Location: Jinli street, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.
Jinli is one of the biggest streets in Chengdu. If you’re ever in town, you have to check this place out. Its the perfect blend of all things Chengdu. If you’re a big foodie (Like moi), then it is mandatory you go to this place.
I went twice to this place, once in the morning and again once in the night. If you’re trying to decide what time to go, night time is the best, It was good solid half an hour before we reached the place and my legs were already killing (My legs don’t hold up for very long, kinda like Hazel and her lungs that suck at being lungs). Bad choice, if you ever want to get to the place and your not big on walking, its better to take a cab because there’s a whole lot of walking inside the place as well.
The entrance was lit up so brilliantly with the beautiful red lanterns and a big sign at the entrance. It was hard trying to take a photo at this time because there were so many people and it felt so tight that everywhere you turned, you were photo-bombing someone’s photo. We spent a good 15 minutes at the entrance taking pictures which is a good thing because I think the entrance is the most picturesque part of the whole street. Getting lost inside the place is inevitable. Even on the second time to the place we got a little lost. There are small bars located along the whole way with someone playing a good tune. You’ll find shops along the whole way and it is a place where you can taste authentic chinese cusine. Original chinese food isn’t like the chinese food you have back at home.
Real Chinese takes a lot more getting used to, especially the Sichuan pepper. The Sichuan pepper ladies and gentlemen is the most out of the world of experience. You won’t realise it’s happening until the very end. It’s a whole new level of spicy. It’s starts with a light tingling sensation of the tongue then gradually increases till it reaches the point of total numbing effect of your entire mouth. My friends, I come from a country which lives on spices but this was one of the most weirdest spice I ever tasted. I go up to the lady and told her I was going to take on the Spicy Beef Noodles. Lady puts extra pepper in mine.
MISTAKE! *Cue dreadful music*. That didn’t go down well. But when you put the right amount and start having it on a regular bases, you kinda start liking it. I had been in Beijing a couple of months before and never got the chance to try the famous Beijing roasted duck and as the chinese say
“Bu chi kaoya, hui yihan” (You dont try the duck, you’ll regret it). So I decided to try the mini roasted quail (close enough) to put my regret at ease. The duck looked a bit groteque with the head and eyes but Hey! this girls done scorpions (In thailand). So I go ahead with the 10 yuan Quail. Its was good but I just wish the quail had more flesh on it.
If you ever get tired of the chinese food, there’s always a Dico’s (Chinese version of Mc’D). The Squid is one of my favorites and the Chinese’s take on BBQ squid is really good. The Chinese’s take on anything BBQ is really good.
There’s this place where you could wear traditional Chinese costume and take pictures all over the street for a 100 yuan.
If your big on the whole thing then you should most definately try it. In the tea house there’s a display of making tea show kinda thingy. I guess they make the tea using Taichi moves or something. There most likely this girl laying some really soothing tune on the Guzheng which contributes to the relaxing feel which makes the tea house a good place to chill out.
You should try out the Ear Cleanse if you feel ok with sticking stuff into your ear to get the tingly sensation. One of my favorite attraction was the cartoon artist. 200 is a little too much but the her drawing are truly amazing. Near her is the clay sculpting artist who is equally good.
If your into knick knack, gifts and jewelry this place is loaded.
I’d have to say that China have extremely open people, they are more upfront about their curiosity in foreigners. They come right up to you and ask where your from etc. There are times where random people come up to you and take selfies or photos with you like they’ve known you all their life. I guess it’s because of the history our countries share with each other. And me being extremely not ok with other people taking pictures of me was put into the this-is-awkward zone. It felt like an obligation as tourist to be all touristy and be ok with it but still felt uncomfortable, but that’s just me.
Overall the experience was one of a kind. Truly delightful. A must visit spot in Chengdu.