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26 May 2024
Tea drinking at a park in Chengdu.

Today, we left Xi´an after breakfast. We were picked up by a coach at the hotel & driven to the airport to catch a flight to Chengdu. 

Xi'an to Chengdu.

As soon as we landed in Chengdu, we were taken to a restaurant for an early lunch before we took a tour of Chengdu.

Jinli Street.

Jinli Street was packed full of both tourists & locals looking for bargains. The buildings were very ornate, with decoration on the rooves of the tall buildings. We passed small buildings with people gambling & playing Mah Jong, & shops selling all sorts of foods, including squid, duck, shrimp, dumplings & what looked like rats.

I did like some of the shops with local artists in them, selling their pictures, many of which they did in front of you.

Jasmine tea, massages & ear wax removal.

After visiting Jinli Street, we returned to the coach for a short trip to a city park, where we visited a small pagoda & were served Jasmine tea. We were seated outside under some trees, which provided cover from the short light rain shower that had arrived.

The tea was served & it was nice just resting after all the travelling today. Some of the tour group take up the offer of more services offered by locals in the park whilst we sit & have tea. Dave opted to have his ears waxed whilst the rest of us drank tea & watched. He had his ears syringed & the wax heated & removed from his ears. Not something I think that the local Starbucks offers in England. Liz then had the same treatment.

Mel, Tracy & Cecilia all sat around me & decided to have a massage. I´m not sure if it felt as good as they made out or if it was my comments & the fact that they knew I was taking photos, but they all seemed to be smiling a lot. I'm unsure, but Cecilia may have even dropped off to sleep. John also decided to have a massage, but unlike the girls who had a neck & shoulder massage, he went for a lower back massage. 

When we had finished our tea, massages & ear wax treatments, we all boarded the coach to head to our hotel.

  Photos from the park we drank tea in.

Sichuan Dinner.

After booking into our hotel & having a rest, we are taken for a Sichuan dinner. I loved our spicy food, but others were not so keen. Whilst we sat there, I told the guide that I was surprised the food was not spicier & he told me it was because tourists don't normally like it & that we had been given a different meal than the locals.

He then went to talk to a large family group at another table. After a while, I noticed the head of the family group looking at me & saying something to our guide & then placed different food items on a plate & instructed the guide to give it to me to try. It was a lot spicier than the food we had been given, but it was very nice. It was strange eating the food & being watched by a family of Chinese people at the nearby table. I thanked them & told them it was beautiful, & that when I go somewhere new, I like to try what the locals eat, not a tourist replica of it. They all thanked me for my kind words, Chinese people are so polite & hospitable it is a shame British people can't act the same way to visitors to Britain.

After dinner, Judith takes me on an emergency beer expedition. We soon returned to the hotel bar & discovered my bottles weren't screwtops. Luckily, the bar staff were only too happy to open the beer I bought in the supermarket opposite the hotel & even provided me with a bottle opener to take with me. After a few beers & a chat, we all retired for an early night.

  Photos from our meal.