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Hazy, Busy, Bustling Chengdu

Bit of a rest day today - I slept in till 9am & I woke Nath at 12.30pm.... so very late start!!! Great hostel with restaurant & seating areas everywhere in gardens, on terraces, big lending library of books & DVD's & a full on travel booking area. Looked into going to Tibet but mneed more time than we have left so will have to leave for another time!!

Droped off some washing & got info on visiting the Panda place. We caught bus 28 just outside to the last stop which is opposite the train station & cost us 2 yuan. We went to a Chonqui Chain Store & they knew we were there to purchase a " panda card" for 1 yuan. ( guess we had that tourist/foreigner look!) This card gives a huge discount to not only visiting this park but many other local sites.

We then went to the train station over the road ( it is huge & there is another one on the other side of town). Went to an information area & showed the lady my piece of paper with translation & she held up a sign in english saying " walk 200 metres this way!!" Off we went to another whole huge building which is for ticketing, to another info counter & he pointed us to counter number 11. We waited about 30 mins & did the pushing in thing like they do & would watch in amazement as someone would walk right up the front from the back of the line. The trick is to not leave any gaps between you & the people in front or someone will push into it. Forget personal space & all squeeze tightly together!!! Got our tickets for the soft sleeper train ( bottom bunks) to Guilin for 396 yuan ( $70 Aus).

That done we tried to catch the number 28 bus back to the hostel but they kept going past us, even when we moved to the proper area after realizing we were at the wrong bus area.

Chengdu is big & busy & full of smog - no blue sky here!!! It is the 5th biggest city in China with a population of 13 million. Lots of bicycles & electric bikes & they have their own lane & can also use the pedestrian green lights to cross roads as well as the car green lights.

Decided we would just walk home via an area we heard was interesting & so spent the next few hours wandering with the help of our map. Crossed over the river & found this old area full of elderly chinese people living in a traditional area & playing cards & games on street corners.

Nath was excited to see a starbucks & got a latte & bought 2 pairs of vans for $20 AUS each. He has now bought himself 5 pairs of shoes this trip!!! Walked past lots of large expensive furniture stores & then caught bus 1 back to our street & hostel. It ws peak hour & so it was doing the cramming sardine thing to force yourself into the bus & find a space. Hilarious!!! Arrived back at 6.30pm & had dinner at the hostel & bumped into Dan & Treena that we had shared a room with in Dali! They are off to Tibet tomorrow... I so want to go there!!!

Got our " panda card" activated by the staff ( needed our passports) & booked the 1/2 day trip tomorrow for 30 yuan each.

Train Station

Train Station


Trying to get Bus 28

Trying to get Bus 28


Train ticketing hall

Train ticketing hall


River

River


Busy roads

Busy roads


Trays behind bicycles are used for everything

Trays behind bicycles are used for everything


Old Area of town

Old Area of town


Old Area

Old Area


Fruit carts behind bikes

Fruit carts behind bikes


Locals hanging out

Locals hanging out

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in China

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