China: A date with Giant Panda

Breakfast carts everywhere

Our breakfast - HuaXing Street Fried Egg Noodles(华兴街煎蛋面).

Their signature was noodle with fried egg in tomato soup, direct translation from Chinese Menu would be tomato fried egg noodle(番茄煎蛋面).

Plain dumpling with sweet sauce. We should have just stick with their signature noodles. :p

We ordered 2-tael noodles with 1 fried egg(2两1个蛋). It was a bowl of clear tomato soup with home-made noodles and fried egg. This was different from the one I had in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's version was more concentrated and sour.

Simple food that made my day!

Same row of HuaXing(right side afte coming out from Hua Xing), there was a Sichuan restaurant, PanSunShi(盘飧市) which was very famous for its stew food(卤味) and cold dish(凉拌菜).

Do not worry, we were not having a second breakfast. We were only taking away some stew food.


Good stuffs in life. :)

The destination for that very morning was Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding(成都大熊猫繁育研究基地). It was also our last visiting point in Chengdu. The taxi fare from the breakfast place was RMB40.

growing stages for panda

I thought it would be a very boring visit and we would end the trip earlier. But to my surprise, we ended up spending two hours, watching the pandas. The pandas were too cute.

the red panda

Panda says Hi

Panda Mama and panda babies

Panda Mama and two panda babies

Panda Mama and all her babies

panda sleeping posture I

panda posing

panda sleeping posture II back view

panda sleeping posture II side view

HuaXing Street Fried Egg Noodles 华兴街煎蛋面
4-6 Hua Xing Zheng Jie, JinJiang(near WangFuJing)

PanSunShi 盘飧市
62-64 Hua Xing Street,JingJiang锦江区华兴街62-64号

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding 成都大熊猫繁育研究基地
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China: Another type of Sichuan pot

LianHua East Road(莲花东路), a well-known street in Chengdu for its authentic Szechuan cuisine restaurants.

I was overjoyed when the taxi driver told me that we were actually on the way to a local food street for dinner. Here is the post that brought me to LianHua East Road and another post that brought me to the yam and chicken pot restaurant.

The taxi stopped in front of ShuangLiu ZhongHeZhen Yam and Chicken Pot(双流中和镇芋儿香锅鸡). The restaurant was located at LianHua East Road(莲花东路), not ShuangLiu ZhongHeZhen(双流中和镇). The restaurant name, ShuangLiu ZhongHeZhen(双流中和镇) was another place. Do not get confused.

full of patrons

An old lady led me to a cooler with native chicken and I was supposed to pick a chicken for dinner. My goodness. She took out a chicken from the cooler, weighted the chicken and started to speak Sichuan Mandarin, a dialect of Southwestern Chinese which I could not understand at all. My best guess was she was trying to tell me that chicken was best at that size. :p Luckily the restaurant only served single dish, else I would have hard time ordering food. Since I like yam, I also ordered additional serving of yam for my chicken pot.

While waiting, a man came in with Areca nut.

yam and chicken pot arrived
It was not as spicy as you thought. ;)
The juicy chicken had very firm but tender texture. It did not taste too meaty so we ended up eating more. The yam and potatoes were even better, delicate and sweet in nature. Four of us finished 4 catty of chicken, plus many yam and potatoes. It was one of our best meal in Chengdu. Strongly recommended!

5 small plates of raw vegetables.
After we finished most of the food in the pot, the waitress will turn on the fire.

peanut milk

SNOW beer

I forgot the price. But this is what I get from the internet.

Chicken - RMB20/catty
Yam - RMB5/serving
Bamboo shoots - RMB8/serving(not recommended)

There would be one serving of yam in the pot. Extra serving would be charged at RMB5.

Other restaurants on the same street

After dinner, we took a taxi to Carrefour at ShuiNianHe Road(水碾河路), the nearest Carrefour from our hotel. Carrefour offered a wide variety of products, including local snacks. We had a great time shopping!

By the way, did you see the bamboo leaf green, ZhuYeQing(竹叶青) in the picture? ZhuYeQing is the name and also a brand for the green tea from Mt Emei. The name is given because its shape is similar to bamboo leaf with pointed ends. It is good and I wish I have bought more.

Bamboo Leaf Green branding

ShuangLiu ZhongHeZhen Yam and Chicken Pot 双流中和镇芋儿香锅鸡
LianHua East Road, Chengdu

China: At the top of sacred Emei mountain

The highlight of this Chengdu trip would be Mt Emei, the highest of the four Buddhist mountains in China.
The scenery was simply breathtaking.

There were two ways to get from LeShan Giant Buddha to Mt Emei.

1. At Giant Buddha's entrance, take a bus to LeShan XiaoBei Station(乐山肖坝车站). From there, take a direct bus to the foothills of Mt Emei(峨眉山脚报国寺客运站). The bus service is from 8am-6pm, price unknown.

2. Take a private car to the foothills of Mt Emei. The private car owners would approach you. Reference price is RMB15/person for car pool and RMB50 for one car.

We took the latter option, but we only managed to bargain to RMB70 for one car.

Half an hour later, we were in front of Teddy Bear Hotel, located at foothills of Mt Emei.

Enlarge to view a very detailed Mt Emei map and the location of Teddy Bear Hotel.

Reception in Teddy Bear Hotel

common area which also acted as dining area.

wooden flooring at the corridor

the best room in the hotel, RMB150.

We took the 2nd best room, RMB120.

After putting our luggage in the room, we paid RMB10 for a a taxi to the legendary Rong Sheng Carrot Soup Restaurant(荣生饭店萝卜汤). There were many carrot soup restaurants along the road. You would probably ask where is the location of Rong Sheng. It was 1km on our left from the entrance gate of Mt Emei to Emei town. The shop was blocked by trees, however there were a hospital college(中医学院) and a fuel station(加油站) as landmark.

We would not be charged at tourist price because the prices were clearly stated on the hanging board.

clockwise from left: fried egg with Chinese toon(椿芽炒蛋), pickled bamboo shoots(泡笋子), native chicken cold dish(凉拌土鸡), braised pork trotter(卤蹄子), wild vegetables(野菜) and carrot and pork hock soup(清炖萝卜肘子).

The temperature was very low, definitely below 5 degree Celsius. Worst still, it started to rain heavily when we reached the restaurant. Therefore, we needed more food to keep us warm. The best part of this restaurant was the carrot soup was refillable. We finished one bowl after another as the weather was freezing cold.

The rain did not stop after the dinner. We waited for 10 minutes and still could not get a taxi, until a private car stopped and offered us a ride at RMB10. The rain continued for the whole night, so we missed out the food street(好吃街) in Emei town(Do not confuse it with the touristy food street in Emei scenic area. Please find some information regarding Emei town food street at the bottom of this post.) Teddy Bear hotel also offered discounted entrance ticket for the 3 hot springs, Hongzhu hot spring, Lingxiu hot spring and Yoga hot spring. They were all within walking distance from the hotel.

Good morning, Emei. It was still very cold.

We started the day with visiting Bao Guo Temple(报国寺) at the foothills.

entrance of Bao Guo temple

We planned to have breakfast at Bao Guo temple, but was told that they already had their breakfast at 6am. All the temples at Mt Emei provided cheap vegetarian meals daily, do check out their meal time.

This was the touristy food street mentioned earlier.

Brunch was at Teddy Bear hotel as I read that Andy, the hotel owner was an experienced chef. This time, we tried Emei's specialty, Snow Konjac with Chicken(雪魔芋烧鸡). The snow konjac started years ago when a monk discovered that the frozen konjac became very tasty. The sponge-like material absorbed the gravy and was very flavorful.

wild vegetable(野菜)

We did not fail to order soup for all the meals in Emei. Thanks to the cold weather. ;)

hot fresh milk and coffee
The milk was nice.

Bao Guo Bus Station(报国寺车站)
Then, it was time to go up to Mt Emei.

Tourist bus from Baoguo Temple(报国寺) to Leidong Terrace(雷洞坪), RMB40. First, the bus stopped at the ticketing counter for the passengers to get their entrance tickets. Entrance ticket was sold at RMB160, half price for seniors and students.

going up

After an hour, we were seeing snow-covered roads and trees outside the bus.

The bus stopped at Leidong Terrace(雷洞坪).

We could hardly move on the snow until we put on the crampons(冰爪) that we borrowed from Teddy Bear Hotel.

Alternatively, there was stall selling crampons at RMB15.

Winter jacket for rent if yours was not thick enough.

porters and their bamboo-poles sedan chair(滑杆)

The price for bamboo-poles sedan chair was not cheap. But you had the budget, you could try out this unique traditional vehicle used since few thousand years ago.

The Golden Submit cable car station(金顶索道) was 1.5km away from Leidong Terrace(雷洞坪) bus station. We were shivering in cold, and were so delightful to see these smoking baked sweet potatoes. We gathered around the stove and had some best sweet potatoes in our life! (The sweet potato was sold at RMB10 each.)

JieYin Temple(接引殿), next to the cable car station could not be seen clearly due to the cold and misty weather.

map for summit

The 10 minutes cable car was charged at RMB65(ascend) and RMB55(descend).

Once we reached the summit, we walked-in to Golden Summit Hotel. We did not pre-book a room due to the changeable weather in Emei summit.

The walk-in price for a 3-person room was RMB780, the price was so different compare to the hotel at the foothills.

The time for sunrise would be different for different months in a year. The chances of sunrise is only 1/3, slightly higher in winter.

the view of the room

everything was covered by white snow

The summit was a very small area which could be easily covered in half an hour. But with the cold weather and snow-covered roads, .....

There was not many choices at summit, Delicious Food Corridor(美食林)was probably one of the best.

clock wise from left: fried leek with bacon, fried egg and vegetables soup

After the lunch, while parents were taking some rest at the hotel, we explored the summit. However, the weather was not good as you could see from the above pictures.

One heart lock(同心锁), where couples locked their names at emei summit.

Coffee Milk tea(RMB10) for fast temporary relief from cold weather effects
As usual, everything was priced double or even triple on top. We brought some cup noodles from foothills and they were superb.

Early 6am the next morning, we received the default sunrise morning call from the hotel. The only reason tourists would stay at the summit was for the sunrise. If there was no plan for sunrise, a day trip would be sufficient.

We moved our body to the Gold hall, highest point at summit and waited for 30 minutes. It was unbearable cold...

When we thought that there was no sunrise for that day, we saw some lights coming out from the clouds.

after another 15 minutes....
The most beautiful sunrise that I had ever seen. I had went through many times of disappointment at different famous sunrise spots in the world. But now I was rewarded, at the summit of Mt Emei. :)

Multi-Dimensional Samantabhadra(十方普贤)

But before we could take a picture with golden statue, it was covered by the mist again.

We went back to hotel and checked out the room. On the way to the cable car station, we found that the weather was getting better. So we decided to make our 3rd trip to the top.

This time, I managed to capture the full Multi-Dimensional Samantabhadra.

Closer look to the statue
I love the blue sky.

The Gold Hall(金殿), and the Silver temple at the back(银殿). The buildings looked so grand and impressive at 3077m above sea level.

....even the cable car station looked stunning.

JieYin temple(接引殿)

another view of JieYin temple

We were in time for lunch this round. :)

Vegetarian lunch at RMB15/person
The food was nothing special, but the experience of having lunch at temple was good.

Monkey in the snow, any different from Malaysia monkey?

Going back was exactly the same as the coming way. We took the cable car down, walked 1.5km to Leidong Terrace(雷洞坪), took a tourist bus to Baoguo Temple(报国寺), bought the bus ticket to Chengdu.

Teddy Bear Hotel
View website

Rong Sheng Carrot Soup Restaurant 荣生饭店萝卜汤
峨眉山市马路桥(View Google Map)

Food Street 好吃街
峨眉山市白龙南路峨眉大厦旁(View Google Map)
Recommended stalls and dishes: 陈三黄焖鸡/酥炸排骨, 二毛冰粉, 郑老九/鸡丝豆腐脑、蒸饺、鸡丝凉面、牛滚泥、三合泥