I stayed at Traffic Hotel beside Xinnamen Bus station so it is very convenient for me to just take a bus to any of the attractions out of Chengdu. On the very first day I was in Chengdu, I went to Huanglongxi Ancient Town. Luodai was not in my tour itinenary but on the last three days in Chengdu, I suddenly decided to go there to have a look. The bus ticket was just RMB 7 and it only took less than an hour to reach my destination from Xinnamen.
The entrance to the attraction is also free. The bus from Xinnamen arrived at Luodai bus terminal and you just need to walk for about 5 minutes and you are inside the ancient town itself. I arrived at Luodai at about 8.30 am and left Luodai at about 4 pm. I never realized that I would spend almost a whole day at the ancient town.
Both Huanglongxi and Luodai each has its own uniqueness but Luodai gave me an impression of greater space and easy walking. The main shopping area is concentrated in just one long street while Huanglongxi is a bit more complicated with more streets of shops hidden at the tail end of the river.
There is a new site beside Luodai old town where you are served with free green tea and you can sit and relax in an atmosphere of serenity and music. The promoter was nice and topped up our tea and assured us that we need not pay a single cent as they are having a promotion to attract visitors to the new site. It was nice able to relax and sit at one corner away from the crowd and chit chat while listening to the soothing music. This contrasted with the noisy atmosphere at Huanglongxi.
We visited one of the shoes shop and found the price was quite reasonable. My wife bought a pair of shoes for RMB 29. She saw a similar design in Singapore but cost twice the price. The quality appeared to be equally good.
We have some noodles for our lunch at the town and ate at one of the restaurants that appeared to be cleaner than the rest. The price was not expensive but the dishes were overly saltish. I still prefer the less saltish noodles I ate in Chengdu town. The Sichuan health ministry should educate the hawkers and her citizens on using less salt in their diets and drive the message of how excessive salt had a detrimental effect on one's health.
The local peaches sold here at the ancient town were quite cheap. We bought one kg of them for just RMB8. One thing good about Chengdu is that you easily get to buy their local fruits at most anywhere. We are happy to be able to buy fresh fruits like pineapples, bananas, `pipa', peaches at most places during our stay in Chengdu. They are not expensive and look fresh.
Remember to visit the round roof yellow house of the Hakka people. It is not along the main street but a distant walk away. Although it is a `faked' one (constructed), it gives you a concept of how the structure and architecture of the Hakka house is all about.
For a relaxed walk, Luodai ancient town is not a bad option.
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