Guys as you know I am not a food person. I often joke if there was a way to stay healthy and not eat I would likely be that way… in fact I am the worst to travel with because I rarely budget in food breaks. hahaha. People who travel me are often like “Yo Jen, can we please eat?”
I am also one that doesn’t venture out and eat anything other than fruits and veggies when I travel.
Except in Chengdu.
Guys the freaking food in Chengdu is by far the best food I have ever had. In fact, I am still trying to master Dan Dan noodles. I have dreams about those noodles ya’ll. The best I had were in a random restaurant in Leshan. Check out my insta for all the food photos I can share this week! This is just a small sampling of the food in Chengdu… every corner has 6 restaurants all offering amazing food that will make your food dreams come true. I was really worried it would be over the top hot but I was truly able to handle it! So delicious and I can’t wait to get back!
When I went to Beijing I knew I wanted to stay somewhere cheap and I knew I wanted to stay in the Hutongs. When I found Beijing City Court Hotel I picked it because the reviews were great and the price was a “whole” $25 a night… So I took a chance and that is where I booked…
When I pulled up to the hotel at first I was a bit… concerned because A: the hutong alleyways are crazy narrow (I still don’t know how that taxi was able to get there) and B: this was honestly my first time staying in a small family run hotel and it seemed so small.
Not to brag or anything… but I picked the BEST location. If you are wanting to stay in the hutongs I truly do not think you can pick a better place. It is within walking distance of 100s of restaurants, shopping and the drum towers… and yes you can walk to Forbidden City… while that was a very bad day… it can be done but I recommend you take a taxi.
Fun fact: I really wanted to go to Mr. Shi’s Dumpling’s as I was told about this place prior to traveling to China. I thought it was a lost cause until I learned that it is LITERALLY right around the corner from here. I have dreams about Mr. Shi’s ya’ll. I literally ate there every single day.
So the good– GREAT location, super cheap, the staff is FANTASTIC and food is EVERY where,
The bad– wifi is spotty my VPN barely worked with the internet connection but since I wasn’t really into being online during this trip… It didn’t bother me. It may bother you. The nearest subway station is about 3/4 a mile away which kinda sucks but the walk down the major shopping street makes it so worth it!
The ugly– I found most cabs would drop you off at the main street, because uh like I said the alleyways are CRAZY narrow and I think most of the taxi drivers didn’t want to deal with it, so you will have to walk. So after walking a marathon every day this did get a bit… tiresome.
Overall if you are looking for budget accommodation with a FANTASTIC location I HIGHLY recommend this hotel. If I go back to Beijing I will stay here again.
When I went to Chengdu I knew there were two must dos for me. First see the pandas and Second visit Leshan and see the Giant Sitting Buddha.
To be honest, I didn’t really know much about the Buddha except it is famous & a must see sight if you find yourself in Leshan.
Personally, I thought it was majestic and beautiful and I find myself always gravitating towards places of beauty.
The hike up took a bit of time as it was crowded. Chinese New Year was a couple days away so all of the Chinese landmarks were more crowded than usual. The area did have air pollution that is expected when you visit China but this landmark did not disappoint at all. IT was very beautiful to see and I am glad I hiked to his head. (I really just wanted to take the ferry ha!) The hike took about 30 minutes and if you are fitter and if it is less crowded I am sure you can get it done in less than 20. 🙂
Fast Facts: The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803 (during the Tang Dynasty), depicting Maitreya. It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. It is a UNESCO heritage site.
The cheapest way to get there is via bus from the train station. It is the K1 and it costs $2. It will be the last stop and it will take about 30 minutes. Taxis are cheap if you want to get there quickly but the bus wasn’t bad.
There are quite a few fly restaurants outside the complex if you want to eat after. If you prefer to eat at restaurants I recommend taking the bus back into the city.
IT will cost about 90 CNY approx $14.21 USD (which is kinda expensive by China standards but so worth it!) and if you are in Chengdu I highly recommend taking the bullet train from the east station. It takes about a hour via train.
Have you been to Leshan Giant Buddha? Did you love it as much as I did?
So I leave for Chengdu today and I wanted to share with you everything I watched and read to prep for my upcoming trip. So maybe I can encourage you to go to China.
First up, the Food Ranger… omg sweet sweet Trever, I am in love with his YouTube channel. He lives in Chengdu, loves to eat and travel. I am only going to share one of his videos with you because I feel he is a must watch on YouTube so you need to head over there asap. This man might actually be responsible if I end up in Malaysia in the very near future… JS.
Huang’s World. I am not sure if you guys are into vice but I love this dude. He is a must watch and I love how he digs deeper into culture especially considering that this is in fact his culture. #LoveHim
When it come to travel bloggers I have a few that I always search to see if they have been to a certain place I am traveling to. At first my favorite bloggers didn’t have much on Chengdu, then Lee Abbamonte spent Christmas in Chengdu and as always wrote a pretty comprehensive article on visiting. He visited everything I am planning on visiting so it was nice to see an article on this.
While Katie no longer blogs (SUPER SADFACE I adored her perspective on travel plus we are close to the same age) She wrote a comprehensive article on volunteering with the pandas. I chose to do the paid quick photo opp route due to my limited time in Chengdu but I absolutely feel this is a way to cut costs and give back.
Anthony Bourdain. You can watch the episode on Netflix and it is hilarious and 100% responsible as to why I am going on this trip. I am not a foodie but I am excited to try one bowl of spicy noodles and a hot pot (although I had hot pot in Beijing).
Click the link below to read the book I read on Kindle Unlimited to give me an idea of what I can do in Chengdu. It was a very informative book that gave me a lot of insight into the trip.
So there you go the main sources I used in my Chengdu research. I hope this encourages you to book a flight to Chengdu (or China in general in the future) aside from the smog it really is an amazing adventure.