A Travellerspoint blog

Chengdu, China

20/9/2012

Had several hours to fill in at Changi airport, as the Customs and Check-in gate for my flight didn't open until 4:45pm. Changi certainly puts Sydney airport to shame.

The Silkair flight was an A320 airbus which left Singapore at 6:00pm. The seats were uncomfortable, with no leg room. fortunately, as the flight was not full, the stewardess moved me to an emergency exit row. The emegency exit door was so narrow that I would have had to turn sideways to get through it, and as a consequence the "aisle" in front of my seat was non existent. But I did have room to stretch my legs. The flight was 4.5 hours, with no in flight entertainment system. Arrived Chendu 10:20pm local time. By the time I cleared customs, collcted my bag, met the guide, drove to the hotel and checked in, it was after midnight (local time) by the time I got to bed. A 22 hour day for me.

Met 5 others at the airport who are on this trip, all are my age or older. It was also raining in Chengdu when we arrived.

Chendu is a city of 12 million, and at 11:30pm, the roads were still chaotic with horns blowing, and cars taxis and bikes cutting in front of each other. Can only wonder what the roads are like during the day.

21/9/2012

I'm sure the mattress on my bed is made of wood, as the bed was so hard (this is how Chinese like their beds). However, I slept well and awoke at 8:00am,

Breakfasted with 3 of my fellow travellers (Amadio and his wife Marie, and Lyn). Sampled scrambled eggs, noodles, firied spinach and fungus amonst other unkown items, although I gave up on the chopsticks and found a knife and fork.

Met up with Amadio, Marie & Lyn at 10:30 for a walk to some of the local city attractions, including the giant statue of Chairman Mao, and the Peoples garden. Lunch at McDonalds, where they have an English language menu card for use by tourists, so we can point to what we want. Returned to hotel at 2:30pm.

Originally thought the morning was overcast, but it turns out it is smog and pollution. Blue sky is rare, as Chengsu is in a depression, and the pollution has nowhere to go. There is plenty of building activity, with modern buildings, shopping complexes, and multi lane highways. If activity is this high in Chengdu, no wonder China is such an economic powerhouse.

This afternoon, a further 13 tour members arrive (19 in all), and we are meeting for dinner and a briefing this evening after 7:30pm. The tour proper starts tomorrow with a visit to the Panda Research centre, and a vist to a 70 metre Buddha carved into the cliff at nearby Lehsha.

Posted by HimalayanPeter 02:34 Comments (0)

Singapore

After an early start 4.45am (from my place) had a slight hiccup at Customs when my hand luggage was searched and xrayed several times. Turms out the small first aid kit I through in contained a small pair of scissors. Eventually allowed through with the scissors. The flight left on time, and landed in Singapore on time. I've got to say Singapore Airways is a great way to fly. Boeing 777-300A, comfy seats, plenty of leg room (even for me). Food was also good, as was the service.
Arrived at Changi Airport in Singapore at 2.00pm local time. Cuaght the skybus (driverless tram) from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2. Each terminal is massive. Currently taking advantage of free internet terminal at the airport whilst I wait for the next flight to Chengdu in southern China.
All for now, but will hopefully do a further post whilst in Chengdu.

Posted by HimalayanPeter 23:49 Comments (0)

Countdown to the adventure

18/9/2012

less than 2 days to departure for the grand adventure to Tibet & Nepal. Bags are packed, hopefully everything is under control.

It was dissapointing to hear that Everest Base Camp has been closed to visitors, as i was looking forward to saying that I had been to Mt Everest. Maybe it will re-open by the time i get there!

Where is Tibet & Nepal

Where is Tibet & Nepal

Posted by HimalayanPeter 05:12 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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