We continued our great adventure overland from Xi'an to the west of China and reached Chengdu. Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Povince, is a hub city. It connects the east and the west of China. As a result, the city felt modern and well developed.
High Speed railway (HSR)
On a high speed train, you can travel from Xi'an to Chengdu in about 3 to 4.5 hours, depending on the stops in between and the stations. Once you have arrived at the Chengdudong Railway Station (成都東站), you can take the metro into the city center.
Chengdu public transit
Since Chengdu was our third destination, we were already familiar with the Chinese system of public transit. The Chengdu Metro was more extensive than the one in Xi'an. However, we ended up not taking it that much because the place we stay was not close to any subway station. Taking buses allowed us to reach all of our destinations already.
Chengdu people and their tea
Although Chengdu is a economic hub, most of the time, you won't feel the hustle and bustle of the city. Instead, I found the Chengdu people more relax and laid-back. Much like the coffee shops in North America, there were numerous tea houses for people to take an afternoon break. Chengdu people take pride in their tea. In a restaurant, we were often offered different kinds of tea to try.
Black goji berry tea (黑杞子茶)
One of the teas we tried is black goji berry tea. It is not only fascinating to see but is also a healthy drink for most people.
One of the interesting things about travelling is to visit the local Starbucks. In Chengdu, we found this Starbucks building styled in traditional Chinese architecture.
We stayed at a boutique hotel called Travelling With Hotel Chengdu Wide and Narrow Alley. As the name suggested, it was close to one of the main attractions in Chengdu, the Wide and Narrow Alley. We all loved the hotel because it's modern and clean. The staffs were young and energetic. It was actually a chain boutique hotel and have multiple locations in both Chengdu and Guilin. You can refer to their website for more details.
By adding a small fee, we got a buffet style breakfast in the morning. The food was a mix of western and Chinese style. We had broccoli, carrot congee, toasts, and stir-fry mushrooms. Apparently, Chengdu is also famous for their mushroom dishes and they taste good indeed.