Recently, the pollution levels in Chengdu have been high. The views from our balcony are non-existent and even just the thought of breathing in the smoggy air is enough to make you feel ill. While I’ve been cooped up inside, avoiding polluting my lungs, I’ve been reminiscing about “fresher” times. One time that clearly sticks out is an awesome motorcycle day trip we had in late November to nearby Longquan.
For a good few weeks, every Sunday was nearly guaranteed to have beautiful weather, and with Winter fast approaching it would have been rude not to make the most of them!
If you’re lucky enough to own/rent a motorcycle (or, like me, know someone that does and is more than willing to sit on the back!) then this makes for a brilliant day out. Even if you don’t, Longquan is actually the last stop on Chengdu’s line 2 metro line, so there’s no excuse not to make a trip there. All the same, on arriving in Longquan, it’s quite hard to believe you’re as close to the city as you are.
Surprisingly, even just sitting on the back of a bike for most of the day is pretty tiring. So, by the time we stopped for lunch by the lake we had all worked up an appetite. And, the best thing about travelling in a large(ish) group is that you get to order more food! In China, it’s rare that you order your own dish for just you to eat. Sharing is caring after all! That’s the way food should be eaten. Unless it’s chocolate… Or an Indian takeaway.
Of course, being out of the city does have a couple of drawbacks… The toilet situation is one of them. Unless you’re someone that insists on going to the toilet with your friend, then this is pretty much made for you (but, speaking from experience, if you find yourself next to a stranger then stage fright is very likely to take over!):
After lunch, we all set off for a ride around the lake. The weather was insane which made the views even more beautiful. We saw other bikers, old ladies selling oranges (there were a lot of oranges), old people carrying more than I probably could up hills to… who knows where! All of this and we were still just a short ride back from the city centre.
In China, you'll rarely find just one person selling something. There will usually be ten others selling exactly the same thing nearby. The same when selling oranges. Why have one person selling oranges when lots of people can all sell oranges in the same spot? 在中国很少看到一个人卖东西。平常有几个人都在一样的大方卖同样的东西。卖橘子是一样的！
Unfortunately, the day had to come to an end. But not before watching a pretty beautiful sunset on the road home.
If you’re ever bored of being “stuck” in the city, especially in China, there’s bound to be plenty of exciting places to explore nearby. I’m currently lucky enough to be living in Sichuan where there are countless nearby “getaways”. What’s your favourite place to escape from the city to?