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Newer Page 615 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
China Chongqing Ciqikou Temple

31 March 2013

Ancient dune buggy street

Listed as a tourist attraction is the ancient pottery street called Ci Qi Kou. I expected this to be a modern re creation of an ancient street with very little pottery, lots of things on sticks, and a few million people, and I was right.
What I didnt expect to find at the end of the maze of narrow streets was a descent into the river bed with a bizzarre setup of outdoor cafes, dune buggies, kite fying and amusement rides.
It was not a particularly inviting place, dirty, dusty, hard to walk, no toilets, and yet people came in droves to hang out in an industrial waste land.

On the way there, the train was quite crowded, I had a seat and a young executive style Chinese couple sat next to me with their baby. You can tell they are well to do because their baby has a nappy, they have iphones, brand name clothes, and they are quite happy to sit next to me!
Anyway, most babies are terrified of me, but this one decided to adopt me. He couldnt walk without holding on to something and decided to clamp himself onto my leg, dribble on it, and not let go for the 40 minute train ride.
This caused a mixture of great amusement and concern to those around me, depending on how they felt about strange looking people like me getting on the train wearing shorts.

China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - I got here quite early to escape the rush. Early signs suggest that might have paid off. Surprisingly everything was open at 9am on a Sunday.

I got here quite early to escape the rush. Early signs suggest that might have paid off. Surprisingly everything was open at 9am on a Sunday.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Thats racist.

Thats racist.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - This is mainly a mixture of nuts, which you beat flat, then fold over a couple of times, then beat some more. Do this about 100 times then cut up and

This is mainly a mixture of nuts, which you beat flat, then fold over a couple of times, then beat some more. Do this about 100 times then cut up and serve. Its hard work to produce a few cents worth of nut slice thing.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Predictable honeyed fruit on sticks.

Predictable honeyed fruit on sticks.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - With all these snacks and crappy products around, a sign has been erected as a warning.

With all these snacks and crappy products around, a sign has been erected as a warning.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - The streets got narrower, and busier. As far as I can tell there was only one way in and out. Enjoy your fire.

The streets got narrower, and busier. As far as I can tell there was only one way in and out. Enjoy your fire.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Heres a different kind of noodle. Put this grey goop in a sieve with a few holes in it, beat the liquid with your palm to force it through into waitin

Heres a different kind of noodle. Put this grey goop in a sieve with a few holes in it, beat the liquid with your palm to force it through into waiting boiling water.
Despite the dough mix appearing grey, the noodles come out of the water yellow.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - These shops (and theres a lot of them the same) sell nothing but chilli, sichuan pepper or blends of both in oil.

These shops (and theres a lot of them the same) sell nothing but chilli, sichuan pepper or blends of both in oil.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - There were long lines for these freshly made things that look like they would have the consistency of a donut. They had free tastings, its basically t

There were long lines for these freshly made things that look like they would have the consistency of a donut. They had free tastings, its basically the same as a plain milk arrowroot biscuit thats been left out for a few days. Very boring yet the locals seem to buy giant bags of the stuff.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - When I got to the end of the acient street, I couldnt believe my eyes. It looks as bad as an English beach.

When I got to the end of the acient street, I couldnt believe my eyes. It looks as bad as an English beach.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Various makeshift activities have been set up, here kids can catch tiny fish in a trap, its a tarp.

Various makeshift activities have been set up, here kids can catch tiny fish in a trap, its a tarp.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Here you can enjoy a relaxing beer or coffee with table service whilst the construction of a freeway overpass goes on overhead and other workers are s

Here you can enjoy a relaxing beer or coffee with table service whilst the construction of a freeway overpass goes on overhead and other workers are suring up the open sewer running into the river.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Alternatively, someone has pumped some filthy water into a temporary pond to put kids inside air tight plastic cocoons and then ? They didnt seem to g

Alternatively, someone has pumped some filthy water into a temporary pond to put kids inside air tight plastic cocoons and then ? They didnt seem to go anywhere once locked inside.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Off in the distance I saw dune buggies. I thought I might have a go but once I made the trek over boulders and construction material they were about a

Off in the distance I saw dune buggies. I thought I might have a go but once I made the trek over boulders and construction material they were about as fast as walking pace and being driven by small children. They did however make more noise than a trail bike with no muffler.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Another popular activity is to fly a kite. Nylon strings are going everywhere. The risk of hilarious decapitation was high.

Another popular activity is to fly a kite. Nylon strings are going everywhere. The risk of hilarious decapitation was high.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Back inside the ancient street complex, I got to one of 4 temples. The staircase up to it was very steep. Theres a group of old monks who sit at the b

Back inside the ancient street complex, I got to one of 4 temples. The staircase up to it was very steep. Theres a group of old monks who sit at the bottom. Their job seemingly is to look up girls dresses and nudge each other all day.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - I didnt see any no photo signs. So photo I did.

I didnt see any no photo signs. So photo I did.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Most people dont seem to know what to do. Someone has to show them where they are supposed to pray, light the incense etc.

Most people dont seem to know what to do. Someone has to show them where they are supposed to pray, light the incense etc.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Another monk upsold me for a few more cents to climb the bell tower. How could I refuse. Heres a bell.

Another monk upsold me for a few more cents to climb the bell tower. How could I refuse. Heres a bell.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - The view from the top was worth it. I started pondering climbing those hills.

The view from the top was worth it. I started pondering climbing those hills.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Looking back from where I had come and you can see the dune buggy track in the distance.

Looking back from where I had come and you can see the dune buggy track in the distance.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - The further into the complex of streets you go, the less commercial it became. These are all teahouses, bookshops, handcrafts etc.

The further into the complex of streets you go, the less commercial it became. These are all teahouses, bookshops, handcrafts etc.


China-Chongqing-Ciqikou-Temple - Finally, I bought these things. They are almost weightless and tasteless pockets of colored air. I dont really know why they exist!

Finally, I bought these things. They are almost weightless and tasteless pockets of colored air. I dont really know why they exist!


NewerPage 615 of 968OlderFull Trip Report