western style or other Chinese food that usually you eat, such as meehon, kwetiau, fried noodle, fried rice, it’s only weird vegetables which is too salty taste and another very tasty and sour pickles and bun bread without anything inside. Disappointed with the breakfast, my friends tried to find a normal food to eat (ehmm you can call it McDonalds :P), while I took my first Sinchuan Noodle.

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If you can call this as a breakfast…

 

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I switch my breakfast to this Sinchuan Noodle, never get cold! So hot and burned my throat but taste so good! Only 8 yuan/portion.

 

 

Wenshu Temple

In the next day, we started the day a bit late because our yesterday late flight and we didn’t want to be in hurry. Our destination at first was Wenshu Temple, the Buddhist temple at No.66 Wenshuyuan Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu 610017. To reach Wenshu Temple was easy, the Metro (Line 1) has a direct stop to the temple (Wenshu Monastery). The temple itself is huge and worth to visit. You can see Buddhist monks activities here, but please do consider if you want to take pictures of them, since they don’t like to be capture on your camera. Do you know that there is a believe why they don’t like being taken in pictures, because they think their soul will be taken from them in every each of camera’s shoot. So do respect with their belief.

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The main gate of Wenshu Monastery

You don’t need to pay to enter the temple, in the main gate, you may be prohibited to take pictures, but once you come inside, no one will shout to you to turn off your camera as the Guard did to us in the main gate. But you should also respect the rule for not taking pictures inside of some temples. Once we finished looking around the temple, now we want to heading to Qingyang Temple, the most famous Taoist temple in China. I actually don’t really understand the difference between Buddhist and Taoist, but it will be so interesting to see their temples once I am in Chengdu.

 

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Monks learn their bible in a peaceful atmosphere – don’t be so noisy, pay respect!

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Didn’t know where to go, we try to ask the direction. Asking for direction in Chengdu was kind a hard thing to do. Because mostly people here can’t speak English. Once we want to ask the direction, we need to point out to the map or show them the original Mandarin writing to make them understand what we are trying to ask. But the good-touchy thing about Chinese people, they want to stop for a while if we interrupted them and ask a way. And more than that, even we speak English, they answered in Chinese (which absolutely we didn’t understand at all) but they were willing to grab their phone and Google map for answering our question. Because our phone itself can’t connect to the internet. Most of the people we asked, able to let their bus go away, only to answer our question, even sometimes we felt it’s so difficult to explain the place we want to visit to them, because we both don’t understand what we were trying to say, but still, their kindness made our days in Chengdu not so difficult as we thought.

 

At that moment, we tried to ask to a couple which bike around the temple. Now, the guy can speak a bit of English and understand what we were trying to ask. First they told us direction, but later on, when we walk to find the direction they pointed out, they suddenly asked us to follow them. They wanna to show us the bus stop we asked before, directly. That was so sweet! They biked their bicycle slowly and let us follow them behind, and once we already in the bus stop, they left us after make sure we were ok. What a nice people!

 

The thing that kind of surprised me, Chinese people really don’t care without the taste of dressing style. I mean, I kind of shock to see how the way their dress. This picture can explain you a bit.

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Qingyang Temple

Finally we arrived in Qingyang temple.

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We need to pay for 10 cny (yuan) per-person. Qingyang temple is located in First Ring Road West, Section 2 #9. You won’t pass it by because the temple has huge building. It is a nationally famous Taoist temple and tourists attraction. It is located in southwest of Chengdu, near Wuhou Memorial Hall but we didn’t know it before so we failed to find the place of Sinchuan Opera which is near with Wuhou, instead, we went to far away places from Wuhou because the misunderstanding direction people gave to us (or we just simply didn’t know the area and which street better).

 

I don’t have really ideas what Taoist is. But I can tell it now that they way their monk dress up is different with Buddhist monks. Taoism is a Chinese philosophy based on the writings of Lao-Tzu that stresses living simply and honestly and in harmony with nature. It’s about the balance of life in Yin and Yang symbol.

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From the Wikipedia : The term Tao means “way”, “path” or “principle”, and can also be found in Chinese philosophies and religions other than Taoism. In Taoism, however, Tao denotes something that is both the source and the driving force behind everything that exists. It is ultimately ineffable: “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.

 

The temple itself is quite huge. Worth enough to see if you are curious to see how the Taoist monks live and how they do their prayer. I stuck in a room, standing quietly when I saw a monk pray in a sing which really beautiful to hear even I didn’t understand the meaning of it at all.

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In front of the Sanqing Hall stand two eye catching bronze goats statue, which people gathered around and try to touch the statue. I didn’t understand why. The goat is actually a strange creature for me, but people so busy touching it nose or body. I think they believe it will bring them luck or blessing.

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Jinli Pedestrian Street

Finished with Qingyang, as I mentioned before, we try to find the Opera House for Sinchuan Opera, but it turned to be so exhausting. From the information I searched before we go, it’s written the House not so far from Qingyang. But later on, we went around and around and can’t find the place. Exhausted with the situation, we finally decide to just return to our hotel. On our way to the Bus stop, a friend of mine looked to the Jacket Store and want to buy one. When they got busy trying the jackets, I talked with a Chinese woman who also tried to fit herself in a jacket. With her broken English, we managed a conversation and later on, she wanted to bring us to Jinli Pedestrian Street. Awww, so good! She is a student in famous campus around Wuhou which I failed to remember the name (it’s on Chinese name, btw). She was really kind and suggest us many snacks to try.  Jinli just a lovely place which you can find so many traditional snacks and accessories. It’s also a place to enjoy a drink with friends or just walking in the crowded enjoying the night. I really feel lucky with the meeting cause finally I could see this famous pedestrian street and I love it!

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This is too sad, head of Rabbits 😦

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This kid paid attentively with the puppet show, Jinli has so many things to offer!

 

Let’s find another time to continue the story – my days were not yet finished in Chengdu 😉

 

xx,

Dea

 

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