Tea drinking at a park in Chengdu.

Day 7 of my trip to China was spent travelling from Xi'an to Chengdu & exploring places in Chengdu.

Xi'an to Chengdu.

After a late breakfast, we drive to the airport where we catch our flight to Chengdu. By the time we arrive in Chengdu a couple of hours later everybody is starving as breakfast on the flight wasn't that filling & barely topped up our large breakfast buffet from earlier.

As soon as we land our new local guide realises that we are in danger of suffering from malnutrition & takes us to a local restaurant for an early lunch before we take a tour of Chengdu this afternoon visiting Jinli Street & then going for Jasmine tea at a park in Chengdu.

Jinli Street.

These streets are packed full of both tourists & locals looking for bargains. We pass small buildings with people gambling & playing Mah Jong, shops selling all sorts of foods including squid, duck, shrimp, dumplings & what looked like rats. It was a shame we had already eaten three times today as I would have liked to have tried one of the attractive looking rats but I just couldn't force another thing down.

I did like some of the shops with local artists in them. Selling their pictures, many of which they did in front of you, or selling small musical instruments, which some of them played beautiful tunes from. As good as the music sounded, I resisted the urge to buy an instrument. On previous occasions, I have purchased similar items I have found they don't travel well. On returning home I have found the pottery instruments that sounded beautiful on holiday had been damaged by the high altitude on the flight home & just make screeching noises when I attempt to reproduce the sounds I heard on holiday.

Jasmine tea, massages & ear wax removal.

After visiting Jinli Street we return to the coach for a short trip to a city park where we visit a small pagoda & are served Jasmine tea. We are seated outside under some trees which provide cover from the short light rain shower that has arrived.

The tea is served & it's nice just having a rest after all the travelling & eating today. Some of the tour take up the offer of more services offered by locals in the park whilst we sit & have tea. Dave opts to have his ears waxed & whilst the rest of us drink tea & watch he has his ears syringed & the wax heated & removed from his ears. Not something I think that the local Starbucks offer in England. Liz then has the same treatment & as I'm sitting next to her I'm sure I can see the torchlight shining right through her head, her ears have been cleaned so well. Don't worry Liz I decided not to make the photos public.

Mel & Cecilia both sat opposite me decide to have a massage. Im not sure if it really felt that good or if it was my comments & the fact that they knew I was taking photos, but they both seemed to be smiling a lot. I'm not sure but Cecilia may even have dropped off to sleep for a while. John also decided to have a massage but unlike the girls who had a neck & shoulder massage, he went for a lower back massage. Sorry John there is no hiding from your photo, were you enjoying the massage or had she just massaged a nerve that allowed you to have an instant bowel movement. I've seen small babies in nappies with that same silly grin on their faces & it always means the same thing, clean nappies required.

Sichuan Dinner.

After booking into our hotel & having a rest we are taken for a Sichuan dinner. I loved the more spicy food we are served but some of the others are not so keen. I eat one mouthful of food & eat a very hot pepper which instantly gives me a thumping headache & leaves my mouth numb. Maybe spicy food doesn't like me as much as I like it.

After dinner, Judith takes me on an emergency beer expedition to get something to treat my numb lips. We soon return to the hotel bar & discover my bottles aren't screw tops. Luckily the bar staff are only too happy to open the beer I bought in the supermarket opposite the hotel & even provide me with a bottle opener to take with me. After a few beers & a chat, we all retire for an early night. The eating, travelling, travelling & eating, eating, tea, eating & then drinking have worn everyone out & we have a long day tomorrow.

Photos from my China holiday.