In England, I would go to the park to relax, to walk a dog or have a cheeky picnic. Not in Chengdu. Despite having an abundance of parks hidden within the sky-rises,
Myself and Harry from Toast City Productions recently spent the day wandering around there, taking in all the weird and wonderful going ons!
Check out the video Harry made, here:
When I first came to Chengdu I was so confused how a park could be so loud! There were people with microphones singing almost anywhere you looked! Now, there seems to be a relatively new addition to the park – sound monitors. When the noise exceeds 80db it flashes… Actually I’m not sure they’re much of a deterrent, but they make people more aware at the very least.
As soon as we entered the park there was music blasting and people dancing. It seems most people are of the older variety, but I love it. It’s so nice to have a community that older people can be a part of and keep them active.
Whether it’s karaoke or a more recognised performance, there are people singing everywhere. Never have I met a nation that enjoys karaoke as much as the Chinese. People putting on a more “professional” performance have crowds gathered round, and even have a live band! People in the crowd that like the performance are able to take a flower and give it to the performer. I can’t imagine anything like this at home.
A trip to the park in Chengdu wouldn’t be complete without sitting in a teahouse and sipping on a nice cuppa. But forget your PG Tips and Earl Grey. Chengdu teahouses have almost every variety of tea, except your classic English milky tea. And while you’re sitting in a teahouse, why not multi-tasking. Not by reading and drinking, but…
Ear Cleaning and Massage
In almost every park in Chengdu, you can hear a distinctive ting ting sound. This is the sound of the men with their ear cleaning tools. The idea definitely didn’t appeal to me at first, and I’m still not used to the sensation of a feather deep in your ear hole, but actually it’s kind of nice! And they do a deep clean.
As for the massages, think slapping, cracking and wiggling. It’s an experience, and not as relaxing as your classic “lay on the bed and oil up” massage, but they manage to crack bones I didn’t even know I had.
If everything else hasn’t worn you out yet, then why not sit in a pedalo and ride around the lake. If the weather’s nice then it’s the perfect way to kill an hour. If it’s raining or smoggy… then not so much.
Have you been to People’s Park in Chengdu? What did you think? How about other parks in China? Let me know in the comments below.