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Chengdu days 3 and 4

November 12th, 2012 arreta14

On our 3rd day in Chengdu, our small group traveled about 2 hours outside of Chengdu to a town called Leshan, which is known for having the largest buddha statue in the world. This buddha is absolutely enormous (I’d compare it to the Statue of Liberty in terms of size) and is carved into the side of a cliff. When I saw this buddha, it was first time, since coming to China, that I lost my breath in astonishment and excitement. For anyone studying abroad or traveling in China, I highly recommend going to see it.

The giant sleeping buddha carved into the side of a mountain near the entrance of the park. This is not the famous giant buddha.

To get to the buddha you have to walk through a small Chinese (for lack of a better word) jungle. In this jungle are a number of monkeys, both wild and tamed.

The Crusader at the Giant Buddha of Leshan

Me and the Giant Buddha of Leshan!!

Near the Giant Buddha there is a real buddhist temple. I got one of the monks to take a picture with me!

The day after our trip to the Giant Buddha was our last day traveling. We went to the Tibetan area of Chengdu (I’d compare it to Little Italy in New York, this was Little Tibet). Unfortunately I forgot to charge my camera the night before so I have no pictures… Sorry.

But anyway, in this area you can see a number of shops with traditional Tibetan clothing and food. We went to one of these restaurants for lunch and I tried yak meat for the first time in my life. It was a lot like beef and it wasn’t too bad.

After lunch, we walked around the area a little more. One guy in our group bought a Jianzi (a chinese hacky sack) and we started playing with it on the side of the street. While we were playing a Tibetan monk was walking down the road, saw us playing and joined in with us. So yeah, we played hacky sack with a Tibetan monk… I was SOOO mad my camera wasn’t working!

Finally at the end of the day some of us left for the train station to take a 28 hour train ride from Chengdu back to Beijing. When I first heard 28 hour train ride, I, along with a few others in my group, decided to look for a plane ticket from Chengdu to Beijing. It was a little bit more in cost, but it was also only 5 hours on a plane as opposed to 28 hours on a train.

After half of our group left for the train station, I hung around in the hostile restaurant and met a few other people staying at the hostile. I met two people from Australia, and two couples from the Netherlands. I talked, had dinner and played cards with these people for what must have been 5 hours. We all told stories about our adventures in China and our home countries. It was such an amazing experience to see how people from these countries were drawn to China the same way that I was. This made me even more excited to return to BIE and continue studying Chinese.

By the next day, we all made it back to Beijing safe and sound. The next day, after our exciting week of traveling, we started up CET classes again.

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Andrew Retallick '14

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