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Tuesday, May 13th – No Way Out?

At Chengdu's Airport, after the Earthquake in Chengdu, on May 12th, 2008, at 14:28 - 7.9 on Richter Scale!

At Chengdu’s Airport, after the Earthquake in Chengdu, on May 12th, 2008, at 14:28 – 7.9 on Richter Scale!

We had booked a flight from Chengdu, Sichuan to Lijiang, Yunnan, before the earthquake hit, but now, whether you have a ticket or not makes very little difference, there are just not enough flights. Not to mention that all train stations are closed until further notice and that busses are just totally overbooked! Continue Reading →

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China – The Human Factor

People's Park, Chengdu, China

People’s Park, Chengdu, China

Since we spent more than five days in this city on and off we strayed to all kinds of places. Our favorite was People’s Park. Its entrance is guarded by the statue of a ferocious looking soldier pointing his gun at the people’s enemies? The inside of the park is very peaceful with lots of elderly people joining Tai Chi groups or just dance away, alone with a partner, all to the same music. Continue Reading →

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Sim’s Cozy Garden Guesthouse In Chengdu

 

At Sim's Cozy Backpackers, Chengdu, China

At Sim’s Cozy Backpackers, Chengdu, China

One reason we stopped again in Chengdu was this incredible hostel, one of the best we have stayed during our 10 month travel. Comfortable, squeaky clean and quiet rooms with AC, TV & DVD player, two big and airy inner court yards, a competent travel desk, a big terrace to enjoy the superb food or a late night drink and lots of cozy communal space, are just a few features that make this place irresistible. For us, two adorable very young cats, an extensive book exchange, the free DVD library and WiFi in the whole building made it even more difficult to leave this oasis. Continue Reading →

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Leshan – The Biggest Buddha

Leshan, the Biggest Bhudda, near Chengdu, China

Leshan, the Biggest Bhudda, near Chengdu, China

Who would not like to see the tallest Buddha in the world sculptured into a cliff overlooking the river? So naturally, we stopped in Leshan, where we checked into the “Post and Telecommunication Hotel”. If the name is a turn off – maybe the nearby post office is to blame – the rooms are super and quiet, but it lacks all the facilities of a traveler hostel. The price included a Chinese breakfast which was rice porridge and pickled, spicy vegetable. We really tried…Nevertheless, the best place to stay in Leshan! Continue Reading →

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Emei Shan – The Holy Mountain

 

Emei Shan, the Holy Mountain, near Chengdu, China

Emei Shan, the Holy Mountain, near Chengdu, China

Emei Shan is one of China’s four famous Buddhist mountains and thus the destination for zillions of Chinese tourists and pilgrims. Not that we could distinguish who was making its way up or down Emai Shan for what purpose, but what was so overwhelming was the sheer number of people on a normal weekday in the low season. Continue Reading →

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Chengdu – Temples & Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera in Jinjiang Theater, Chengdu, China

Chinese Opera in Jinjiang Theater, Chengdu, China

In Chengdu, there are also quite a few temples. Some are more like a monastery, as Wenshu, with living quarters for the monks, various temples, shrines & a tea house. Unless some Chinese tourists are screaming into their mobiles, it can also be place to soak up a bit of tranquility in this big city. Continue Reading →

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Moving North To Sichuan

In Chengyang, a Dong Village near Sanjiang, Guilin region, China

In Chengyang, a Dong Village near Sanjiang, Guilin region, China

From Ping’An, we zipped to Guilin by bus. From there we continued by plane to Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan. Airline tickets bought online are indeed often so discounted that they are cheaper than a soft sleeper on the train! Continue Reading →

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Minority Villages Near Sanjiang

Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge, Dong Village near Sanjiang, Guilin region, China

Chengyang Wind & Rain Bridge, Dong Village near Sanjiang, Guilin region, China

After the madness of Ping’An, it was such a relief to find Ma’an, famous for its Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, a quiet relaxed place. The about 100 year old bridge was built by the villagers only using wood, no nails and is covered by what looks like a cascade of roofs. The rice paddies next to the river are irrigated by large squeaking waterwheels. Continue Reading →

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The Rice Terraces Of Ping’An

Mass Tourism At Its Fullest

Rice Terraces of Ping’An, China

Rice Terraces of Ping’An, China

We were well aware that visiting a main tourist attraction in China during the May 1st holiday week would not be a lonely affair! Nevertheless, what we experienced in the tiny village of Ping’An was beyond our wildest imaginations. The area is famous for its extensive and elaborately sculptured rice terraces, a truly magnificent place. BUT! Since it caters mainly to Chinese tour groups coming up for the day from Guilin or Yangshuo, the place turns into a zoo during the busy holiday season. Continue Reading →

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Yangshuo’s Other Highlights

Yangshuo Cooking School, Yangshuo, China

Yangshuo Cooking School, Yangshuo, China

One morning we joined a lesson at Yangshuo Cooking School, run by an energetic young lady with a good sense of humor. The class started with a trip to the local market where our little group was introduced to ingredients typically used in Chinese cuisine. The “school” is located in the country side in the midst of rice paddies. Continue Reading →

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