In a short but fulfilling span of two weeks, we visited four universities — two in Chengdu, Sichuan and two in Changsha, Hunan. Here is my recount of the exchange:
四川大学 is HUGE. To give you an idea of how large the school might be (our itinerary only allowed us enough time to tour the west side of the campus), each “school” (likened to ASD/EPD/ESD/ISTD/HASS) is as big as one of our buildings. On the first full day of our trip, the students from 川大 (short for 四川大学) organised a campus tour and museum tour (school museum), showcasing many cultural and religious ornaments and paintings from the past. My favourite was the ancient make of a “water bottle”:
For lunch, they brought us to the hostel restaurant. It was my first meal during the trip and was really excited to try all the Sichuan dishes (the potato and mutton dish at the start of the video was my favourite!)
They also have a fruit stall in their school compound so the students there were very nice to help us converse with the fruit stall owner in Sichuan dialect! We bought 杨梅（12元1公斤） and 桃（13元1公斤）
Night time was usually free and easy, so since three out of four of us were dancers (Daniel from FUNKtion, Alexis and I from DDZ), we went to check out the famous dance studio called Kinjaz Dojo/Sinostage near 川大 that was opened by Kinjaz. Unlike Singapore where classes are usually held at night, we were informed by the cleaning lady that they closed at 8pm (we reached around 9.30pm). She was very nice to let us into the studio to take some photos for memories.
Just outside of 川大, there was a loooong stretch of eateries and bubble tea shops. We initially wanted to try “The Alley” (recently opened in JEWEL Changi Airport, long queue) but it had closed by the time we got back. So we settled for a less known brand called 一点点 but found out afterwards that it was under the same company as KOI!!! Just that they had much more variety, much better service (if you tell the staff you are drinking it immediately, they help you poke the straw!), and much more appealing prices… Green milk tea for SGD$2, toppings are FREE. #enufsaid
Sadly wasn’t really in a bubble tea mood during the trip so I only drank bubble tea twice :/ But if you’re reading this and going China, drink bubble tea!!!!! hahaha
川大 also had a Family Mart right around the corner from our accomodation, so thanks to recommendations from fellow ALP friends, Alexis and I tried out their hot food section and boy was it gooood. Shall let the photos speak for themselves.
Daniel from NUS recommended this brand of 酸奶 to us and it was so good T_T. Wish they had as much a variety of 酸奶 in Singapore.
四川大学 brought us to 青城山 and the scenery was beautiful. It was where a Taoist temple was located, so they hired a local tour guide to bring us up. The temperature was a nice cooling aircon temperature which made climbing up the flights of stairs much more bearable.
I liked how they turned the usual “DO NOT STEP ON THE GRASS” signs into a pun so I snapped a quick photo 🙂
Our time with 四川大学 was meaningful and well spent, but one of the more memorable meals would definitely have to be trying Chengdu Hotpot. Didn’t snap much photos because was busy eating, but imagine KBBQ Buffet but hotpot style. Slick interior design topped off with a jazz acoustic band. Sushi conveyor belt but with hotpot ingredients. 鸳鸯锅 (their 微辣 was too spicy for us haha). Good experience!
The students from 电子科技大学 came to 四川大学 to fetch us as their universities were around 30 min drive apart. The student allocate to SUTD (Oliver) was really friendly and introduced us to many local brands such as 一只酸奶牛 （酸奶 bubble tea concept store） and 汤达人 (this brand of instant noodles is goooood).
I found 电子科技大学 the most similar to SUTD as the students also studied engineering and had robot projects, much like EPD Term 4 (pardon me if I got the terms wrong I ESD). So when I saw a few ~familiar~ things during their school museum tours, I couldn’t resist snapping some photos:
The school also built a badminton playing robot and basketball “Yaoming” robot:
First lunch with 电子科技大学:
Last dinner with 电子科技大学, Chengdu 串串锅 (reminds me of LokLok):
In the morning before we caught out flight to Changsha, they brought us to the Panda Sanctuary to see pandas!! Pandapandapanda, it wasn’t mating season, so no baby pandas, but adult pandas still cute. Good to see them well fed and happy!
And with that, we have ended our one week in Chengdu, now onto Changsha!