Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chengdu Trip #4 - Sanya

I've been having Internet problems since I arrived in Chengdu. The Treo worked fine in Hong Kong but I can't get a data connection so I can't check email. Next, my work PC won't connect to the Internet using my friend's ADSL connection so I have to use a computer with Chinese Windows... no fun. I am finally connected from my hotel in Sanya but even here, in a 5-star hotel, the connection is flaky. As before, the Great Firewall of China is still blocking so I have to connect through work VPN to access my own blog.

I've been in Sanya since Wednesday night and the weather is much nicer than Chengdu. Even though it's mostly overcast, the temperature in Sanya has been around 20 degrees Celsius; in Chengdu, it's just above freezing earlier this week. I was staying with a friend in their studio apartment and there appears to be no heat so it's been a miserable three days in Chengdu before coming to Sanya.

The flight from Hong Kong to Chengdu was pretty uneventful. Dragonair provided the same lunch selection as my previous three trips, with unexpired orange juice this time. Since I'm on the same flight each time (KA820), I think I'm beginning to recognize some of the flight attendants. To my surprise, Kevin from one of PMI's vendors came to the airport to pick me up. I've been chatting with him on MSN Messenger since he wants to practice his English, and I mentioned that I was arriving in Chengdu on Sunday. I feel bad that he dragged his company's driver along since Kevin doesn't drive, but he saved me about RMB50 on a taxi ride.

The next couple of days was spent hanging out in Chengdu, checking out department stores and eating at local restaurants. My friend's apartment is across the street from a large Buddhist temple (Wenshu Temple). Since it's still Spring Festival (continued from Chinese Ney Year), there are extra lanterns and food stalls near the temple.

Rabbit heads... there were other gross things being sold as food

Pineapple stick rice... it wasn't very good :(

My friend's apartment building

Needless to say, I didn't eat very much at the food stalls. Most of the time we ate at a restaurant on the first floor of the apartment building. You can order cold dishes displayed behind a counter or order hot dishes, and have all-you-can-eat congee/rice. I also had the best mustard green and pork noodles at a place around the corner for RMB5.

I tried a Korean restaurant in Chengdu. It wasn't as good as our normal Korean BBQ place in Garden Grove.

There were a lot of non-Korean looking stuff on the menu. We order a bunch of stuff and it came out to ~RMB300 for 3 people.

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