Emei Shan – An intro to Mount Emei, Sichuan China

Emei Shan – An intro to Mount Emei, Sichuan China

Mt. Emei, or Emei Shan (Shan meaning mountain) is located in Leshan City of Sichuan Province. It’s one of China’s Sacred Mountains featuring Buddhist temples and amazing scenery. In 1996 it was given World Heritage status by UNESCO.

Standing at over 3000 meters the mountain features four scenic regions being: Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Qingyin Pavilion and Golden Summit. Golden Summit lies at the mountains peak.

Being my first visit to the mountain I went with a tour group, unfortunately it was a really rushed tour. This is easily a place you could spend some time soaking up the natural wonders and the amazing temples. And a place I hope to visit again and spend more time. read more

Leshan and the Giant Buddha

Leshan and the Giant Buddha

Leshan is a city located about two hours drive from Chengdu in Sichuan Province China. The star attraction of the city is the amazing Giant Buddha that’s been carved out from the rock face siding the river. It’s actually where three rivers meet being the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers.

It was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1996 and the Giant Buddha, in sitting position, measures in at 71 meters tall and 28 meters wide.

This was part of the tour that went from Chengdu to Leshan and onto Mt Emei. I felt a little sad that having to play follow the leader, I didn’t spend anytime exploring the city. Something for next time! read more

The Traffic Hotel Chengdu

The Traffic Hotel Chengdu

The Traffic Hotel is located south of central Chengdu along side the Nanhe River. Right next door to the hotel is the Xinnanmen Bus Station (Tourism Passenger Transport Centre) which is the Chengdu’s main bus station with services to many long distance destinations like Emei, Leshan, Jiuzhaigou and many more places in Sichuan Province.

The Traffic Hotel/Inn (previously the Communications Hotel?) sits somewhere between being a hotel and a backpackers hostel. Some rooms feature shower and toilet and other rooms just have a toilet. Common use showers are available on each floor. The rooms are basic but clean. read more

The Shudu Mansion Hotel Chengdu

The Shudu Mansion Hotel Chengdu

Booking over the phone with Ctrip
I hadn’t sighted the hotel prior to booking but at the time there wasn’t much choice as there was a major conference on in town and accommodation was hard to find. That’s where Ctrip, the China based travel booking service, saved the day once again.

You can book accommodation, flights and more travel services with ctrip either via the Internet or via phone. As I found out later they do have an english booking service over the phone too, but in this case my kind new friend Ran had done the hard work and saved the day by arranging a place to stay. read more

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Taking center stage on the city of Chengdu’s attraction list is the ‘Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding’. Its the largest and most successful breeding center being home to many pandas both young and old. Pandas are bred at the large park and along with being a popular tourist attraction, it also functions research and breeding center.

Pandas are bred at the center, raised and many are then re-introduced into the wild. Along with the quite famous Giant Panda there are also Red Pandas and apparently the park also has tigers and monkeys, but I’m not sure where the last two where hiding, I didn’t spot them. read more

Sightseeing and Attractions in Chengdu

Sightseeing and Attractions in Chengdu

Chengdu, unfortunately, doesn’t make it on to many peoples list of places to visit while in China unless they are visiting Tibet or maybe going to see the Giant Buddha. Thats a bit of a shame as it is a really nice city, with freindly people and a somewhat relaxed enviroment compared to many other major Chinese cities.

Chengdu has plenty to offer including shopping, sight seeing and wonderful food along with it’s major draw card being the Panda bears. Its a place worth hanging around for at least a few of days. Some of the major sights to see in Chengdu are: read more

Shopping in Chengdu

Shopping in Chengdu

Chengdu of Sichuan Province wont leave shoppers empty handed, as the centre of Chengdu offers plenty of options, whether you are shopping for brand name clothing, no name clothing, electronics or local products.

The place to start is Chunxi Road which features modern department stores, boutique shops, supermarket and loads of eateries.There is also plenty of western brand eateries to be found including McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC along with western brand name fashions like Gucci, Lacoste, Polo etc etc. Surrounding Chunxi Road there must be four blocks or more of modern department style stores! read more

The Famous Sichuan Hot Pot

The Famous Sichuan Hot Pot

After a relaxing massage at Jiafu Fudao, Rebecca took me a great place to enjoy one of Sichuans famous dishes, the Hot Pot. While Hot Pots are available in most places across China, apparently the Chengdu Sichuan version is something unique!

Extremely unique for me as I’d never had one before! Recessed into the table you dine at is a large pot, underneath which is a burner. The pot is filled with, ummm, I dont really know, and for a westerner in China its best not to know…but it’s like a spicy boiling broth. read more

When in Chengdu try a Jiafu Fudao Massage

When in Chengdu try a Jiafu Fudao Massage

Fortunately for me a had a friend in Chengdu, Rebecca,  who just happened to be a manager at the Chengdu branch of Jiafu Fudao. Whats Jiafu Fudao? A very classy place for starters!

It’s a spa retreat, my guess catering for executive market, offering a vast array of massage and therapeutic services. Many of the services are unique to Jiafu Fudao and are based in traditional age-old Chinese therapies.

I was lucky to sample over an hour of these specialised ancient Chinese therapies from one of the places leading technicians. This wasn’tany ‘lay on the table and get slapped around’ type deal, it was a unique combination of massage, a working of pressure points, aromatic therapy and an amazing foot massage. Unfortunately I didn’t grab the english translation for the names of these unique procedures, but Im assured you can only experience them here!  read more

The Tibet Hotel Chengdu

The Tibet Hotel Chengdu

When I came to Chengdu it really was a blessing to find this place. Let alone being my first time in Chengdu, it was my first time in China too. So I was really keen to find somewhere safe, friendly and hopefully with someone who speaks english to help this dumb foreigner!

When I made it there and walked up towards the door for the first time the concierge lept forward from inside swinging the doors open and greeting me with a big ‘hello, sir’, which was kinda comforting, as I walked through the door I thought, wow, this place is pretty neat. The lobby floor looks like polished marble, the timber work is exquisite and there is a massive piece of  what looks like hand sewn artwork behind the reception desk…. read more

Chengdu of Sichuan Province China

Chengdu of Sichuan Province China

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province which is located in western China, bordering with Tibet. It’s location actually makes it a great place to get started from, or base yourself in, if you are planing to visit Tibet, or the southwest region of China including such places as Leshan or Mt. Emei.

Chengdu is also home to the Giant Panda Bear Research Centre, but more about that in a coming post.

The city has a population of about 11 million but strangely it doesn’t feel crowded, actually it almost has a relaxed feel. Apparently Chengdu is rated as one of the country’s most livable cities. read more

My First Day In China – In the City of Chengdu

My First Day In China – In the City of Chengdu

After a suprisingly good nights sleep at the hotel, that saved me from a night on the streets of Chengdu, I woke to see a beautiful haze, a lovely light grey in color impenertable by the sun, my first morning in China. At first I thought smog, but actually its just a haze for whatever reason becuase the air seems quite ok here.

I began the challenging task of trying to ask the helpful girl at hotel reception to organise a taxi….due to my non-existant mandarin skills it was some time later and we were still going around in circles about booking a taxing and where this taxi might take me… read more