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  • People's Park in Chengdu, Sichuan Province
         Ear-Pickers and People’s Park      You can hear him coming. A metal twanging. It’s the ear-picker and he makes music as he walks around soliciting the unusual business of cleaning out people’s ears.      Not sure how well this ...
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  • Playing Frogger in Real Life in Chengdu
         The arcade game introduced in 1981 involved frogs crossing a busy street, trying to avoid getting run over by cars. An episode of Seinfeld featured George Castanza playing a human version. Of course, that was TV.      In downtown ...
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  • Hey Hollywood! How's This for a Movie Location
         In the town of Ya’an, a bridge was built in the Qing Dynasty around the 18th century that today has Hollywood written all over it.      As bridges go, its beauty is unrivaled.      The Tower Bridge in London? Not ...
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  • Duck Soup and Sichuan Cuisine
         I admit, I enjoy eating pig’s feet.      The pork embraced by a thick blanket of fat and barely clinging to an inner bone is some of the most tender meat your taste buds will ever encounter.        Prepared with ...
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  • The Noodle Man of Shangli Ancient Town
         The sun was just about to wake up as we carefully negotiated the misty, dark air hanging over the ancient town of Shangli in the Sichuan Province of China.      Two women used crude brooms handmade from twigs to ...
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  • Snake-Oil Salesman of Shangli
         “Snake oil salesman” has a negative connotation to most of us. In America, he’s known as a shill, a salesman trying to pull the wool over our eyes with a product that does little to cure what ails ...
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  • A Drink with Jam and Bread
         Tea was said to be discovered in 2737 BC when tea leaves blew into a cup of boiled drinking water of China Emperor Shen Nung. The emperor tasted the resulting concoction, enjoyed it and -- voila -- tea!      ...
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  • Sichuan's No. 1 Tourist Attraction: The Panda Bear
         They look soft, fuzzy and cuddly, and ready for fun, despite their black-and-white tuxedos and prepared-for-a-grand-ballroom-entrance look. Underneath the drab formalwear, one suspects colorful personalities.      Ah, but looks can be deceiving.      Soft, fuzzy and cuddly? Not exactly. Petting ...
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  • China Travel: Mount Emei
         Mount Emei is a mountain of monasteries, monkeys and majestic beauty -- even on an overcast day. The greenery is lush. The stream crystal-like. The Qingyin Pavilion serene, peaceful.      Inhabited more than 5,000 years ago, Mount Emei is ...
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  • Wild Monkeys of Mt. Emei
          Tourists walking down the steps away from Wannian Temple on Mount Emei expect to get mugged -- or at least they anticipate an attempted mugging -- and if it doesn’t happen there is disappointment.      You see, this band ...
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  • The Human Taxi of Mount Emei
         The path down from the Wannian Temple on Mount Emei is not really a path at all. It’s a long series of stairs and they can be tough on arthritic knees.      A mile and a half worth of ...
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  • Leshan Giant Buddha
         From the tip of its toes to the top of its head, the Leshan Giant Buddha makes an enormous impression carved into the side of a cliff, overlooking three rivers.      It’s the Chinese version of Mount Rushmore, but it’s much ...
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  • China Travel: The Sanxingdui Museum
         In 1986, workers digging for a brick company near Guanghan City in Sichuan Province unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts that became “the most important archaeological discovery of China in the 20th Century.”      Many Westerners would say the ...
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  • Not your Ordinary Irrigation Ditch
         Visiting an irrigation system doesn’t sound all that exciting, so why were hundreds of people lining up to purchase tickets as if it were the entrance to Disneyland?      Because the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project is ancient history. We’re talking ...
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  • China Travel: Wenshu Temple in Chengdu
         The voices, reading in unison, caught our attention immediately.      The words spilled out of more than 100 mouths in a recurrent rhythmical series that we couldn’t understand. Even our Chinese guide, Alex, said it was difficult to decipher. ...
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