When you are living or doing internship in China, have you ever wondered, how China looked like back in the day, when there was emperors still ruling over the land? Well, for these specific purposes I will mention one ancient town, which is close to Chengdu – and gives you brief insight, on how it looked like back in the days (of course, without the commercial area, e.g. – shops, restaurants etc.) – the name of the town is Huanglongxi ancient town.
Huanglongxi is the ways on how to reach the city are multiple, but the easiest way to get there would be using buses from Xinnanmen Bus Station, as they depart every 30 minutes and would save you the trouble moving around in different public transportations – the ticket for the trip costs around 15 RMB – but do go early there, as I was there 4,5 hours and still did not manage to see everything, as I needed to catch a bus back to the city.
So when you get off the bus, you still do not get the feeling you are there, but on the way, if you are hungry, there will be TONNES of diners, able to satisfy different palates. Walking along the road, you will notice grape vendors, elderly women selling flower crowns and others. Going through the small streets in the town, you might notice photoshoots (as this town is also famous, serving as a film shooting grounds) – but if you want to try all sort of things – from cuisine, massages (ear cleaning too , and even fish massage for your feet), and if you are planning to get married someday soon and want to prepare in advance, there is also wedding dress shops, ranging from different types of dresses and even colours. You might also enjoy a ride with a speedboat through the Dragon river, or perhaps try out the gandolier type of boat around the more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, taking you through narrow valleys and allowing you to see the the temples and the lifestyle of people, who live there.
What you might notice – that here in the side streets of the commercial area (which are the places you want to go in, as these streets contain most of the things you might be looking for in an ancient town) – even groups of people who perform martial art „dances”, like, for example, kung fu is mostly not about fighting only, but puts the emphasis on redirecting the flow of the energy in your body to your advantage – so it helps people to keep active and socialize at the same time.
If at the end of the tour you would like to relax, remember that there are a lot of teahouse possibilities + Chinese pastries are plenty, where traditional music is played, creating this ambient atmosphere, even allowing to understand why there is no rush here and giving you opportunity to peacefully sip your tea and have a small chat with your friends.
Written by Rihards Jammers, intern at the Wydham Hotel Chengdu.
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