Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Week 3 - Chengdu

After a long and pretty sleepless night we arrived in Chengdu and decided to treat ourselves to a taxi to our new hostel, the Cloud Atlas. The taxi was a bargain at £2.10. 

We arrived to what we thought was a welcoming party, as the reception was filled with balloons, turns out it was the hostels first birthday party! 

That night, whilst enjoying an evening beer, we were showered with free cocktails and sesame snaps. Though this then led to us being made to take part in a party game...popping balloons in pairs. We won though, panda key rings, mine even has a pink princess crown!

The Chinese carried on playing teenage games, like suck and blow, followed with pass the straw. After this came happy birthday in Chinese and English, sung over a massive cake...what a night, and experience! They certainly know how to party, ending it with a massive food fight.

We had a lazy morning before taking ourselves to the People's Park, one of the only free parks in China. This park is filled with a beautiful boating lake, fishing ponds, orchid gardens, old men playing mahjong and rope swings. This park was built in 1911 after the revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty (the Qing dynasty), and established the Republic of China. 

Kyle thought he was at a spa and not a park, he had an upper body massage and a traditional Chinese ear clean. I couldn't complain too much though, it only cost £5 and the pained look on his face whilst his fingers were being cracked was entertainment for me. 

The food in Chengdu is a little different to the rest of China, a bit more garlic and a lot more spice, and you can imagine Kyles horror when on the second night he asked for chicken noodles and was served the feet! Safe to say he wasn't brave enough to try those when the nails were pointing at him!
We've decided to learn a language each, as we look so lazy compared to everyone else. I've opted for Spanish and Kyle French, which I think is cheating coz you do French at school. Anyway, we've got an app to see whose doing the best and in our chill time we'll have competitions, and I'll win! 

Woke up on day 3 to a drunken FaceTime from Beth, was nice to hear a voice from home and have a good catch up! Bet she had a sore head later! 

After breakfast we decided to visit the Wenshu Yuan monastery, a Buddhist worshipping ground. The grounds of this monastery are filled with trees, flowers and ponds...they even have one dedicated to hundreds of Terrapins! We got to see the young monks in training, and even a few of the older monks playing table tennis.

Outside the temple were some old Chinese buildings, surrounded by market stalls and food vendors. Feeling peckish we opted for a pasty, the meat was questionable so I let Kyle finish it off! I've discovered that they eat rabbit and donkey here too now, I'll be sticking to veg then! 

We decided to be daring on day 4 and try the hot pot. A boiling bowl of chilli oil and spices which you drop your preferred meat and veg into. They're not fucking kidding when they call it hot pot, hell's probably made out of the stuff...even Kyle struggled to eat it! Got to thank Cindy for the Point It picture book though, at least they didn't put ducks intestines in it! Safe to say I left hangry and had a little kick off in the 7/11 coz we couldn't find anything for me to eat! I went to bed with a belly 'full' of pineapple! 

But the next day, the BEST day finally arrived...panda day! We took the bus, for 40p each, to the Chengdu research base of giant panda breeding. It was amazing, we got to see giant, teenage, baby and red pandas in the most beautiful surroundings. They are the laziest but most beautiful animals, all they really did was sleep, eat and roll...it took great patience waiting for them to climb or play fight but was well worth it when they did! One of my China highlights, can't even put into words how good it was! I left buzzing!!
Day 5 got me fired from hand washing duty. Apparently Kyle can make the socks smell fresher, he can keep dreaming! Half a box of daz and 6 rounds in the washer couldn't help his pairs!

On our final day in Chengdu, we decided to chill on the roof top of our hostel. When it's 34 degrees out and you haven't got a pool to chill in you start to feel like a lazy panda!

Tomorrow morning will see a 5am rise to catch a flight to Shanghai for our final week in China...bring on the old town! 

Love Carrie xxx