I arrived late in Chengdu because of the delay so I lost a whole dang day. I would find out later that the delay would cost me the ability to go on the Leshan Giant Buddha tour but I’m not TOO broken up about it. The other days they didn’t have the tour but I could’ve gone alone but I wasn’t too keen on going alone for fear I would get lost. It’s unfounded as I got myself quite ably to country places in Chongqing (next post) but for whatever reason I was a bit hesitant.
I stayed in contact with my new Australian friend, Joel because it’s always more fun to travel with someone, but it’s also safer. It’s not that China is dangerous, because it’s not, it’s just that I think that numbers are best, especially as a woman. I’ve heard stories about expat women facing challenges when alone in China. Might be a minority but hey, why take the risk.
had to taxi to the hostel, Chengdu Flipflop lounge hostel which was absolutely great. Fabulous. I was in a standard dorm room as I usually go for the cheapest tolerable option which usually means mixed dorm. I was unpacking my things and wanted a nice shower after the almost 40 hours since my last one. I heard a dude and girl speaking Korean in the next bunk so I asked in Chinese if they spoke Chinese or English so I can ask them if they need to use the bathroom first.
(many Korean people will know some Chinese as many go to China to study it).
Much to my surprise when the male looked up he was someone who was also from Anshan. We both were like, “HUH?!” because the coincidence is real. We don’t know each other well, I didn’t even know his name but we reconized each other. It was nice because I immediately felt like I can trust the people in my room, but in general I trust Korean people, they always seem so polite and courteous.
The dorm was great because for only 4 beds (2 bunks) there was an ensuite bathroom instead of a floor wide big bathroom. While it can be inconvenient because you can’t use the toilet if someone is in there, it kind of lends to the bathroom being cleaner since there is more accountability and if everyone is gone, you have privacy.
The first day I was there I didn’t want to do anything too crazy as I had gotten to the hostel after midnight and thus slept late. The Australian and I kept in contact even though he was staying at a different hostel so we could meet up and all as it’s more fun to travel around with someone.
But that didn’t mean I was always accompanied, one day I was alone and hungry so I found my way to a Sichuan place across the street and it was quite good! My meal is below, a la pinterest-style
I ended up returning to the place the night before departure with a a new British friend and tried the drypot squid (干锅鱿鱼) and it was simply awesome.
Since Joel and I were unable to get to see the Leshan Giant Buddha, we went to see the pandas the last day. They are CUTE AF. We were happy the “zoo” bore little resemblance to other zoos visited in the past and was very open and such by comparison. Make no mistake, it was still a zoo, but I’ve seen much worse in Dalian. That zoo was depressing.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Chengdu. WOULD RECOMMEND. But I was disappointed I wasn’t able to see the Buddha, but I just tell myself that I saved a lot of money as it was one of the more expensive tours and I wasn’t gutsy enough to go alone.