My first real holiday in China – and was I excited about it! It started off in Chengdu, a city famous for the Sichuan Opera and for being the home of the panda. I didn’t realise that it was also the home of some pretty nice gardens and some awesome temples.

After checking in to my hotel, I went for a walk around the city. First up, the Marquis Wu temple and it’s beautiful gardens, probably my favourite in Chengdu (and the cheapest). Then off to Wuhou Temple where Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang (of the Three Kingdom’s period) were buried. The most amazing statues, built in ancient times, are housed in the Hanzhoulie Temple dedicated to Liu Bei. A trip to Jin Li street was next. It’s a touristy version of the “ancient” streets but it did sell some pretty awesome food such as every section of every animal I’ve ever heard of as food. I tried some duck’s tongue and it was delicious!! Then a long walk (yes I got lost) to get to the People’s Park where there was a chrysanthemum exhibition. It was dark by then, but still very beautiful.

Marquis Wu Temple

The Statue of Liu Bei (Wuhou Temple)

Renmin Gongyuan
(People’s Park)

The walk home took me past the bridge overlooking this river and the night scenery of Chengdu. Pretty huh?

That night, I took in the Chendgu tourist version of the Sichuan Opera. A little tacky but a good overview I guess of all the different types of Opera. First came guys with watering cans with long, thin spouts who proceeded to pour water into Chinese Tea Cups whilst climbing over each other and not looking at the cups. Then came the puppets, which were so lifelike and about half the size of humans. Then came dancers, musicians and of course the masked performers (see below). These guys changed the colour and/or shape of their mask right in front of you and I have absolutely no idea how.

After that I headed to back to the hotel to prepare for the early morning trip to Lhasa.