2011 - China Part 1 - Sichuan Province

Backpacking Adventure
26 days through 6 provinces in China
Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou, Guangxi
and 3 days in Hanoi, North Vietnam
29th Mar <> 26th Apr 2011

(L-R) Lee Kam Boon, Ching Neng Bin, Chew Leng Soon, Chan Meng Fye @ Leshan
(L-R) Ching Neng Bin, Chew Leng Soon, Chan Meng Fye, Lee Kam Boon @ Emeishan

Day 01 (29.03.2011) Malaysia > Chengdu (13c – 19c)

"Ni hao" Greeting from China. Departing LCCT at 1.30pm, four of us so called ‘early birds’ arrived at Chengdu airport at 6pm. We took a van for Y60 to the city and stayed at Xinyuan Hotel which is located in the centre of the city.

We got a local travel agency to arrange a 2 day tour to Leshan and Emeishan for Y650 – inclusive of all expenses (one night hotel, food, entrance fee, transport and tour guide). At night we walked around town and had dinner at a restaurant – Y240 for 4pax (crab & prawn porridge with mushroom, fish intestine, roast duck, mixed vegetable, clay port seafood, and fried spring-roll.

Stayed at Xinyuan Hotel – Y80 a room with breakfast

a very modern Chengdu commercial centre along Chunxi Lu Strreet
If New York has Times Square, Chengdu has Chunxi Lu. It has several hundred stores and is surrounded by several large malls selling everything from very basic items to luxury goods. You must really see this shopping street at night when it is brought to life by thousands of lights, music and giant television screens.
beautiful copper tooling art on the Chunxi Street walkway
 
Day 02 (30.03.2011) Chengdu > Leshan > Emei City

Woke up at 5.15am and had own breakfast in the room. Bus pickup at 6.40 am for a 2 hours’ drive to Leshan to visit the Leshan Grand Buddha. Entrance fee is Y90. Leshan's pride is the serene Grand Buddha carved into a cliff face overlooking the confluence of Dadu River and Min River. The other sight was the Oriental Buddha Park (required a separate Y50 ticket). It has 3000 Buddha statues and figurines including a 170m long reclining Buddha, said to be the world’s longest. We visited the Ebony Museum on the way to Emei City and later checked in to hotel for dinner at 6pm


vegetables drying on the road - very unhygienic
giant writing on the cliff wall beside Leshan Giant Buddha
 

a Chinese temple

walking down the cliff-face of the Giant Buddha

a view of Leshan City from the cliff-wall

a Buddhist monk called Haitong started it in AD713 - took 90 years to complete
at 71m tall, his ears stretch for 7m, his shoulder span 28m

each of the big toe is 8.5m long

ancient tea houses

the Oriental Buddha Park has a collection of 3000 Buddha images

the 170m-long reclining Buddha is on the hill behind the bridge
we exit from this entrance
Ebony Museum - not allowed to take photos inside
Ebony Museum is well worth a visit if you are not familiar with ebony and the amazing carvings that can be made from it.

Day 03 (31.03.2011) Emei City > EmeiShan > Chengdu

After breakfast at 6am, the bus picked us up at 7am to the Emei Shan main entrance. Entrance ticket at Y150. Here the park-bus took us up the mountain on a winding 70km road. We could see the gorges and some snow on the ground. As we went higher up we could see more snow.

On arrival at the Leidongping Bus station (2,430m), we all had to buy the snow sock or spike (Y15) to put on our shoes to prevent skidding on ice. We had to walk 15 minutes up the steps to the cable car station at Jieyin Hall. Walking up the steps, we saw some monkeys receiving food from tourist. We were at the cable car station at 9am and a 5 minutes cable car (Y65) ride took us to the peak at 3,079m. Here at the Golden Summit (Jinding) temple, we were amazed by the magnificent 4 face Puxian Buddha statute sitting on 4 elephants. From here we could also see the other peaks. We spent about 45 minutes here and took the cable car (Y55) back to Leidongping Bus station (2430m). We had lunch at a village on our way down the mountain.

The bus then took us to Wannian Bus Station. Here you can either hike or take the cable car (Y40) up to Wannian Temple (1,020m). The entrance fee is Y120. However, we hiked up for about 30minutes to reach Wannian Temple.

The returned journey was hiking down through the White Dragon Cave, Qingyin Pavilion and Niuxin Pavilion before reaching Wuxiangang Bus Station. The tourist bus took us back to Xinyuan Hotel in Chengdu city reaching at 9pm.

Sleeping at Xinyuan Hotel – Y100 a room for two with breakfast.
at the Emei Shan main entrance
snow-sock and spike on our shoes for walking on ice

naughty macaque monkeys are very accustomed to tourists
view of the the winding road from Jinyin Palace
view from cable car
a view of the Sheshen Cliff and the summit from Woyun cable car station
the Golden Summit peak at 3,079 m
the Golden Summit Temples
 


at the entrance to Wannian Temple

start of the climb up to Wannian Temple

Lee Kam Boon with a Tibetan monk
Wannian Temple at 1,020m - reconstructed in the 9th century, it is the oldest remaining Emei temple. It's dedicated to the man on the white elephant, the Bodhisattva Puxian, who is the protector of the mountain. This 8.5m high statue cast in copper and bronze dates from AD980 and weighs an estimated 62,000 kg.

a cup of snake wine at the tea shop

Qingyin Pavilion temple on the mountain slope at 710m
dried up lake and river during the dry season

at the Wuxiangang Bus Station to get back to Chengdu

Day 04 (01.04.2011) Chengdu (14c – 22c)

After breakfast we explored the city-square and later check-out of the current hotel and walked 20 minutes to Traffic Inn where we stayed. Here we waited for the other 5 members (regular birds) to join us. It was also our rest day in Chengdu. The 5 members from Malaysia arrived at 11pm. 
 
Stayed at Traffic Inn Hostel – Y90 a room for 2.
friendly staff of Traffic Inn, No.6 Lin Jiang Zhong Lu, Jing Jiang District, Chengdu
Alex in black jacket, another friendly staff of Traffic Inn
 
Day 05 (02.04.2011) Chengdu (14c – 22c)

Breakfast at the Inn was Y5. Ms. Shannon a Traffic Inn staff took us for a walking city tour. We first walked out to the main road and then took bus No.43 (Y2) to Chengdu People’s Park. We visited the famous Small Alley and had lunch at the Big Alley. We then walked to Mao Statue, Tian Fu Square and later walked straight back to Traffic Inn Hostel. Bernard and See did not go for the walk as they had to buy our train tickets for Chongqing. Ms. Gan the late bird arrived at 2.30pm from Malaysia that makes a total of 10 of us.

We had a very good dinner at the same Cantonese restaurant we ate last year. We then walked to Jinli Ancient Street. 
 
Stayed at Traffic Inn Hostel – Y90 a room for 2
 
at the entrance of the People's Park
It was filled with locals dancing, singing, strolling and also practicing taichi. There are numerous tea-houses of ancient architecture.
 
 
a red cherry blossom plant all over in the garden
entrance to Big and Small Alley - souvenir hunting in restored street and a taste of old Chengdu
 
 
Chairman Mao statue
the 4 musketeers - Ching, Chew, Chan, Lee at Tianfu Square
Tianfu Square is just opposite of Chairman Mao statue. Shopping and subway system is located directly under the square
Nanhe River runs through Chengdu
we had very good dinner at this same Cantonese restaurant we ate in 2010
after dinner, walked towards Jinlin Ancient Street passing by this eating square
Jinli Street is another ancient street a good place to go and take pictures, try some unusual snacks, buy souvenirs and enjoy the environment. It has night-time bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Next to Jinli Street is the Wuhou Temple.
this guy selling tickets at the face changing theatre - it's a Sichuan art!
a ship turned into a restaurant on our way back to Traffic Inn


Air-Asia : KL - Chengdu is RM304-00
5 days total expenses in China is RM665 per person

Please take note of this while traveling in China:
  1. To wear face mask in China as it is very dusty and smoky.
  2. Never ever pay any hotel booking deposit through a 3rd party.
  3. Never ever accept any deal as proposed by tout or individual acting as agent of hotel or travel agency at airport, bus or train stations and along the road. Always go to a reputable travel agency or in hotel.

24 comments:

  1. Thx for sharing.
    I really admire your ability of documenting all the details.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lintang Bob Yong21 July, 2011

    Hi Ching

    It took quite awhile for me to browse through your blog. I must say you intrigue me to the extent of admiring and envying you for your interest and passion on what you set out to do. You are great! I got a feeling that we have a lot in common, except that I am 18 years your senior... On the other hand, I think there are many things I can learn from you.

    For a start, please tell me these.
    Where do you stay? I know Chew Leng Soon. How do you clean and polish a copper tooling?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ching!

    Noted with thanks. Wow! The time and effort U took to put it all together,
    fantastic, and keep up the good work!
    Best wishes
    Bai du

    ReplyDelete
  4. hi Ching, your blog is very informative and you really take the trouble to give details. Really envy you, have been to so many places.
    keep up with the good work. tq

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Ching
    Thank you for these beautiful photos. I have travelled quite a lot in China, even the places you had been, but definitely have not seen as much as you did. Enjoy a lot on these photos.
    Regards
    YK Chong

    ReplyDelete
  6. Helen Chok25 July, 2011

    wow..wow...glad to see your travelling photos ... really admire you la ... make use of your good time in travelling! Enjoy your trip & take care...:)
    Cheers,
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  7. Goh Tong Kai25 July, 2011

    Hi Ching, many thanks for sharing with me your backpacking tour to Chengdu. From the photographs, I can see that it is a nice place to visit. Looking forward to receiving more information on the remainder of your tour. Wishing you have an enjoyable time there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jimmy Lim25 July, 2011

    Bro,
    It's reminds me of the time I had with Teoh Hock Lim and the rest at
    Chengdu except for some of the places that you are currently visiting that we did not have a chance to go. It's interesting to note that you will be around China for 30 days! Wow.....shiok man. Hope to join you on one of your tours in the future. Keep posting.
    Regards,
    Jim Lim
    PBB Kulai

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ng Boon Kem25 July, 2011

    Glad to hear you have had a great
    time enjoying the scenic and amazing architectural and building China can offer and nice pictures that you had captured ... its truly a great nation with lots of historical sites, culture, food etc. Continue to explore ....
    BoonKem

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Ching,
    I happened to come across your blog.....found it very exciting and informative. Am retired and want to travel to see places - backpacking. I wonder if I could join in as new member for your next adventure!!. Would be grateful if you could accommodate and let me know your plan trips.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sim Goay chye01 August, 2011

    Dear Ching
    Thanks for magnificent photographs. Pls keep us posted as you go along.
    Say hi to your group members and enjoy yourselves.
    Sim GC

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Bro Ching,
    Thank you for keeping me updated and please continue to do so as you go along your way. Have a enjoyable and blessed holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Choo Yew Ching01 August, 2011

    I really envy you & wished I could be there too!! Take care & enjoy yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Margaret Chan06 August, 2011

    Hi Neng Bin
    Thanks for sharing. Superb journal and photos. Have a wonderful and safe trip.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Ching, we just back from Emeisan & Lesan on 13 march 2011 - very thick snow fall there. We also visited JiuZhaiGou - very beautiful ..

    ReplyDelete
  16. Chan Kang Fei06 August, 2011

    Hi Ching,
    Thank you for sharing your trips with us. You've laid out all the 'routes' for me to follow upon my retirement.
    Have a wonderful time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Ching,
    Thank you for sharing your trip with me. Those pictures looks good and cold weather. Your itinerary is good. Looking forward to see more pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Teh Chak King10 September, 2011

    Hi Ching and others,
    Looks like you all have a nice time in China, hope you all enjoy and wish you all the best of luck and have a wonderful journey, may God Bless you all.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Phillip Tinkler10 September, 2011

    Wah I didn't realise you were on yet another trip after Sri Lanka. Can't keep up with you.
    Have fun
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dear Ching, I am Chooi Beow's brother, thanks for sharing with me your pictures of your travel;
    I salute you for living a full life.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Ching,
    Thanks for the photos and commentary for your trip. They are very good. I've yet to visit China... I will in the near future.
    Best regards.
    Choon

    ReplyDelete
  22. Traffic Inn, Chengdu25 September, 2011

    Hi Ching,
    This is Shannon, glad to hear from you,I checked your blog, it is very nice, that is very helpful for us and will share your information to other travelers, thank you very much and enjoy your trip.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Mr Ching

    Your travels inspire me! Please email me at lianhwa@gmail.com as. if you are agreeable, i would like to ask your advice/tips on planning some trips to China. I am interested to visit such places not where the hoards go but i don't like the backpack and early hours!!

    Pao Lian

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi there, of course this piece of writing is really pleasant and I have learned lot of
    things from it concerning blogging. thanks.


    Also visit my blog :: china guided tours

    ReplyDelete