Back in 2011 I was studying in Shanghai and traveling around China with a group of my classmates. Today the Throwback Tuesday-series continues with trying to reminisce how our trip to Cheng Du was.
It’s been 84 years…but I still remember it like yesterday.
Cheng Du and the nearby attractions were an obvious choice for us to visit, since we all wanted to go to the Sichuan Panda Research Base and do some mountain “climbing” (walking up the horrible stairs with tears and sweat in our eyes).
We stayed in a lovely, but smelly, hostel called Dreams Travel.
I remember they had Marimekko “unikko”-fabric as shower curtains and the reception guy said there are lots of jungles in Finland.
Which is true.
Our itinerary consisted of exploring Cheng Du, seeing some pandas, going to Sichuan Opera, spending a few nights in the village of Emei and then coming back to Cheng Du.
We didn’t even have accommodation booked for the last part of the trip.
I remember feeling like such an adventurer because of this, and such a badass for not telling my parents we didn’t have a place to stay for the last nights. Oh to be 21 again…
Cheng Du amazed us with its spiritual atmosphere, Tibetan vibes, the food, lovely people who didn’t speak a word of English but still wanted to talk, fancy restaurants that just casually served monkey heads for dinner (because why not), a fancy downtown, lovely gardens
and a huge random cruise ship in the middle of the street.
Sichuan Panda Base stole my heart completely. All the little dorks there just sleeping and eating, having the time of their lives. I wish I could be a panda.
I also held one of the cubs on my lap. I still am not sure of how ethical that was, but because the place is doing so much good for the pandas and they really care about them – I think I didn’t do a super awful thing by petting it. I just hope I didn’t traumatize the cub too much. After all it tried to eat my hand so I guess had my punishment.
The village of Emei was super cute and we stayed in the sweetest hotel ever. “The Teddy Bear Hotel”.
The owner Andy gave me his own bed because the hotel was overbooked. Awws. But it was a bit painful cos I had only two blankets as a mattress. But now that memory only makes me laugh. The owner also drove us personally to see a Sichuan Kung Fu-show, and some how got us amazing seats from the theater. Andy had great plans to expand his hotel business all the way to Beijing. I hope his dreams came true.
We climbed 100000 steps to see the Leshan Giant buddha, and another 200000 steps to the holy mountain of Emei. I thought I was so sporty for doing all these things. Let me laugh.
The road to the buddha made us to sweat like little pigs, and we almost bought a small mountain cafe out of coca-cola. “It was fucking hot when we started climbing up the stairs to some kind of forest. Once we got there, we saw it. Not the buddha, BUT MORE STAIRS” (Me in my old blog, 2011)
But once we got to the buddha we were amazed. It was huge, and we had the best time with taking some selfies in front of it.
At mount Emei some monkeys tried to steal our food and it was freezing cold at the top. “It was dark and cold, and we were surrounded by fog. We were about to give up when we finally saw the golden peak. We had made it! We sang Eye of the Tiger as we ran the last steps up to the summit. We were there!”
I was so dramatic back then.
Amazing memories, amazing time.