I cannot believe that uni starts back again tomorrow. It was only last week I was still overseas enjoying my freedom, yet now it is time for me to knuckle down and power through the last semester of my undergraduate degree.
These are the last of my photos from wonderful Chengdu! It was my last full day, after returning home late morning from my panda expedition. I caught the metro to what I thought was the correct station for Wide and Narrow Alley – an alleged tourist hotspot – but only to discover I had misread my map! I walked half an hour down the road to the correct location, no small effort in the scorching heat!
Once I finally found Wide and Narrow Alley it was altogether not as wonderful as I expected. There were plenty of tourists and a great deal of delicious looking street food. I was starving and attempted to buy something to eat from a street vendor, but she all but ignored me and made no effort to help me work out how much the food would cost. Feeling grumpy and tired I ended up eating a late lunch back in the hostel. In retrospect I realise that customer service is a completely different ball park in other parts of the world, and really I should have been more brave in my efforts to try and buy food!
After lunch I met up with Hamza again, and we checked out Qingying Palace (Green Ram Temple), a Taoist temple. It was just as beautiful as Wenshu Monastery, though more peaceful as there were less people about.
I wish I knew a bit more about Taoism and Buddhism, as I think the temples are beautiful, and the philosophy of Buddhism sounds quite reasonable and logical to me. There was some information in English around the buildings, but it was mainly in reference to the structure of the buildings themselves.
Incense lingered around the whole complex!
Afterwards we headed over to Lan Kwai Fong, an area of upscale restaurants and exclusive night clubs. The precinct aims to bring in the best of various international cuisines, yet it was pretty quiet while we were there in the early evening! We had a drink before hunting down some Western food in an expat bar. It was so fantastic to be able to catch up with Hamza in his new home for the next month or two! Chengdu was a fascinating city, and definitely worth a visit.