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Newer Page 603 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
China Chengdu Sichuan Museum Culture Park

6 April 2013

New old ancient streets

I had not really been west of the city yet. Today was the day. And a glorious day it was, sun blazing. The weather forecast said it would be cold but it wasnt, so as a result I was a bit hot.
Along my journey I found quite by accident 2 different ancient street areas, both quite new but also with preserved old bits. Theres a reason they are new, earthquakes. Chengdu has been very proactive in making sure anything that will fall down is pulled down before the next big earthquake.
They have been doing this for decades now, and hence the last big one in 2008, which killed 68,000 people all around Chengdu didnt leave a scratch on the city itself.

Tomorrow however, I am going to the region worst hit! Its now rebuilt and the government even built a high speed rail line to the area to spur on development and to make the people happy.
The last station on this line is at Qing Cheng Shan, or in English, Mount Qingchen. I will talk about that later on tomorrow when I get back, it will be a long day as I have read the climb takes 5 hours, but I plan on doing it in 3.
For now, lets discuss the ticket buying process.

The Qingming tomb sweeping festivals last day is today, so I thought I stood a decent chance of getting a train ticket for tomorrow. On my epic walk today, I didnt spot a single train ticket window. They are usually all over the place. Once I returned to my hotel, I asked if they could arrange a train ticket for me. No.
I always read on the internet that hotels are more than happy to arrange tickets for you in China, but not my hotel. So I didnt give up, do you know where I can buy a ticket? The station was the answer. Which of course I knew but going to the station is painful and you have to line up for hours with people demanding to get on a train NOW that has been fully booked for weeks.
I asked if there was a window nearby, Dont know was the answer. So I decided I had to trek it to the North train station, frustrating as I had been walking for 5.5 hours already today!
As I stepped out of the hotel, the doorman followed me, once out of view he told me theres a window in that competing hotel across the street, they will help you. The doorman spoke decent English. He offered to come with me on his break, I said that wouldnt be required and thanked him.
So there you go, my hotel wont help because a competing hotel over the road has an official government ticket window in the hotel....at least they have the signage and a computer that prints them!

Buying a ticket from here was amusing, I dont think the 5 guys who were trying to set a world smoking record who jointly tried to serve me had ever sold tickets to a non Chinese person before.
I clearly stated where I wanted to go and when. Which caused panic and confusion. I thought maybe they were sold out, but the guy taps on the computer and shows me a journey to somewhere that takes 18 hours and costs $100. I want to go somewhere that takes 45 minutes and costs $3.
So next up we go for paper and pen, now we have dates sorted but the destination remains confusing for some unknown reason. Maybe they call the station something else?
By now I had seen enough of them typing pinyin to know that I could do it. So I signalled to hand me the keyboard, typed in QingC and Qing Cheng Shan was now the only option.
A few taps later and I had selected the tickets I wanted and they seemed to be available. The eyes on these 5 guys nearly popped out of their heads!
Anyways, we werent done yet. Now they need to put in a working ID to issue the tickets. Their own ID as the authorized agent. So out comes a plastic bag with about 10 ID cards in it, and most have photos of women, and they try them one by one until one works! Whats going on here?
Now I have to hand them my passport (which I remembered to bring for once) so they can enter my passport number. They jointly flicked through it and cant find a number to enter, somehow they completely ignored the first page with my photo etc. So again I had to point it out to them and ended up being handed the keyboard this time.
Finally the tickets were issued and the guys seemed really pleased with themselves, they have a story to tell about the strange round eye who visited their smoking den and questionable legality ticket issuing service today.

China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - First picture is mainly for my mother. Note the lack of rain. It has rained for maybe 10 minutes whilst I have been awake in the last 2 weeks. Whereve

First picture is mainly for my mother. Note the lack of rain. It has rained for maybe 10 minutes whilst I have been awake in the last 2 weeks. Wherever you are getting your forecast for flash flooding and ark building required (NHK), its wrong.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - A new old ancient street. A particularly nice one. I am here really early, everythings open but its not too crowded yet.

A new old ancient street. A particularly nice one. I am here really early, everythings open but its not too crowded yet.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - One of the features of this area is the 3D art. Which means a painting or a photo combined with sculpture of some sort. They proved very popular with

One of the features of this area is the 3D art. Which means a painting or a photo combined with sculpture of some sort. They proved very popular with people posing for photos.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - This place is another mecca for photographers. Theres a few weddings but also fashion or advertising shoots such as this one.

This place is another mecca for photographers. Theres a few weddings but also fashion or advertising shoots such as this one.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - Where possible, genuine old parts have been preserved or built into the new old style construction tastefully. It is very well done.

Where possible, genuine old parts have been preserved or built into the new old style construction tastefully. It is very well done.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - Sichuan delicacy, rabbit heads! Seriously, I have seen them in a few places and read that its a popular snack. I dont get where the meat is though.

Sichuan delicacy, rabbit heads! Seriously, I have seen them in a few places and read that its a popular snack. I dont get where the meat is though.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - I desperately wanted my photo taken here, but there was a line up of extended families jostling for position which made it impossible for a polite per

I desperately wanted my photo taken here, but there was a line up of extended families jostling for position which made it impossible for a polite person like me.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - Not sure whats going on here, but this couple was being interviewed for tv as well as being photographed.

Not sure whats going on here, but this couple was being interviewed for tv as well as being photographed.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - A giant panda assaulted me as I tried to enter this store. So I left immediately.

A giant panda assaulted me as I tried to enter this store. So I left immediately.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - About 10 minutes walk away from the above old street area, I came to this. Its very colorful.

About 10 minutes walk away from the above old street area, I came to this. Its very colorful.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - And down this street were lots of large old style looking buildings. I think some were wedding halls, some were restaurants but also some hostels. I b

And down this street were lots of large old style looking buildings. I think some were wedding halls, some were restaurants but also some hostels. I bet at night its neontastic.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - One more photo of that street before we move on, I saw a lot today!

One more photo of that street before we move on, I saw a lot today!


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - Next up, around the corner is a culture park. A very large park with many tea houses. It was quite busy today with all boats rented. Even the amusemen

Next up, around the corner is a culture park. A very large park with many tea houses. It was quite busy today with all boats rented. Even the amusement rides had line ups.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - And a bit further West, we get to the Sichuan museum. I hadnt planned to go but it appears to be free so why not.

And a bit further West, we get to the Sichuan museum. I hadnt planned to go but it appears to be free so why not.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - Most of it is your standard history of China told through pottery, silks, scrolls, swords etc. It is an impressive set up compared to some others I ha

Most of it is your standard history of China told through pottery, silks, scrolls, swords etc. It is an impressive set up compared to some others I have vistied though.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - freehand brushwork are absolute superexcellent

freehand brushwork are absolute superexcellent


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - And indeed they were. This guy whos name I forget, painted in many different styles for 70 years. Travelling around China to make large copies of cave

And indeed they were. This guy whos name I forget, painted in many different styles for 70 years. Travelling around China to make large copies of cave paintings, temples etc. He never made a cent off his work despite many offers from westerners, at least thats how the story goes.
This particular painting is a good 10 metres across.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - This is a brocade weaving setup. Theres an entirely separate brocade museum somewhere nearby, if thats your thing.

This is a brocade weaving setup. Theres an entirely separate brocade museum somewhere nearby, if thats your thing.


China-Chengdu-Sichuan Museum-Culture Park - A feature of this museum is that it has a Tibetan section. It is stated as the first and only Tibetan culture exhibit in any official Chinese museum.

A feature of this museum is that it has a Tibetan section. It is stated as the first and only Tibetan culture exhibit in any official Chinese museum. Strangely or pehaps aptly, it features many statues of decapitated buddahs. Where are their heads?


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