This year June 2nd was Dragon Boat festival. Traditionally Dragon Boat festival in Shanghai means eating sticky rice, drinking special wine and racing dragon boats. I've been asking my Chinese friends and teachers but most of them was just looking forward to having Monday off and thus a long weekend.
I knew I wanted to use this opportunity to do a trip - get out of the city, see something different and explore something I hadn't explored before. It was not until two days before the weekend began that I decided: I was going to travel to Sichuan - a province in the South-western part of China just East of Tibet. Its 30 hours from Shanghai by bus, around 3 hours by plane and soon it is possible to reach with high speed train within 12 hours. The province is especially known for very spicy food and it's capital Chengdu.
On the day where I booked my ticket I was doing research on where to go. I suddenly received an email from a Chinese guy who worked as my assistant when I just arrived in China in 2012, in which he asked about my well-being and if I was still in China. He further informed me he had left Shanghai and was now back in his hometown Chengdu so if I ever got a chance to visit he would be more than happy to show me around.
Chengdu was on my long to-go list. A bustling city known for pandas, spicy Sichuan food and some great buddhist sights nearby for example Emeishan - the highest of China's four buddhist mountains and a perfect destination for a hike. I quickly did some reserach/travel planning and concluded that it would be possible for me to combine a panda visit, sightseeing in Chengdu, visiting buddhist sights and doing a small hike in my three days off.
I booked the ticket shortly after and told my Chinese friend Carlos in Chengdu about my plans.
Sometimes i like to believe that there is a reason for the things that happens. Not that everything happens for a reason and we just passively have to accept. But I believe that life will create opportunities for you and you just need to grab them. Everything that happens to you and everyone that crosses your path can lead to something else and someone else if you just embrace what life throws at you. Opportunities opportunities opportunities.
They say holidays are the worst time to visit Chinese sights because they are over-crowded by the increasing amount of traveling Chinese people. Still, this was such a good opportunity for me to see Chengdu with a local, explore famous buddhist sights for example the Giant Buddha in LeShan and do some soul-searching and a hike on the buddhist mountain Emeishan.
Happy Dragon Boat Festival - a perfect time for another China adventure