End of the road

Since we cut out Dunhuang from our original plan, we are heading back to Hong Kong today, so we have more time to rest.  Time flew so quickly, and we have made a lot of awesome memories, abuot which we will reminisce in the future.  Anyway, we are looking forward to some great food the next two weeks.

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Bye China… for now

(Updates will continue in HK……..)

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Kunming 昆明

Another mega-city in China, but it is not as stressful as the rest though.  There are some small attractions in the city.  I got my pu’er tea, since they came from around here 😋.

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At the Yunnan nationalities museum

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Buying some tea

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Michelin made locomotive

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Becoming a Chinese tourist

Hong tu di 紅土地 (Red Earth)

About 150km outside of Kunming, we had a taste of rural Yunnan at Hong Tu Di, literally meaning red earth.  That area had farming terraces on side of mountains with flaming red soil (hence the name).  It was a photographer’s dream.  We were very impressed and enjoyed the nature very much.  The guesthouse hosts were very nice, warm and simple people, who also cooked and organised rides around the valleys for us.  The bonus is that this place has not yet been properly developed for tourism, which means the government has not yet ruined (commercialise) this place.  😎  Another highlight of our trip!

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Our guesthouse 紅土情緣

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Potato fields

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Farmers

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Luoxiaguo 落霞洶

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Happy about the view

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Farmers harvesting wheat

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Roast potatoes

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Weather turning bad…

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Other travelers at guesthouse

Chengdu 成都

Here are some pictures of us wandering around Chengdu the last few days.

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Lots of bamboo in Sichuan

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Wenshu temple 文殊院

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Trying out local tea 竹葉青

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Vegetarian meal

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Hot pot

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What we find missing in the society in China…(keep your heart big, your ego small)

Pandas Bifengxia 大熊貓 碧峰峽

High on our to-do list for our Chinese trip is too visit some giant pandas; neither Märi nor I have seen them in real life.  We took a 2.5hr bus ride to the scenic area of Bifengxia 碧峰峽 to do that.  The pandas are so adorable and clumsy that we could only smile when observing them.  We were lucky that some of them were not too shy and let us watch them went on with their businesses.
The scenic area itself is also quite nice, but like all tourism development projects in China, the Chinese like to make it tacky and add unnecessary elements of amusement to it.  They like to turn everything into Disneyland (disneyfying it, if that is a word), the main point is to make as much money as possible.  There is a “zoo” in the area, where visitors may feed the tigers, bears and such with whatever food, and take selfies with whatever animals (I am too appalled to find out further). 

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Nom nom nom

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Nom nom

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Looking philosophical

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Ass scratching, all species do it

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How could you not smile looking at pandas

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There are food stalls every 100 metres on this 5km "nature" walk

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Tada

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The nature itself is quite nice

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Elevator access to the gorge, convenience for all customers

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Average Chinese visitor on the "nature" walk. Good walking shoes are rarely seen.

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Mural in tourist info… I do not understand Chinese taste. 不倫不類

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"Feeding car"

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Promo video of feeding zoo… their idea of fun

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Relaxing after a long day

Chongqing day 2

The morning was rainy, so we waited in our room until it cleared up.  Then we explored a bit more of Chongqing until we were tired.  We took a rest before heading out for a night cruise on the Yangtze River.

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Rapidly expanding city means lots of old buildings being knocked down

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People are still living here

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Chinese propaganda poster (getting sick of seeing this fat chick all over China)

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Porters are still widely employed in Chongqing

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People's square

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Night cruise

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Chaotianmen 朝天門

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As a bonus, since today is 4th of June, I did a quick search in China about the Tiananmen Square Incident, here are the results.  I am probably on a watchlist now…

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Chongqing hot pot 重慶火鍋

The 10hr train ride from Xi’an to Chongqing went smoothly, and we were able to catch a bit of sleep.  Our hotel in Chongqing is more like a serviced apartment, which even has a laundry machine –> We seized the chance immediately and did a load 😄  The rest of the day we wandered around the central area, but it was not so exciting because everything is new.  The city landscape of Chongqing is much more interesting, because it is built on uneven land.  Some spots even reminded us of Hong Kong.  There is a touristy area of Hongya 洪崖洞, which is very cheesy, definitely aimed at local tourists, waste of time.  The best part of the day was dinner – Chongqing hot pot (numbingly spicy), which is famous throughout China.  I ordered the mildest version they had, but my tongue was numb after the first three bites 😛   that did not keep us from enjoying the meal though, and our tongues regained feelings halfway through dinner.  It lived up to its reputation and we found it very good.

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Bye bye Xi'an

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Hello Chongqing

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One of the many bridges and the Yangtze river

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I do not see the link between pirates and Hongya

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Fake fake fake

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No idea what the proprietors were thinking… 不倫不類

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Found in touristy area, wood could not have been more than 10years old. Chinese quality.

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Chongqing is knocking down and building up houses like no tomorrow

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Found on the "People's Liberation Memorial", it is ironic that the Communist liberated the people directly into the arms of the capitalists. The whole square is packed full of luxury goods shop, and the Chinese are oblivious to the irony.

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Hot pot!

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Numbingly hot

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Suspicious

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Sweet lichi 😁