More numbing and schorching hot pot story
This Sichuan hotpot is no ordinary hotpot - it has onion, garlic and chili, but also the mind-blowing seeds known as 'Sichuan Peppers' or "Huajiao"! In fact, you can request the waiter/waitresses (fuwuyuan) to reduce the amount of these seeds in your hotpot. If u can't take it but still want to try it, then take the half hot and half light, chicken stock hotpot. That's what we did. Unfortunately, some of the hot soup (while boiling, it did a high jump and landed the other side) sort of got into my chicken stock; hence, making it hot too. Well, this hot pot is different from any other hot pots I've tried - these Sichuanese seems to favor an oily-red broth that can really set one's eyes stinging or on fire. My tourmate, HouJing, got her eye stung by one of the spurts made by the boiling, bubbling, fiery-like valcano broth that she needed to wash her eyes with plenty of water. As for me, I was choking unbearably with my eyes being smoked to tears - at that moment, I can almost hear the song "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" BUT I must admit the hot pot was GOOD!
Leshan Giant Buddha
Caught the bus/coach to Leshan (44 yuans each) - home of the 71m Buddha. Upon arrival at Leshan Town you have to catch a local bus #13 (only 1 yuan) to Big Buddha. We decided to have lunch prior to visiting the Buddha as it took approx three hours to get there - not a great choice around this area to eat and it's a bit of a lucky dip as most restaurants didn't have English menus - find one with pictures!!
Entry was quite expensive 90 yuan per person - much cheaper for the locals!! You have to climb up the mountain to the top - amazing views along the way and then you reach the head of the Giant Buddha with snails coiled on his head - all carved out of rock by the monks - very spiritual place.
Capital of Sichuan Province
Chengdu is a well-known city with a longstanding history and civilization, also named City of Brocade and City of Hibiscus.
Through the city flows the Jinjiang river (river of brocade).
In downtown area, long and wide avenues flanked by highrise buildings and local shops and stores are dotted with luxuriantly-grown green trees, and well-trimmed pretty flowers. Indeed, it is a beautiful city full of vigor and vitality.
It is also the city from which you can go to the panda-base. This was my personal favourite of Chengdu.