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Album: By Country | By Date China | July 2001 < Prev: Around Lhasa and a Visit to Sera Monastery | Next: Emei Shan Part 1 >
Travelogue: By Country | By Date China | July 2001  

July 2001 - Chengdu

Interesting, comfortable, modern city that reminds some of us of Denver -- it has about the same population

One more goofy monk clowning around with us Walking out to our plane to Chengdu.  The alternative to the plane is, and I'm not making this up, a 4 day bus ride. Tote headed to China  
Bicycle parking lot outside the Chengdu Canting.  We had a very fun meal there for about $5, consisting of all sorts of weird stuff like sea cucumbers and eels.  Tote being questioned by Ronald MonkDonald.  Chengdu is a modern city with all the major U.S. franchises, big department stores, and billboards with Arnold Schwartznegger.  Just a reminder of how monks debate Maggie debating Ronald MonkDonald and a woman watching.  We usually draw stares and occasionally draw small crowds
Mark with airplane ticket touts. Mark and Maggie.  Maggie gave Mark this ice cream as a special treat.  Getting lessons from an abacus master Downtown Chengdu.  There are old neighborhoods, too, but they seem to be in the process of getting knocked down and replaced with newer buildings.  Downtown Chengdu is a bit like downtown Denver or Cherry Creek.  There's lots of big buildings and nice shops but all with an unreal, "look at me!" air.  Chengdu is cleaner and has fewer cars.
Hot pot.  A boil it yourself meal.  You select all sorts of skewered things, vegetables, eels, whole fish, pieces of tofu, algae, etc. and then boil them up at the table. Occasionally something falls off the skewer, a search party goes out.  Tote is currently searching for something. The boiling oil and water is loaded with peppers and other spices. Chengdu has a lovely riverfront with parks running down both sides.  The parks, like all the streets in Chengdu, .are immaculately clean.
Tobacco salesmen in the park Bullfrogs in the market Fishmonger.  After a customer selects a fish, the fishmonger whacks in on the ground to stun it, places it on the scale, scales it, cuts it open and tears out the guts, and then hands it over - sometimes still flopping a bit - to the customer. Meat market
A wooden something or other in the market Walking around in the old part of Chengdu Along an old Chendu street.  Our guidebook says nothing about this part of the city. Qingyang Temple and incense sticks.  The Temple seems to be a collection of building housing big  statues of guys with beards.   There's also a few monks doing fortunes and people burning paper and incense.
Whatever Taoism means to people today, the setting is pleasant. Dragon People were prostrating themselves in front of this guy and in front of unfinished versions of guys like this.  Temple building
Gateway and very relaxed man. It looks like most of these things were rebuilt.  The dragons looked particularly cheesy Still, the Temple is a very peaceful spot. People really do play Mah Jong everywhere.
Temple building. This is the entrance to a swimming pool.  When we walked in, the young woman gatekeeper recited the posted prices to us.  The total tariff would have been 38 Yuan. I saw her boss signing to her out of the corner of my eye.  Then he showed us his version of the price by showing us a 100 Yuan note.  Later, when he saw Monica, he raised the price to 150 Yuan.  The gatekeeper told us it was because we were English.  Mark tried to take his picture, which sent him into a corner to hide for a minute or so.  We have met so few asses, I suppose it was time.  In Chengdu, most government signs are also in English.  (Or sort of in English.)