This is the glory of Chongqing.
To be honest, much like mine and Andrew’s decision to visit China, both Chengdu and Chongqing were chosen completely at random. Andrew had chosen Chengdu because of the hype that Eddie Huang from Fresh Off The Boat had hyped it up, and I chose Chongqing because, well actually I still don’t know. Nonetheless, I did not regret coming here, despite the normal China trip setbacks, to include:
- Our AirBNB host not actually inform the people at the location that we were coming, so the hosts on location were confused and we played more baidu/wechat translation tag;
- The banks would not properly dispense money for my dear friend Andrew, so we became really strapped for cash;
- Chinese addresses are very poorly referenced, and Baidu maps really does rival Apple Maps for low quality goodness. Thankfully the AirBNB location description mentioned how the building looked, so we just bypassed the security guards and walked straight up; cause you know, China; and
- Our bowels having not fully recovered since the Chengdu fire food. See below.
Luckily for us, we had a few friends from Guangzhou who also happened to be in town, to include @5.12 and @cheukyh, as well as a photographer from Nanjing, @jessica_sly, a local photographer and lifesaver, @lxin1983, and lastly, the world famous Canadian expat from Shanghai, @jenniferbin. I mention that @lxin1983 was a lifesaver because she was key in keeping our current China trip financially afloat. You see, we ran out of cash and none of the banks were dispensing money at their ATMs, despite my buddy having a Chinese bank account. Through the magic of Chinese kindness, @lxin1983 was kind enough to exchange our Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) to Chinese Reminbi (CNY) at a 1:1 rate. Some would say she is a terrible money launderer; but we say she is the patron saint of Chongqing. With our new found cash, we were able to once again buy ¥5 CNY noodles ($1 CAD) again as well as continuing on with our steady diets of beer for breakfast.
While the rest of them went back to their hostel to crash for the evening, we couldn’t let the night go to waste, and went out hunting on the first thing we saw; a swimming pool that stuck outside of the building.
We headed back to the AirBNB because we were off to Wulong Karst the next day, so we wanted to make sure we had some rest and got to see the town for a little bit in the day before we left.
Remember how I said I blew out my jeans and only had one pair? Thank goodness for my trusty sewing kit that saved the day.
Too bad my sewing job sucks, and I just resorted to using Gorilla Tape to fix my problems. The tape actually held for the rest of the China trip - all 4 days!
When in Chongqing and times are tough… Shot on the OnePlus 2.
We arrived in Wulong lost as sin. There were a few taxi drivers trying to hustle us for our money; and I couldn’t blame them. Even for Han Chinese people, me and Andrew still stuck out as tourists. So instead of succumbing to their racket, we did what we do best; self-induced diarrhea.
After some hectic negotiations and taxi chasing, we finally found one that would take us to the mountain range where our AirBNB would be for the night. What I totally didn’t expect was the gated community where our AirBNB was and also the unbelievably kind generosity of our host. We even got SECOND DINNER!
The next morning, we left for Wulong Karst by boarding a bus to take us down to the bottom of the Karst. The area was definitely a site for sore eyes, and was actually a place where they filmed parts of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, which was actually one of the initial reasons why I wanted to go to Chongqing/Wulong. Some say they hate being bumped around in crowds, but I rather enjoy it, seeing as I’m 200lbs (91 kg), I rather enjoy returning the favour to those who are foolish enough to do it to me.
After a rainy morning spent in Wulong, we took the taxi and bus back into Chongqing and got back later that night.
Without missing a beat, we went to crush one of the most prime roofs in all of Chongqing once we got back, with the help of some navigation information thanks to @cheukyh.
Our last and final day in Chongqing we spent exploring some of the old touristy parts of the city just to get a feel for what the place is like, and what parts of old China remained.
We polished the night off with some more Chongqing beer and some local cuisine.
We said our goodbyes that evening, as we had an early morning flight back out to Shenzhen, and back to Hong Kong later that day.
Next stop, Shenzhen.