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Bugger! Back To The 'No Foreigners Allowed' Thing


I finally made it to Chengdu. Unbelievable the things and places one can do and get to in life!

We left Emei Shan and chatted to a North Aussie couple most of the way to Chengdu. They were in China for only a few weeks on their way to the USA where 'he' would teach accounting and 'she' would complete her Phd in something. They were great to talk to. We said a quick 'seeya mate' at the bus station and Judy and I headed right next door to the Traffic Hotel. Far too pricey for us. They wanted 200 Yuan for a double with a bathroom and 120 Yuan for just a double without a bathroom.

To find the Traffic Hotel walk out of the Xinnamen Bus Station facing the river, turn left and walk in the driveway of the Thai restaurant. Unless you want a dorm bed for 30 Yuan you'll probably walk out.

We said 'No way mate!' We'll move on and find a little Chinese Hotel.

FOOD & CAFE: Well, that's what we thought anyhow. That was the plan and it was a good plan as it always works. We can usually find a Chinese Hotel for 60 to 80 Yuan with a bathroom that includes towels and all the good stuff. Before any good plan can be put into action one needs a full stomach. We walked to the closest bridge on our right, crossed and then turned right again and found Daves and Pauls Oasis Cafe. I ordered the chicken salad then changed it to an American breakfast and when Judys chicken salad came I tried stealing it from her. I could have done without the American breakfast! Dave and Paul were really cool though and some of the foreigners playing pool gave us some directions to another hostel up the road.

We spent the next hour walking from hotel to hotel on both sides of the river. The expensive ones would take our money but the usual less expensive ones were not allowed to accept foreigners. One could easily get angry and throw vases around the room screaming 'you racist bastards' but hey, it's not their fault their government has racist rules and regulations that still exist! It'll change over a period years as it's started already. Some WILL call the PSB and do their best to get permission. Others in small towns just say yes and all is well.

ACCOMMODATION: After an hour and a body full of sweat later we ended up taking the directions the other foreigners gave us. From Daves & Pauls Cafe walk or take a cab to the second bridge going across the river. This is the one where an overpass will be above you. Turn right (not across the river, the other right!) and soon you'll come to the 'SOMA HOSTEL'. It's near where the overpass merges with the normal road. You'll spot the sign first. To get to the reception you have to walk down the side alley of the building until you find an elevator. Take it to the sixth floor and you'll be greeted by a big poster of Bob Marely letting you know 'freedom' is ok!

Staff are fantastic and the rooms are clean. On the eighth floor is the restaurant with a pool table. They can organise a heap of stuff for you to do as a group if you want to pay for it and you can get your washing done for 10 Yuan a load. Our double with Aircon cost us 98 Yuan with a bathroom without curtains. It's cool though, there is a huge billboard in front so no one can look in...we think!

After a shower we headed out into the hot, humid and sweaty streets of Chengdu. At first I found it a very strange city. The LP, or should I say, my LP that is now many years old says the Backpakker area is around Daves (and now Pauls) Oasis Cafe. Stangely we found no cheap hostels, hotels or anything around that area. Believe me, it's all inner city living. We headed back across the river and aimlessly walked for a few hours until we found a vibrant little area. Once you've found a 'New' Ancient or Old town you know your going to find hostels etc. We found the new old town next to the Wuhou Temple. Then we found the YHA across the road and then the new huge Holly's Hostel. Holly's was too expensive (140 Yuan with a bathroom) so we opted to leave our bags where they were.

Around this area we headed from Camping & Trekking stores to Trekking & Camping stores in search for new shoes for Judy and a tee shirt or two for me. We then headed into the 'new' Old Town and had dinner and a beer at Carrols.

MMMmmm mmmMMM a huge bowl of Spag Bol mate!

The night ended with Prince's Purple Rain on TV. Stragely I never knew Prince could speak Chinese!

City Walk

City Walk

City Walk (1)

City Walk (1)

City Walk (2)

City Walk (2)

City Walk (3)

City Walk (3)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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