Saturday, December 10, 2011

Greetings From Chengdu, China!!

I arrived at Chengdu, China at about 1.15pm local time. The plane arrived early, 25 minutes ahead of schedule. After reading in the forums, I decided to take the official taxi to my hotel. The taxi queue was very long but with so many taxis waiting, I managed to get a taxi very quickly. I told the taxi driver the name of the hotel and he quickly said he knows where it was. I spoke to him using the pinyin because I did not have the Chinese characters of the hotel name. The traffic leading out of the airport was good but as soon as the taxi entered the city center, we were caught in a traffic jam that seemed endless. Every turn that the taxi made, we became part of the jam. By the time I arrived at the hotel, it was already about 3.00pm. After dropping us, we proceeded to the hotel reception only to discover that the hotel that the taxi driver had taken us was not the correct one. Apparently, the hotel that I was going to had the same English pinyin name but differ in Chinese characters .I was feeling hungry and it was way pass lunch time and I am now in a wrong hotel. The hotel staffs were very helpful to ensure this time I would go to the right hotel. The funny thing about my hotel booking is that they have the booking information in both English and Chinese with the exception of the name and address of the hotel. Even the phone number on my hotel confirmation slip was wrong! Luckily, I had a map to the hotel printed and the map contains some roads names in English and some in Chinese. After about 20 minutes of waiting, a taxi came and this time I made sure that the driver knew which hotel I was talking about. After looking at the map, he said no problem. Again, the trip took another hour or so with 40 minutes lost in the traffic jam while trying to get out of the city center.

Finally, at about 3.30pm I arrived at the right hotel and was glad. The taxi driver told me that the jam at the city center is 7 days a week. For the last few days, it has been cloudy in Chengdu and today it is rather sunny. People took advantage of the sunny weather and came out shopping for Christmas and New Year. As such the streets in city center were crowded. The temperature is good at 9°C, not too bad for me. The taxi driver told me that there will be no shopping crowds during the days leading to Chinese New Year. Why? Everyone is at home gambling mahjong!

After checking into the room, I was quite pleased with the hotel, quiet and most importantly the room is  clean though a little small. This hotel is located about 1km from the city center but that made a vast difference. Traffic was sparse and hence not noisy. I then went out for lunch after asking for a recommendation from the hotel reception staff. I was surprised at the place where I went. I still don't know the English or Chinese name of that place but it resembles an ancient movie studio like what you see in the costume movies/TV dramas.Full of ancient looking buildings. I will try to upload some pictures for you to see. I will tell you more of what I discovered while exploring the nearby areas.

I am a little tired and have called it a day, now resting on my bed.

1 comment:

  1. Dear CT,good to note that you have arrived safely and settled in nicely,now importantly is to concentrate on the treatment and have plenty of rest and have a speedy recovery.Take care and God Bless.Fr AL MAL.