Chongqing

Chris and I arrived into a rainy and foggy Chongqing at 7.40am Wednesday morning. At the hostel, we got chatting to Rik who was from Holland and that evening we went out for dinner with him. Chongqing is known to have the spiciest hotpot, spicier than Sichuan hotpot, however we were complete wusses and went for the mild option! Rik then started to tell us about his love life, about how he had a Dutch girlfriend but it ended when he came to China, then he met a Chinese girl, then he went back home, then he came back to China again and he realised over dinner that night he had come back for her and had to be with her etc. Pretty heavy stuff from someone we’d only known for a couple of hours! The rest of the conversation got really deep after that and so by the end of the meal we were all just staring into our own thoughts. Anyway after the meal, he went back to the hostel but Chris and I went to Helen’s bar. It was Ladies Night, so I was getting the drinks and sharing them with Chris. We only shared 5 drinks but we were hammered, we made friends with a Chinese girl called Sherry who invited us to sit with her and drank some more beer. It was definitely my drunkest night in China so far πŸ˜› I know it’s bad but I got a taxi back on my own without telling anyone but I made it back okay πŸ˜› Chris and Sherry then came back to the hostel (Chris lost his card and got punched in the face). Poor Rik had to be up early the next morning as he was meeting His Chinese Girl but his sleep was disrupted as the 4 of them (his Thai friend got dragged into this as well) went on a hunt for me (even though I’d texted 2 of them saying I was at the hostel), looking at maps for possible directions I could’ve gone etc. but luckily they spotted me on the sofa so I eventually made it to my own bed with everything safe and sound πŸ˜‰

Obviously the next day we didn’t get up to much, but we went out for dinner with Rik and PJ which was nice. That evening we just played jenga and uno, and (Chris) watched the football – a massive contrast to the night before! On Friday we finally got up early and headed out to Foreigners Street. We had to get there by ferry, and we’d assumed Foreigners Street would just be like Western shops. But no, it was the most random place ever! It was a theme park set in ‘different countries around the world’ like India, America, Egypt, and even had a revolving Jesus statue too. But it was a sort of tacky effort. They had shop upon shop of wedding dresses and fake-chapels, oh and a Great Wall of China too which we also climbed. I was probably the worst company that day as I don’t actually like theme parks- however Chris did get me on the dodgems, carousel, and I rode an actual horse ^_^. I felt like a mum at some points though as I was holding his things as he ran off to go on a ride and I was yelling after him to be careful. After a few hours there, we caught the ferry back and got chatting to a Tibetan firefighter who told us that they get 2 months off a year, and how his girlfriend is in America for 3 years but when she’s back they’ll get married. Why does everyone always tell us their life stories!

Later that afternoon we went to an ancient town with an American guy called Cody from the hostel. I loved it there, it was just filled with tiny market stalls selling cute things. We also bumped into our Tibetan firefighter friend again which was weird. We visited the temple there which was so quiet compared to the noise on street level. Chris left that evening so it was just me after that- so on Saturday I took a visit to Graffiti Street, which is apparantly the longest street with graffiti in the world. Literally every building was covered in artwork from head to toe, and the shops were mostly art-related too. It kind of reminded me of Camden, but Chinese style πŸ™‚ There were tons of old people and it made me wonder what they thought of it all as it wasn’t really ‘traditional’ style, but I like to think they were all hipsters in their youths πŸ™‚ After this I went back to the ancient town as we didn’t get to spend much time there before. This time I ventured up the other alleyway that we didn’t go down. It was all so boho/hippy, and verging on the edge of hipster because it was so ‘undiscovered’ πŸ˜› The first alley we’d gone down was filled with stalls, restaurants, and little shops selling similar things, but the one I went down had natural cafes, unique jewellery and just had a generally different vibe to it. It was also less busy, maybe because it didn’t have as much as the generic stuff there as the other. Oh god I sound soo hipster reading back on this! I bought a cute Chinese bag, but even though I don’t really have any room for it I just had to have it ❀ Then it started to pour with heavy rain so I joined the masses and fled back to the bus back to the hostel.Β 

I was supposed to stay in Chongqing until Monday, however as we speak I’m sat at the train station. Some of the others are in Chengdu and so I’ve changed my ticket to go back to Chengdu today πŸ™‚ This meant this morning was very stressful for me, as I had to get to the station early enough to collect my new ticket, and refund my old one- it sounds simple but every queue is massive and people also like to push in -_-. However it’s all sorted now and I still have over an hour until my train leaves πŸ™‚ I’m excited/sad to see everyone one last time!
Chongqing has been great, but I think the weather affected our plans, as we wanted to do a Yangste River boat cruise but it was too rainy/foggy for this. The city centre area is awesome though and the hostel we stayed at was excellent, much better than Xian πŸ™‚

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