Chengdu: Home of the Giant Panda

After a short flight I arrived in Chengdu and felt immediately happier – my hotel was located on a delightful old traditional street full of tea houses and ornate buildings, the type of thing I had imagined when I first thought of visiting china, and infinitely better than the character-less hotel I had stayed at in Xi’an. Somehow I felt instantly calmed. After settling in I headed out to explore a little of Chengdu – just down the street was wenhua park, known as the culture park. I had a little stroll around the lush green park, and watched the local people engaging in the popular group dances, and old ladies playing Mahjong (a traditional tile-based game that I am yet to fathom) and sipping green tea. Exiting at the south gate, I then headed into the neighbouring Taoist temple Qingtang Temple. I have never been anywhere that felt so calm and serene. It was exactly the antidote to Xi’an that I needed. The temple was beautiful – a series of small shrines filled with golden Buddhas, nestled amongst lush green vegetation and beautiful incense burners. Definitely the best 10 rmb I have spent so far.

Continue reading