I’m in sunny Chengdu on a marketing internship with InternChina, and the city already feels like a home away from home! Having backpacked around China last summer I fell in love with the country, but, of all the provinces I visited, my favourite was Sichuan. We began in Chengdu, declared a “foodie heaven” by UNESCO in 2011, and I indulged in local delicacies such as dàndàn miàn (noodles with spicy Sichuan pepper) and the famous local hotpot. Chengdu’s tea houses were also a personal favourite, and I even had a go at playing mahjong with some locals (to no avail!). I also discovered a more varied local culture when wondering the streets of Chengdu’s Tibetan quarter and admiring the many golden Buddhist sculptures for sale there.
I then bade farewell to the capital and made the journey to Jiuzhaigou further north. This place reminded me of a real-life fairyland with its’ sparkling turquoise lakes nestled between a huge valley. I could spend hours wondering around here and would recommend it to anyone in the Sichuan area!
Finally we ventured further north to explore more of “Sichuanese Tibet” where I wandered the vast grasslands that stretch toward the Tibetan plateau. You can even live amongst the locals in tents and go horse-riding along the plains if you want the full Tibetan experience.
Having graduated with a BA in History and Mandarin from the University of Exeter, I really wanted to come over and live in China. For me, Chengdu was an easy choice because of the culture I had experienced there, and even after a week here I’m finding it a very live-able city with a foreigner-friendly and laid-back vibe. On my first night the InternChina guys took me for Korean Barbecue which was lovely and everyone here at the office has been incredibly friendly and helpful.
If you’re looking to fully experience Chinese culture and explore one of its’ amazing cities please click here