Travelogues .............................................................................................................................

Cycling Chengdu (The Du)
Editor: Simon from Australia  Edited Date:2006-8-2 21:04:27   Visitors:2594   
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We arrived in Chengdu from Lhasa in good spirits. Checked into the Loft Hostel and were pleased to find comfort and modern facilities available. After tucking into some great western food in the adjoining restaurant, we collected our bikes and took off for a night.  We found fairy lit bridges, sparkling canals, broad rivers and dark beconing parks. Chengdu is flat and a breeze to navigate. We only had the hostel pocket map with us and a few name cards of bars and reasturants, but thats all we needed. And getting lost is half the fun. Be warned thou, if you leave your bike chained outside too late in the night, it may become chained by local bike security forcing you to return home bikeless and collect it the next day. Really defeated the purpose of being self sufficient but dem's the rules.

The next day, after collecting our bikes, we again were off for sight seeing. We retraced our nightly path to see it all again by day and liked what we saw. A highlight was resting at River Viewing Park where we took a fabulous alfresco lunch,  watched an old nut perform circus tricks in his tights and had our ears waxed by the ear hawkers. Not birds, these guys circle around the majhong tea drinking leisurely folk to sell their service of removing wax from your ears with long prongs and pipe cleaners. I will if you will, was the deal and so we did. I'll spare you details, but it was impressive to say the least.

We gave ourselves a kind of treasure hunt adventure including finding the Tibetan quarter (not sure if we found it or not), being chased through the pedestrian strip, stocking up on DVD's on computer street, buying tracksuit pants to relpace an unfortunantly shrunken pair, and ice cream. Meeting a Chengdu friend infront of the Mao statue was harder than you'd think. We were persistantly hunted away by guards, for going the wrong way, for stopping, for having bikes, for wearing green, we're not sure the reason, but it made a memory.

As did the whole of Chengdu. A recommended city by bike.


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