We visited Chengdu over October break, and nearby Qiang Bai Jiang, a suburb where X’s parents, aunt and cousin live. (Although for the moment, Doudou is away at college in the northeast).
There is a tree at the in-laws’ apartment complex that grows the above-pictured yellow flowers along with what appear to be long, green string beans 🙂
Mom and Dad hosted us several times for lunch and dinner, with time for afternoon naps or walks through the park. But we stayed at a hotel downtown for our own comfort and convenience.
One of the signs that I know I’m in Chengdu, is that there are very, very good noodles everywhere. Street stalls, restaurants, and back-of-the-wagon hawkers alike all serve noodles that are impressively unique to the region and – in my opinion – of vastly higher quality than other Chinese noodles (and, frankly, Malaysian noodles, too – although to be fair I haven’t been to Penang yet).
Besides noodles and hotpot, we also took in a lot of great Western fare – there are new (to us) spots for amazing pizza and Texas BBQ, and most satisfying of all, there is craft beer to be found EVERYWHERE. What a welcome development!
We attended a Friday night bike ride organized by Natooke bike shop, which was incredibly fun in an easily sociable way. We knew almost no one there but had lots of conversations with different people before, during, and after our ride through the city. Having everyone dressed up in Panda suits was a surefire way to attract attention along the way, too.