Friday, May 21, 2010

Bamboo Park in Chengdu/To Xi’an by Train

In the afternoon, Dr Liu and I had the opportunity to walk around Bamboo Park in Chengdu, which is right next to Sichuan University.  The park lives up to its name, growing many different kinds of bamboo.  In addition to growing bamboo, the park contains a significant number of pieces of artwork created out of bamboo, some of them quite large. 

clip_image001Bamboo art.

The park also contained a number of museums to an ancient poet, to paper making, and even exhibited artwork from a local school.  The park was also popular for tea and to enjoy a game of mahjongg.

clip_image002Mahjongg players.

clip_image003Stone bridge.

In the evening, we headed to the train station for the 16 hour train ride from Chengdu to Xi’an through the mountains.  As it was an overnight train trip, we booked into the “hard sleeper” car, which lets you lay down to sleep for the nighttime portion of the trip.

clip_image004Inside the sleeper car.

After boarding at 9:00 pm, it was lights out at 10:00pm until 7 am the next morning.  With the morning light, we were well into the mountains, climbing to a peak of about 4600 feet in elevation before dropping to 1400 ft in Xi’an.  The views through the mountains were incredible.

clip_image005Following the river through the mountains.

clip_image006Mountain road.

On the train, there were six people to a “compartment” with two fold down seats in the aisle next to the windows.  Each traincar slept 66 people and the train was full.

clip_image007On the train.

After arriving in Xi’an and getting to the hotel, we had an early dinner at the hotel.  Tomorrow, we will be heading to see the famous Terra Cotta Warriors of Xi’an.

clip_image008Dining at the hotel.

clip_image009Salmon for dinner.

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