Temples in Chengdu
After this strenuous and a little disappointing day yesterday, I decided to sleep in and have a little more relaxing day today and visit some of the famous temples in Chengdu. I also took hundreds of pictures that day and below, you can find a selection of my favorite shots of today.
I went to Starbucks for breakfast and some real coffee and then I had a nice time walking around the Mao square, with a huge Mao statue in front of the Natural Science Museum and a beautiful water show in the many fountains. They played some nice Chinese songs and even some classical music and it was a really nice atmosphere there to watch all the tourists taking silly pictures in front of the fountains. This is something very Chinese. Where ever they travel, they seem to have the urgent need to take silly pictures in front of the sights. making faces, showing the peace sign, or even trying to imitate the statue behind them.
Temples in Chengdu – Wohuo & Qingyang Temple
A short while later, it was time to start my tour of the two most famous temples in Chengdu. I took a cab to Wohuo Temple, which is another very beautiful temple. It also has a great garden and it was very beautiful as well. I guess all the temples in China are beautiful and have nice gardens, so I let the pictures speak for themselves…
After the Wohuo Temple I visited the second Temple of the day, Qingyang Temple, also known as the Green Ram Monastery. Yes, you guessed right, this was beautiful too. Because I was tired of walking, I sat down in the nice tea house and had a cup of tea, watching the locals chatting, playing ma jiang and Chinese poker. The Sichuan tea houses really have a very unique atmosphere. You will see many old people, who seem to spend the whole day there, some Western tourists, Chinese families and even sometimes young people meeting up with friends. You only buy one cup of tea, which is usually rather expensive, but refilled as soon as you have has a single sip for as long as you want. Unfortunately, I never really spend so much time in a teahouse that this system would have paid off for me, but It was always very nice and interesting to watch the people having a good time and enjoying themselves.
Street Food in Jinli Lu
Right next to the temple is Jinli Lu, an ancient street full of tourist, street vendors and cute little shops. There were many tourists again, but the architecture was really interesting and I had the chance to taste some more strange foods. This time I did not have a clue what I was eating, but it was very good, that’s all that counts, right?
After lunch I went to the park right next to Qingyang temple. This park came close to Baihuatan park, but a little less kitschy and touristy. I strolled through the park for a few hours and the exit brought me to a very nice street with many typical Chinese style houses. After the usual hassle of getting a cab in the late afternoon in Chengdu, I got back to my hotel.
Chengdu Sichuan Opera
Because I did not have any plans for the evening, I decided to do something cultural and bought a ticket to the Sichuan Opera, which is supposed to be very different from Beijing Opera. Since I have not had the chance to see the opera in Beijing yet, I don’t really know whether this is true or not, but I will tell you as soon as I find out. The opera was staged in a tea house so during the show we enjoyed tea and peanuts. They poured us the tea trough a tea pot with a really long spout. That way, they could reach even the tea cups in the center of the row. Very amazing and unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture. But this couple here does a great write up on the Chengdu Sichuan Opera and you can find a picture of the tea pots there as well. So check it out 🙂 Even though I did not understand what it was really all about, it was nice to see the colorful costumes, hear the unfamiliar sounds of the music, and watch an amazing act of shadow play. I enjoyed the performance with three Israelis who booked the show at Sam’s Guesthouse too and after the show, we convinced the driver to take us to Shamrock’s Pub instead of the hotel. We talked about our travel adventures and the two girls showed me some awesome pictures of the Tibetan plateau and Jiuzhaigou. We had a good time and I was extremely happy, because this place happened to have a special promotion of Erdinger Weissbier and if you know me, one of the things that makes me so happy, is to find German gems abroad 😉
All in all, I had a wonderful time exploring the temples in Chengdu, eating street food in Jinlin Lu and enjoying the Sichuan Opera, but I still felt sad that I did not get to explore Emei Shan. That will have to wait until next time 🙂
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