"Chengdu, Sichuan Province" Chengdu by bellatrix

Chengdu Travel Guide: 619 reviews and 1,633 photos

The first thing that strikes me about this place is the sheer number of bicycles on the road. Literally 30-40 people on bikes wait at each major intersection for their turn to cross! There are literally massive amounts of bikes on the road! And traffic has a very wierd sense of flow to it; it seems that pedestrians and bikers rarely follow any set traffic rules about crossing the street. If it looks like nothing is going to hit them immediately upon entering the roadway, they step or ride out into the street and proceed! And they don't even bother to hurry. I am seriously not exaggerating here! Cars sometimes honk, slow down, and swerve out of the way, but there is a calm fluidity to the whole thing; I have yet to see a wreck or accident of any kind! It's just the way things are done! This is something I couldn't imagine happening in the western world! It seems awfully chaotic and messy to me, but here, it works! Amazing!!!

Chendgu initially strikes me as being very similar to Dubai in the UAE, at least that is the impression that I get by viewing the city at night. It has a similar feeling to it, and it looks clean and very modern, with similar buildings. I see today that it is very different, however!

Sichuanese Opera

One of my most enjoyable activities was attending a Sichuanese opera. Me and two other travelers hooked up with a guide through our hostel, and she took us backstage to meet the players, and we drank delicious jasmine tea and watched the performance, while our guide translated. It was fabulous! It was pretty low-key as operas go, and the music was punctuated with loud cymbals and the oboe and Chinese violin.. and the singing itself was sometimes so loud and shrill as to be a bit scary, actually... but I thoroughly enjoyed it! The depth of emotion portrayed in the expressions and the voices, the beauty of the language and the humor in the story, the realness of it all.... I wanted it to go on forever! The other travelers I went with didn't like it as much and actually went to sleep during the performance... I think it wasn't what they were expecting. I have heard the style of music before and so didn't find it grating as I'm guessing they did. I really found myself wishing that I spoke Mandarin so that I could catch the subtleties of the story and hear the puns! I wanted to know what they were laughing at! Having a translator was great, but obviously so much was missed! But it was great!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lovely city with many interesting landmarks.
  • Cons:Busy and a little overwhelming at times.
  • In a nutshell:Chengdu is the heart of the Sichuan province, and a great place to visit!
  • Last visit to Chengdu: May 2002
  • Intro Updated Mar 28, 2003
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