Friday, 22 August 2014

Chengdu City

Beautiful Green Ram Temple
For the first time in a long time we were staying somewhere that served breakfast, we made sure that we didn’t miss it and we really enjoyed our muesli and pancakes before heading out to explore the town. We walked to the main square where there is huge stature of Mao and then we continued onto the People’s Park, a place famous for its tea houses and ear cleaners… we didn’t try either though as we were too full from breakfast for tea and too scared of the four foot long ear cleaners to endure the other speciality.

We continued in the direction of the Green Ram Temple but got caught on the way in another torrential downpour. We hid under the eaves of a bank which fortunately had a town map in the window so we planned our afternoon route while we waited for the rain to stop. The helpful security guard at the bank assumed we were lost and came and outside to point out our location on the map and we showed him where we wanted to go and he pointed out the way and then quickly returned with an umbrella for us! We tried to decline but he insisted so we both huddled under it as we headed out into the torrent, although we would’ve preferred to wait out the rain.

Narrow pagoda
Needless to say even with the umbrella it wasn’t long before we were soaked, but not wanting to seem ungrateful for the umbrella we continued on towards the temple until we were out of sight and could hide properly until the rain stopped and then we raced back to return the umbrella… We stopped for some quick dumplings when we passed a nice looking place too dry out in the warmth a bit and then we traversed another beautiful park with a tranquil lake and then finally found the temple we’d been looking for. It turned out to be set on enormous grounds and was made up of at least seven different temples, each dedicated to varying Taoist gods. The large statues of the gods were very impressive, especially the wooden carved ones, and the grounds were very nice to explore.

A well earned dinner!
From there we continued on to the Sichuan Museum where we received free tickets when we showed our passports, which was unusual as usually foreigners are charged and locals can enter with a year pass. It was a fantastic place with tons of interesting artefacts and art and well worth the walk. After exploring we decided to catch a bus back to Wenshu Temple as it was getting late, but unfortunately it was already past closing time when we arrived so we planned to return another day. It did mean that we could find some dinner instead though as our dumplings were well and truly worn off and we were starving!

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