Robin's Adventures

An Asian Adventure

Activities at People's Park

People gather in the park for a variety of activities. You can rent a small boat on the lake, dance in large groups in order to get your exercise, listen to musicians and singers perform, fly kites, visit a fortuneteller, watch an artist make a delicious edible design out of liquid honey that crystallizes, or check out the resumes of perspective mates that are on display on the "low tech message board." There is something fun for everyone to do at People's Park.

In the Tea House at People's Park

The tea house at People's Park is a very special place. People gather here to have tea and sometimes it is so crowded that the waiters need to use special tea pots with a 3 foot long spout so they can pour tea for everyone at the table without having to weave in and out of the crowd to get to each cup.

People also use the tea house as a gathering place so they can play mahjong or cards.

Traditional style ear cleanings are also offered at the tea house. Men with flashlights strapped to their heads dig around in people's ears with a variety of instruments including a foot long set of tweezers. It is unclear whether the instruments were cleaned between clients, but ear cleaning in a dining establishment was clearly accepted by the locals as a normal occurrence.

Local Market Delecacies

Our next stop was a local marketplace where we got an up close and personal look at some of the delicacies that the locals enjoy eating.

The BBQ rabbit heads (with teeth still intact) were sold separately from the rabbit bodies, also BBQed. There was also live eel, frogs, and bullfrogs that seemed to be popular fare. We also noted the availability of pig arteries, quail eggs, and tripe.

I was very glad that I came prepared with protein bars!\"

Local Market Butcher

The butcher also had many local favorites, none of which were refrigerated. There was pork tongue and pork organs, pork feet, an incredible amount of sausage hanging from the ceiling (In some places Steve had to duck down to keep the sausage out of his hair.), black chicken (meat, bones, and skin are all black), and a variety of other mystery meats.

Jinli Ancient Street

Jinli Street is one of the oldest shopping streets in Chengdu. There were food vendors, music shops, handicraft stores, and all sorts of interesting activity up and down the street. It was a fun place to people watch.

Sichuan Opera and Face Changing Show

Sichuan opera involves a series of different acts, many of which are almost circus-like, rather than presenting a single story with a continuous plot.

We arrived at the opera house early and were taken back stage to see the performers getting their make-up and costumes ready.

Seats at the theater surrounded a series of small tables and the guests were served tea and a noodle dish.

A Unique Performance

There was a great deal of variety in the performances we saw. There were several short musical stories, both dramatic and humorous. The fact that they were all sung in Mandarin with no subtitles did not diminish our enjoyment of the elaborate costumes, quick paced action, and unusual singing.

We also saw a young lady that was very talented with a stick puppet and a cool shadow artist.

The highlight of the show were the quick change artists. One performer changed his outfit in the blink of an eye and several others changed their masks so quickly that we were not sure it had really happened.

Sichuan Opera and Face Changing Show Video

This video shows highlights of the Sichuan Opera and Face Changing Show in Chengdu, China. Watch closely as the performer's clothing changes in the blink of an eye. Next, they change their masks so quickly that you are not sure it really happened. There is also an amazing erhu (traditional Chinese stringed instrument) excerpt and a shadow artist.


It took just under two hours for us to reach Guilin by air. We stayed at the Shangri-La hotel.

Reed Flute Cave

The Reed Flute Cave is a naturally occurring limestone cave believed to have first formed about 180 million years ago.

Just outside the cave there is a lush landscape where there are abundant stands of Arundo donax, or giant reeds. These reeds can grow to be more than 20 feet tall and look very similar to bamboo. The long hollow tubes of this plant have been used to make flutes and pan pipes. The name of the cave comes from the abundance of these plants in the area surrounding the cave.