Day 4: Shanghai/Chengdu

March 1, 2011

Today was our last day in Shanghai so we took advantage of the Peninsula for a couple more hours, including the sweet coffee machine, various Asian fruits, and as one would surely expect in China — Big Ten Network sports programming.

Big Ten Network in Shanghai... nice work Calderon!

Also on the morning’s itinerary was a walk back to Yang’s for one last dumpling meal before leaving for the airport.

Perhaps our favorite spot in all of Shanghai


2010 World Expo mascot Haibao is still haunting this guy

We returned to the hotel, grabbed our bags and checked out. From the Peninsula we took a cab to the Maglev station for the seven-minute, 30-km zoom to the airport.

Peninsula elevator self-portrait

Our Sichuan Airlines flight was slightly delayed but otherwise non-eventful, and we arrived in Chengdu around 8 PM.  Thirty minutes later, our cab driver dropped us off at what appeared to be the entrance to a temple and motioned for us to walk in to find our hotel.    Adjacent to the famous Wenshuyuan Buddhist Temple, the Buddha Zen hotel proved to be quite difficult to locate and we had to ask for directions from some locals (who were hilariously excited to be of assistance and posed with us in several pictures before pointing us in the right direction).

Cabs can't drive directly to hotel; very few cars allowed on temple grounds


Helpful hint: print out EVERYTHING important in Chinese characters

The Buddha Zen Hotel combines Chinese aesthetics with Buddhist themes; both the hotel interior and rooms are decorated in Buddha Zen style.  I’d booked it based solely off of its number-one ranking on TripAdvisor without really knowing anything else about it, and we were delighted to find a unique boutique hotel with a great location, peaceful setting, and free breakfast. 🙂

Hotel is located within the "Folk Cultural Experiencing Zone"


Cool bathroom sink

Hungry, we dropped our bags and went looking for dinner, using our “whatever we see first, we eat” method.  Around the corner from the hotel, we found a tiny stand with bowls of noodles on display and not a word of English anywhere, so we pointed to two different kinds and hoped for the best.

No English necessary to order this dinner


Fantastic spicy noodles -- tianshui mian on the left -- (only 75 cents a bowl!)

There were only a few shops and restaurants open as we walked back to the hotel; we looked forward to exploring the area in the daytime.

Not many people around after 9 PM


Friendly Chengdu folks

Our initial reaction to Chengdu was a great one – over the next couple of days we’re looking forward to exploring this Sichuan capital city (while trying to not scald our mouths on its famous mega-spicy cuisine).

3 Responses to “Day 4: Shanghai/Chengdu”

  1. Hello China travelers! Any way you can fit that sink into your suitcase! That is beautiful! Again, I am hungry every time I read one of your blogs. Don’t see any rain as of yet. The architecture is so beautiful, colorful, and ornate. Looking forward to more pictures of Chengdu. Love, Mom and Dad

  2. So much fun to follow your trip! The photos are awesome.

  3. Everything looks to immaculate. Wow! Neat visuals.

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