China: Breakfast at Chengdu Dan Dan Noodle 成都担担面早餐

Itinerary of the day
- Breakfast at Chengdu dan dan noodle 成都担担面早餐
- Visit WuhouCi Memorial Temple 武侯祠
- Visit Ancient Jingli Street 锦里古街
- Red Star Rabbit 红星兔丁
- Lunch at Qinshanzhai restaurant 钦善斋午餐
- Visit Du Fu's cottage 杜甫草堂
- Shopping at Chun Xi Road 春熙路
- Dinner at Seventy One Dou Tang Fan 七十一号豆汤饭晚餐

It was a bit tricky to get a taxi in chengdu. We had culture shock on our first night at Chun Xi Road. There was no taxi stand or taxi queue. The moment the taxi came to a stop, there would be few people approaching from different doors. We failed to get a taxi until we decided to join the crazy crowd.

A little bit more on Chengdu's transport. Normal bus fare was RMB1 and air-conditioned bus fare was RMB2. Taxi fare within Chengdu town was RMB10-RMB20, depending on the distance. Most of the time we took taxi as it delivered us to the doorstep. But there was few times when we could not get a taxi, we had to take the bus, which was like a packed sardine can.

Of course, it would be good to figure out the bus route before your trip. An example of how I did it for WuHouCi
1. Seach for 'WuHouCi' in
google map. Result
2. Zoom in and look for the nearest bus stop symbol and click on it. It shows the bus stop name, '武侯祠' and the buses for it, '1路 57路 82路 334路 335路 503路 901路'. Result.
3. Do the same to get the departure bus stop name. The bus stop opposite my hotel is '东风路'.
4. Go to Chengdu public bus website. Key in the start and stop point for result. It will list the most convenient method first.
5. Translation for the 1st result. It works for all other results as well.
在 望平街 坐 76路 到 东门大桥/红星路四段/纱帽街 换乘 335路 到 武侯祠
First method(about 10 stops)
At 望平街 take 76路 to 东门大桥/红星路四段/纱帽街 change 335路 to 武侯祠
6. Do note that not all the returned result starts with
东风路. Some starts with 望平街, another bus stop nearby.
7. Happy searching!

We had Chengdu dan dan mian(成都担担面) opposite WuhouCi. Noodles was a common breakfast in Chengdu. Among all, dan dan mian was a classic Sichuan dish that should not be missed.

The shop was bright and clean. It had an open kitchen with menu displayed on the top.

Noodle menu
Noodle was sold in the unit of tael(两). 1 tael = 50g. To make life easier, we just took their 1-tael, 2-tael, 3-tael as our small, medium and big portion.

Snack menu

wrapping chaoshou(抄手), another famous snack in Chengdu.
Chaoshou was Chengdu's famous dumpling. In GuangDong province, it was called Wantan.

The three noodles from the top: ran mian(燃面), dan dan mian(担担面), hong shao niu rou mian(red braised beef noodle 红烧牛肉面). I rated ran mian no 1, but dan dan mian was worth trying too. Dan dan mian, also known as spicy peanut noodles had a very strong sizhuan pepper taste. It did not look spicy at all when served because the spicy sauce was at the bottom.
For chaoshou, we ordered both the spicy(红油抄手) and non-spicy(鸡汤抄手)version. The breakfast was dirt cheap, all the above dishes was only RMB20.

This post is getting a bit long. Will continue in the next post. For preview, please go back to the top of the post. ;)

Chengdu Dan Dan Mian 成都担担面
242 WuhouCi St

China: Foot Bath

Chengdu flight was early in the morning. So, we drove back to my hometown, Ipoh from Penang the night before. Then , we took the 3am Yoyo bus to airport, followed by 5-hour flight to Chengdu. I am explaining this because I need a reason for below itinerary. We definitely need it to melt away all signs of stress and tiredness due to the long haul journey, don't we? ;)

We went to one of the Chong Qing Fu Qiao(富侨保健草堂), near to Du Fu's cottage(杜甫草堂). Taxi fare from our hotel area to the shop was RMB16.

the waiting area

I would think it looked more like a hotel or restaurant than a massage place.

The massage place was heavily renovated.

I apologized for the blurred price list. We opted for the 110 minutes foot bath at RMB70(RMB78 was VIP room's price). The package included cupping therapy(拔罐) or scraping therapy(刮痧),fruit and drink. You have not heard me wrong. Everything was included in RMB70. It was definitely a steal!

This was the room for us. The VIP room had an attached toilet.

No picture for the massage. We had foot bath, followed by body massage by the masseur or masseuse. Even though the service was named foot bath, the massage included foot, neck, back, hands and legs. Everyone had enjoying themselves, some even dozed off. ;) After the massage, we were treated cupping therapy. It was my first cupping therapy experience.

The next day, we found out that there was another branch right opposite our hotel. It was so convenient that we went there for the next few nights even though Du Fu's cottage branch had a slightly better environment.

富侨保健草堂 Chong Qing Fu Qiao
43 Qing Hua Lu

China: First hot pot in Chengdu

By the time we had settled down, it was already 3.30pm. So, the plan was to look for a nearby restaurant which was within walking distance. The temperature was around 10ºC and we were glad that we had escaped from the hot weather in Malaysia. It was hitting 38ºC in Malaysia at that time.

This was the hotel we stayed, Jin Jiang Inn.

This was taken after we crossed the traffic lights in front of the hotel.

One little stall by the roadside caught our eyes and we bought a pack of peeled water chestnuts(RMB10) from the owner.

We truly enjoyed the walk in such a cool weather, something which was not so possible in Malaysia. And in 5 minutes, we reached our destination, San Zhi Er Hot Pot Restaurant(三只耳火锅). San Zhi Er and many other famous restaurants was located at Yu Shuang Rd(路).

Click to enlarge the menu

This restaurant was the pioneer for cold pot fish(冷锅鱼). Thed name was given because the hot fish was served in a cold pot. I studied that Sichuan's hot pot was normally very spicy. To be safe, we ordered two different stocks, the red stocks(红锅) and the white stocks(白锅).

Once the pot was served, the waitress prepared the dipping sauce for us. She did that by adding the fish stock to bowls with crispy bean, raw garlic and spring onion. Since we ordered two different stocks, we had two different dipping sauce, spicy and non-spicy sauce. :)

We finished 2 catty of fish in both stocks(1 catty=600 gram). If you were to ask me which was better, I would think both was fabulous. The fish was caught from the aquarium and prepared upon order. Therefore the freshness of the fish was guaranteed.

Other dishes that we ordered were: sour and spicy fern root noodles(酸辣蕨根粉), san zhi er platter(三只耳拼盘) and meat slices(大刀肉片). The platter was a combination of smoked pig's lean meat, pig's belly and pig's ear.

The only uncooked dish we ordered was the meat slices. So, the waitress helped us to turn on the fire and we helped ourselves to the plate of meat slices.

Pancake with wild vegetable(野菜煎饼) was also a recommended dish in the web. Thumbs up for this dish, definitely a dish not to be missed.

The bill for 4 came to a total of RMB137, reasonable priced. It was definitely one of the good meals we had in Chengdu.

San Zhi Er Hot Pot, Yu Shuang Branch 三只耳火锅玉双店
25 Yu Shuang Rd 成华区玉双路25号
Remarks: For other branches, please refer to here.

China: Hotel recommendation

Early last month, we went for 7-day Chengdu trip. Hotel is one of the most important decision to make a good trip. After making some comparisons, I booked Jin Jiang Inn, Dong Feng branch( 成都东风大桥店). Jin Jiang Inn was one the leading budget chain hotel in China. We stayed here for two nights, checked out to Le Shan(乐山) and Mount Emei(峨眉山), and then came back for another two nights. It was a good value hotel and we were very satisfied.

To cut the story short, we paid RMB46 for a taxi from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport(成都双流国际机场) to the hotel. The taxi fare was relatively cheap compare to many countries, furthermore we had four person.

The reception used a very modern lime green color.

The display board at the reception showed not only the daily room rate, but also the very important weather forecast. The room rate was different for member and non-member. There was some discount for member. The membership registration fee was RMB158. You do the math and figure out if to join the membership. :)

Alternatively, if you are, or you are traveling with someone 60 years old and above, then the membership fee was waived. That was our case, we paid RMB161 for one Business Room A. I was told that Room A has more space compare to Room B. My advise is go for better room if you have the budget.

The corner of the lobby was also in the same lime green color.

There was a small computer room with free internet access in the lobby.

The hotel was thoughtful enough to have a display for travel tips.

You can have hotel breakfast for as low as RMB15/person.

The room had a Queen size bed with two bed side tables.

It had nothing fancy, but all the basic in clean and good condition.

Personally, I like the luggage place the most. With that, I did not have to bend down for stuffs in my luggage bag.

bathroom with amenities

Jin Jiang Inn