YESS it’s our long-awaited recess week and I’ll be travelling to Sichuan!
Sichuan was such an amazing place. Everything from the food, the mountains, the lodging to the locals was simply amazing. Well okay, not everything. The 14-hour train ride to get there was quite terrible. And so was the 14-hour train ride back. My bottoms literally rotted on the train. I ate instant noodles just to kill time HAHA. And because of our schedule (I’ll elaborate later), we ended up sitting in our transportation for easily 40 hours during the 9 days.
So a brief outline of our trip.
Day 1：Getting to 成都 Chengdu [14hr]
Day 2：Spending the day in 成都
Day 3：Set out for 日隆镇 Ri Long Zhen, a town in the 四姑娘 Si Gu Niang region [8hr]
Day 6：丹巴县甲居藏寨 Jiaju Tibetan Village in Danba [4hr]
Day 7：新都桥 Xin Du Qiao [7hr]
Day 8：Day in 成都
Day 9：Back to 杭州 [14hr]
Day 1 成都
14 hours have never passed so slowly. My entire body was screaming for me to move around. I slept most of the trip
And we’re in Sichuan! We just survived a 14-hour train ride and we were hungry. What’s the first thing we could’ve done? Order supper of course! 叫了只炸鸡 was the answer!
Day 2 成都
So this would be our last chance to grab stuff that we might need for the 四姑娘 trip. So we headed down to the nearest Decathlon to grab some gear (especially Dan & Ran for their climb).
In Sichuan, we definitely had to eat 麻辣 right? So we went to the nearest place we could find and we had 麻辣 for lunch!
Day 3 日隆镇
It’s time to head to 日隆镇 Rilongzhen, which was the main town of 四姑娘. Well, the journey was a long bumpy ride. Seriously. This was the monsoon season which caused jams because the rain had caused landslides along the way.
Today was our rest day to get acclimatised because 日隆镇 is located at an elevation of 3160m. That’s pretty serious and some of us suffered from mild AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Mostly just throbbing headaches which they slept off.
Day 5 双桥沟 / 丹巴县甲居藏寨
Today was one of the days that we had no idea what was going to happen. We made a trip to buy our tickets to 双桥沟 and we ended up on a bus tour to the top of a valley which was freeeeeezing cold. Well it was freezing so we quickly snapped a photo and got out.
Actually, we just continued taking photos till we were all the way down.
Then we had a 4-hour drive (super bumpy) up to 丹巴 and we were amazed at the place! The place was built like a traditional Tibetan house, with walls decorated with their artworks. It was 3 storeys high and open-roofed so you could literally sit on any floor and look up and see the sky. We got there before sunset so we decided to take a quick independent tour of the town and walked around a bit. Had some pretty good ice cream (we have been craving ice cream for the longest time) and hit some of the scenic spots. The pictures don’t do justice to the place though so I shan’t post them. Then we had dinner, a few drinks and a comfortable night looking at the stars before we rested up for the next day.
Day 6 新都桥
Today was basically a long bumpy ride again. The view along the way was spectacular. We passed by places like Yala Snow Mountain and got to saw many nice temples along the way.
Then we reached our accommodation. It was a 2-star hotel so we didn’t really know what to expect but it was pretty comfortable. The people were nice and the lounge area was a good place to chill. Lunch was amazing too, with mapo tofu and lots of meat (we didn’t get a lot of meat the past few days so that was particularly enjoyed).
Again, with some time to spare, we decided to head out and find some good views. We ended up on a sort of ridgeline looking over the town.
Day 7 成都
We really just spent most of the day sitting our bottoms off on the ride all the way back to Chengdu. Interestingly, the way back to Chengdu was the exact same path we took all these time. We drove past every spot that we have been too, like danba and siguniang.
On the way back the driver asked us “Do we need to stop for lunch?” in Chinese. We really wanted to just get back to Chengdu and escape from this bus ride, so we decided against it. The moment we got back to our hostel in Chengdu, we put down our stuff and headed out for, you guessed it, some 麻辣. This time we upped the spiciness level and boy it was good. Then we headed to do some touristy shopping and returned to watch World Cup.
Day 8 成都
Today was a tiring day. We didn’t have a solid plan so we cycled out have noodles for breakfast. We missed good noodles. It tasted somewhat like bcm. I miss bcm. We then cycled past Mao’s statue to take a few shots and hid in a shopping mall to escape the heat. Then we cycled all the way to a really hip area that was supposed to be a cultural preservation area. It was really cool and I got a panda toy! Woohoo!
On our way to dinner, most of us took a cab back but we had 2 courageous individuals who cycled back. Mid-way they got hit by a super heavy rain and worse of all, the dinner place was closed. So they waited there before they could link up with the others to join my group. We were luckier. We got caught in a jam when the rained happened and when we found out the shop was closed, we changed our dropoff to somewhere nearby for dinner. So, we escaped unscathed by the rain. YAY!
Then it was packing up and getting ready for the 14-hour ride back.
Day 9 杭州
On the way back, I was thinking about this trip. It was really great and lots of fun. The place was so pretty and the locals so friendly. I’m really glad I decided to go for this trip (albeit it is kinda expensive considering how much I have left) but it was totally worth it. I’m definitely glad that I made friends with the locals because I’m very sure I will come back to have another round of Sichuan goodness.
Well, it’s back to the grind with our final deliverable for ALP. Till next time.