Shangri-la post # 1 - Chengdu
Caught the train with Petra and Christian to Chengdu in the western Sichuan province. Petra had been with us at the terracotta army exhibition and her blonde hair proved such an attraction that the chinese tourists were more interested in photographing her than the warriors.
It's amazing how much pot-noodle is available and consumed in China, it seems to be their equivalent of a sandwich. Hot boiling water is available everywhere and you see people slurping these concoctions at train stations, airports and on the street - not very healthy though!
Sichuan is known for it's spicy dishes, with the most popular been the hotpot with chillies floating around in boiling oil and then you choose which meat and veg you want to add. Even though we ordered a medium spicy and removed over half the chillies, I couldn't feel my lips for about an hour afterwards ...
Sichuan is also known for it's tea-houses where you can while away the day in a relaxed atmosphere. We tried to get to a RG recommended one in the public park, but it was just closing at 6 o'clock. The park didn't prove to be an oasis of quiet from the traffic choked city, however, as people all over were renting Karaoke machines from vendors and doing their damndest to try and scare the park's resident bird population away.