Three Gorges Dam





PedestriansThe atmosphere in Chengdu is so different than most of China–people are relaxed, there are many parks, few high-rises, and the city is much cleaner. Foreigners are a much more common sight here as it is a hub of backpackers who travel across Sichuan. When I visited this summer there were many English-speaking youths waiting at the train station touting international hostels. I had read many positive things about Sim’s Cozy Guesthouse in some forums, and sure enough, it was a great place to stay. The staff was very friendly and the owner, Sim and his wife often talked with us, offering assistance for anything we needed. There were a number of foreign guests staying there from Europe, the US, Japan, and Taiwan.

Sichuan cuisineSichuan food is delicious and cheap in Chengdu. If you can’t eat spicy food, you won’t truly enjoy Sichuan cuisine. Hotpot is the most famous food from Chongqing. But I enjoyed it more in every place other than Chongqing. Some people say the same about Beijing Duck. When a city becomes famous for something, it becomes too commonplace and eventually cheapened. So try the hotpot in Chengdu rather than Chongqing. Hotpot is a pot of boiling stew with many fragrant spices and vegetables inside. You order plates of raw vegetables and meat and then cook the food in the boiling water. The best part is the bowl of sesame sauce that you dip your cooked food into. Some hotpot restaurants don’t serve sesame sauce because they specialize in their stews. Avoid those restaurants if you like the nutty flavor of sesame as I do. You can order mild or spicy soup, or half of each separated by a partition in the pot.
See Chengdu gallery

November 25th, 2006