Wednesday 20 November 2019


Chengdu - the capital of Sichuan province and home to the famous giant pandas.

This city had not been on my radar initially. However, after a prompt from S's colleague and discovering that we could get a relatively cheap direct flight to Chengdu, we decided it would be the perfect first city for our trip.

My first impression at 8am on a weekday was that the streets (including the footpaths) were so wide. Subsequently, there were a lot of pedestrian bridges; never fun with luggage.

The first visit was People's Park!

To commemorate the 1911 Movement.

We eventually wandered over to 'Wide and Narrow Alley' aka Kuanzhai Alley for some snacks. This street is a microcosm of the city’s history - the street dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911 AD). This was our first tourist location and, as I was soon to discover on the trip, there were more Chinese tourists in tour groups than non-tour group tourists. This was interesting as it wasn't something that I had noticed / experienced on other travelling trips.

Our first food on the trip, sān dàpào or 'three big cannons',  sweetened sticky rice covered in toasted soy and ground sesame. Very tasty and more-ish.

Lunch - our first of many experiences of pointing to the pictures on the menu (picture menus are great).

The following day, we went to Chengdu Museum which had free admission. Enroute we picked up some steamed pork buns.

The museum was absolutely fascinating; viewing all the artefacts from the province and the age of some of the items was incredible (over 2000 years ago!).

Next stop Jingli Street. The street was recorded as early as the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC) and was restored in 2004. The street is quite picturesque with traditional buildings and bridges.

Hello camera

The savoury version of tau foo fah. It is spicy soft bean curd topped with roasted soybeans, pickled vegetables and Sichuan chilli oil.

There were also many stalls in central Chengdu selling Uighur flatbread (nángbĭng) covered with sesame seeds.

Very tasty as it was still hot!

A lamb pocket  - it was okay but meat was a little tough.

For an overview of my China trip refer to this post.

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