Day 31 - 04/11/09 - Chengdu (China)
Another big day was ahead of us today - with another 8:30 start. Our first stop was Huanglongxi Ancient Town which was about an hour drive from our hotel. This ancient town was half rebuilt a year ago and the other half is still the original town. This ancient town was very beautiful and reminded us slightly of Sovereign Hill (but people actually live in this one, they aren't just dressing up).
It was then another hour and a half drive (on a bumby road) to lunch and then a short trip to the Leshan Giant Buddha. Erica and Jess caught a boat (where they got to wear attractive orange life jackets) while Rhys and Scott went with Wulf for a hike up to the top of the Buddha, 333 steps high, down to his feet, back up to his head and then back down to where the car was waiting.
Words cannot describe the Leshan Giant Buddha and what it is like to see it so close up in person. The girls thought it was hilarious that a lady on the boat wanted a photo with them and was more excited about having a photo with foreigners than what she was about seeing the Buddha. While Erica and Jess were waiting to be picked back up, a man who did paper cutting of silhouettes, who decided that he would make cuttings of them both.
It was then time for the 2 and a half hour drive back, some dinner and an early night after a long day of travelling.
Day 32 - 05/11/09 - Chengdu (China)
This morning was spent sleeping in and watching movies. We went for a walk for a late lunch and then to Tianfu Square to see some cool water fountains. After dinner at the hotel, we went for a short walk to a nearby theatre where we had front row seats for a Sichuan Opera performance "Fu rong gou cui".
The opera of several acts/performances. There was a musical act which was followed by an acrobatic show where a girl juggled with her feet (first a big vase, then a table). Next was a man playing a musical instrument, then a lady with an amazing hand puppet. "Rolling oil lamp" was a hilarious comedy about a Sichuan couple. This comedy was our favourite part of the night.
We then enjoyed a hand shadow puppet show before seeing the amazing changing masks and fire breathing. These performers are able to change their masks up to 3 times per second. They were also able to add masks to an unmasked face. It was cool and very enjoyable.
Take care - Jess & Scotty