Day 9 – Who’s our guide?

Another fantastic day on our tour!

The ship had arrived in Chongqing around 4am, so directly after an early brekkie our ship guide did introduce us to our Chongqing guide. After introductions we were informed he’d only be with us in Chongqing, i.e. the few hours before we board our flight to Xi’an. Nonetheless he did a great job and gave us a nice tour through a quite old part of Chongqing named Ciqikou. Chongqing itself is just massive, 6M people in the inner city, 34M in total, massive traffic, massive construction. 

Ciqikou is as stated a quite old part which was more or less unknown / forgotton until about 20 years ago when tourists that came for the three gorges dam discovered that hidden treasure. Of course this also means a lot of Ciqikou has turned into touristy areas, but still it’s the old houses (originals) with real local inhabitants and a breezel of boheme that makes it really interesting. A few pictures below:

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Aside from the touristy areas there are some really nice streets where you can also see workers who are rebuilding and repairing some of the old houses (a few burned down in a fire about a year ago)

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The tree above is about 140 years old – the scarf represents wishes for luck, long life, prosperity

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Due to the narrow roads people here rely on traditional ways of transporting material

From here we directly drove over to the airport to head to Xi’an. At the airport we were greeted by our next guide, Mrs Liu – who was only filling in until our official Xi’an guide, Mr. Li was available later in the evening. we had a quick tour around the city and then went to the old City Wall – which is really impressive. Our really nice temporary guide suggested we take a bike ride on the wall – that’s been a really fun experience; if you ever get here you have to do this.

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I should mention the great piece of work done here: All wood, but not a single nail!

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Now renting our bike:

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After the ride we had a really nice dinner and then saw a fantastic traditional Tang Dynasty theatre show. Also something we really recommend – check at www.tang-dynastyshow.com. At the theatre we also met our “real” guide for Xi’an – amongst others he’ll take us to the Terracotta Army tomorrow.

The theatre itself is gorgeous, the show plainly fantastic. The folks presented 10 different dances/songs/sceneries – I especially like No.9 where 6 percussionists first imitated the sound of ducks and then an approaching tiger – I could really see the pictures forming in my head by listening to the incredible sounds they were producing with their instruments; real artists:

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Now for the final and as mentioned above my favourite of this show:

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Hope you liked what you saw here – stay tuned

/Chris

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