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Old 11-29-2017, 08:26 AM
 
769 posts, read 448,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Chengdu is one of the largest cities in China with 15 million people, more than Paris and London, and you are saying you can't find non-Chinese non-spicy food there?? Do I need to show you the great varieties of Thai, Japanese, Korean, Indian as well as western restaurants to you? Not to mention the ubiquitous American fast food chains.

Chengdu has thousands of years of history and has always been an important economic and cultural centre in west China. And there are plenty of beautiful and interesting places in and around the city. It is more interesting than Shanghai or Hong Kong - the kind of places westerners always want to see for some reasons, and is definitely worth a trip on its own.

It is one of my top 3 favourite cities in China.
I'm sure if you pull out a smartphone you can find options, but I don't like to do that just for lunch. You have to admit the density of non-Sichuan option is very limited compared to a coastal city. In most of the city, even the touristy areas, over 90% of the food is Sichuan. I was walking down one of the large major avenues near the Big Little Alley (or something like that) for fifteen minutes and the only non-spicy and non-greasy food I could find is Starbucks. Subway is not that common in China and I didn't want fried chicken or burgers.

I guess I was disappointed in Chengdu because so many people oversold it as a beautiful, cultured city with the amenities of Shanghai but with none of the crowd and pollution. Most of the city in fact looks just like any other Chinese city, and the only "culture" that I see the locals engage in is Mah Jong. No one was playing Go or Chinese Chess or practicing calligraphy in the parks. Most of the teahouses that Betta mentioned are just normal looking establishments with cheap chairs and tables.
The Jinsha museum is the only cultural amenity that a foreigner can easily appreciate.
The city itself does not seem that attractive. The nicer, touristy parts seem too new and artificial, like other cities in China - the surrounding area does have nice scenery though.
I wouldn't recommend it to an oversea visitor for a first visit in China.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:01 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,109 posts, read 21,722,272 times
Reputation: 10206
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
At least in Asia it is less known than Vancouver and Toronto. Some might not even have heard of it.
This is true for China certainly and in regards to Toronto, is true in South Asia, but I believe Montreal is about as well known as the other two among most southeast Asians. And then for the rest of the world, generally Montreal is more well known than Vancouver is and especially so for countries with French as one of the primary languages.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:06 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,109 posts, read 21,722,272 times
Reputation: 10206
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
I'm sure if you pull out a smartphone you can find options, but I don't like to do that just for lunch. You have to admit the density of non-Sichuan option is very limited compared to a coastal city. In most of the city, even the touristy areas, over 90% of the food is Sichuan. I was walking down one of the large major avenues near the Big Little Alley (or something like that) for fifteen minutes and the only non-spicy and non-greasy food I could find is Starbucks. Subway is not that common in China and I didn't want fried chicken or burgers.

I guess I was disappointed in Chengdu because so many people oversold it as a beautiful, cultured city with the amenities of Shanghai but with none of the crowd and pollution. Most of the city in fact looks just like any other Chinese city, and the only "culture" that I see the locals engage in is Mah Jong. No one was playing Go or Chinese Chess or practicing calligraphy in the parks. Most of the teahouses that Betta mentioned are just normal looking establishments with cheap chairs and tables.
The Jinsha museum is the only cultural amenity that a foreigner can easily appreciate.
The city itself does not seem that attractive. The nicer, touristy parts seem too new and artificial, like other cities in China - the surrounding area does have nice scenery though.
I wouldn't recommend it to an oversea visitor for a first visit in China.
Chengdu was apparently very beautiful up to about a decade and a half ago, but they tore out most of the old neighborhoods and so it for the most part looks like most other Chinese cities but up in the mountains. There's little splotches of the old neighborhoods, but they're really really tiny and have generally been converted into tourist shopping districts. To me, it seems like an interesting city to live in for a few weeks or months, but not a city for visiting on a trip (unless just a quick jaunt while passing through to elsewhere).
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
20,571 posts, read 25,620,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
This is true for China certainly and in regards to Toronto, is true in South Asia, but I believe Montreal is about as well known as the other two among most southeast Asians. And then for the rest of the world, generally Montreal is more well known than Vancouver is and especially so for countries with French as one of the primary languages.
In China, India and indeed many countries, a lot of people (often a majority) probably haven't heard much about any cities at all in Canada or even elsewhere in the wider world.


But certainly in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, Montreal is much better known than Vancouver.


A lot of people probably still think Montreal is Canada's biggest city. In the same way people often mistakenly believe Rio de Janeiro is the biggest city in Brazil.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:20 AM
 
Location: In the heights
20,109 posts, read 21,722,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
In China, India and indeed many countries, a lot of people (often a majority) probably haven't heard much about any cities at all in Canada or even elsewhere in the wider world.


But certainly in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, Montreal is much better known than Vancouver.


A lot of people probably still think Montreal is Canada's biggest city. In the same way people often mistakenly believe Rio de Janeiro is the biggest city in Brazil.
And let's not kid ourselves with this Vancouver business, regardless of how well known it is compared to other Canadian cities--Montreal is definitely the best city in Canada.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:51 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 10,568,838 times
Reputation: 7539
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
I'm sure if you pull out a smartphone you can find options, but I don't like to do that just for lunch. You have to admit the density of non-Sichuan option is very limited compared to a coastal city. In most of the city, even the touristy areas, over 90% of the food is Sichuan. I was walking down one of the large major avenues near the Big Little Alley (or something like that) for fifteen minutes and the only non-spicy and non-greasy food I could find is Starbucks. Subway is not that common in China and I didn't want fried chicken or burgers.

I guess I was disappointed in Chengdu because so many people oversold it as a beautiful, cultured city with the amenities of Shanghai but with none of the crowd and pollution. Most of the city in fact looks just like any other Chinese city, and the only "culture" that I see the locals engage in is Mah Jong. No one was playing Go or Chinese Chess or practicing calligraphy in the parks. Most of the teahouses that Betta mentioned are just normal looking establishments with cheap chairs and tables.
The Jinsha museum is the only cultural amenity that a foreigner can easily appreciate.
The city itself does not seem that attractive. The nicer, touristy parts seem too new and artificial, like other cities in China - the surrounding area does have nice scenery though.
I wouldn't recommend it to an oversea visitor for a first visit in China.
that makes sense to me.

Chengdu food scene is definitely not as diverse as Shanghai or Hong Kong. The Chinese have a very strong preference to Chinese food and in Sichuan it is especially so. They are very proud of Sichuan food. Foreign food is available but not everywhere for sure. Even in a typical coast city you won't find foreign food as easily as you would do in New York or Toronto, except American chains. If you want an ethnic restaurants, you need to search for it beforehand online.

Chengdu has 15M people, with a car ownership (% wise) higher than Shanghai or Beijing. And it lies in a basin. So yes, pollution is expected.

Chengdu has a lot of history and culture for sure, but you know in China, at least in the past, they were not very good at preserving ancient buildings and preferred shining new towers, so it will not give you the visual impact as a very ancient city (Beijing and Xi'an are like that in certain areas) like you do in Europe.

Regrding teahouses, of course they are mostly normal establishment with cheap furniture, because they cater to local residents, and in Chengdu, local wage is low by large Chinese city standards. But they are more authentic. That's how they live their lives. Do you really prefer upscale tea houses with English speaking servers which primarily cater to western clients (and charge 5 times the price)? In Italy, most cafes are ordinary establishment with 1 euro espressos too.

As to Go/Chess, they don't play it in the parks. They usually play it in their own neighbourhoods.

did you check out this? It is my favourite place in Chengdu. A very well known poet (a 6 year old in China will know his name) from the 8th century used to live there. But you will need to know a bit of the literature history to fully appreciate that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_Fu_Thatched_Cottage
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:55 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 10,568,838 times
Reputation: 7539
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
And let's not kid ourselves with this Vancouver business, regardless of how well known it is compared to other Canadian cities--Montreal is definitely the best city in Canada.
Definitely

Vancouver is OK, but it is hardly a "beautiful" city itself. It is all about the nature surrounding it. And it is really not such an exciting place... too quiet. You would expect a 2.5M metro to have a more vibrant downtown and street life. Simply no comparison to Montreal.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:13 PM
 
6,266 posts, read 6,098,121 times
Reputation: 2227
Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
that makes sense to me.

Chengdu food scene is definitely not as diverse as Shanghai or Hong Kong. The Chinese have a very strong preference to Chinese food and in Sichuan it is especially so. They are very proud of Sichuan food. Foreign food is available but not everywhere for sure. Even in a typical coast city you won't find foreign food as easily as you would do in New York or Toronto, except American chains. If you want an ethnic restaurants, you need to search for it beforehand online.

Chengdu has 15M people, with a car ownership (% wise) higher than Shanghai or Beijing. And it lies in a basin. So yes, pollution is expected.

Chengdu has a lot of history and culture for sure, but you know in China, at least in the past, they were not very good at preserving ancient buildings and preferred shining new towers, so it will not give you the visual impact as a very ancient city (Beijing and Xi'an are like that in certain areas) like you do in Europe.

Regrding teahouses, of course they are mostly normal establishment with cheap furniture, because they cater to local residents, and in Chengdu, local wage is low by large Chinese city standards. But they are more authentic. That's how they live their lives. Do you really prefer upscale tea houses with English speaking servers which primarily cater to western clients (and charge 5 times the price)? In Italy, most cafes are ordinary establishment with 1 euro espressos too.

As to Go/Chess, they don't play it in the parks. They usually play it in their own neighbourhoods.

did you check out this? It is my favourite place in Chengdu. A very well known poet (a 6 year old in China will know his name) from the 8th century used to live there. But you will need to know a bit of the literature history to fully appreciate that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_Fu_Thatched_Cottage
I think it is true that some cultural elements cannot be easily appreciated by foreigners. For example, all Chinese kids had recited ancient poems describing Chengdu: "窗含西岭千秋雪,门泊东吴万里船”,“晓看红湿处,花重锦官城”... also read about the Three Kingdoms etc. Foreigners have no access to those things.

For a quick tour to see "famous" sites, Beijing and Xi'an are better choices. That being said, Chengdu actually has adopted a lot of western pop culture. The rappers and pop singers there are among the best in China. The Sichuan dialect rap has become a phenomenon in China.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,288 posts, read 3,934,881 times
Reputation: 2931
Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
And let's not kid ourselves with this Vancouver business, regardless of how well known it is compared to other Canadian cities--Montreal is definitely the best city in Canada.
True.
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Old 12-04-2017, 09:22 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,583 posts, read 20,456,271 times
Reputation: 9077
I haven't had the opportunity for international travel yet but based on Google Streetview Moscow is stunning. Central area has amazing architecture and outer area has many impressive high rise developments. I've heard Moscow and St Petersburg have the world's best public transit.
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