Travel {Exploring Nooks and Crannies}

“I drift like a cloud,
Across these venerable eastern lands,
A journey of unfathomable distances,
An endless scroll of experiences...
Lady Zhejiang here we must part,
For the next province awaits my embrace.
Sad wanderer, once you conquer the East,
Where do you go?” 
― Tom Carter, 
China: Portrait of a People


Back in May, JP and I went to Foreigner Street, an amusement park of sorts in Chongqing that takes kitsch to a whole new level. The place is filled with replicas of Western landmarks, a Western-style chapel, pubs, fairy-tale streets, street performers, hawkers, costume shops that take photos of you in traditional Chinese clothing, and amusement rides. In short, it is crawling with people. People have a love-hate relationship with the park, from what I have read, but for those who see the interestingness in places and things, this place is worth a visit. 

Apart from the rides and the touristy souvenir shops, there's a section of old Chinese courtyards, which were fairly quiet and had very little foot traffic, since most Chinese are probably familiar with these courtyards anyway and avoided these places for the livelier sections of the park. I was mesmerized at how real the place looked. I used to watch Chinese movies dubbed in English or Tagalog when I was younger, and in those movies, you can see old Chinese houses with courtyards that had fountains and wells and lanterns hanging outside. And I got to see the real thing here! It was surreal, actually, especially since it was very quiet and I was able to get lost in the moment, just me and my thoughts and the occasional click of the shutter (the husband was sitting in a corner, tired from all the 'splorin', haha!) When you think about it, all the history that probably occurred in this place, weddings, funerals, swordfights(!!!)---it boggles my mind. CNN has a great piece on Chongqing's Foreigner Street here. 

A few snaps of what we saw there. 




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