The Beginning of Autumn in Pingle Ancient Town

Chengdu, September 16 2010

There are lots of ancient towns in China. One of them is Pingle Ancient Town. I booked a one day tour through Chinayak. The price was 2.025 RMB per person, including transportation, driver, and tour guide; excluding driver's and tour guide's meal and tip.

Angel, our tour guide said that if leave early, we won't be caught by traffic jam. Eventually it took us about an hour and a half to get to this ancient town. We arrived at half past nine. The weather was humid and hot. The sky was dull. I just had to be grateful that it wasn't raining.

The main entrance of Pingle didn't look like a real town. But when I ventured the inside, across the river, was really a town. I mean, a place where the locals live and do their daily routines. Not a set up town. Only the front part has been transformed into a touristic site.

Modern lifestyle was available in this ancient town. I kind of love the architecture. It's clearly the opposite of ancient, but still has a traditional touch in it. It's also like a blend of Eastern and Western style.

This one, I say, is on the opposite. It's clearly a traditional style, but not at all ancient.

 There were very few guests dining here. I guess because this is not the traditional Chinese way of dining. Too clean, you know.

While my other 7 friends ventured the town with Angle to somewhere, I treated myself in a small but cozy and clean coffee shop. On the left is strawberry pudding. On the right... oh, I missed coffee so much. It seemed that had been a long long time ago since the last time I drank coffee. First because, needless to mention, unlike Vietnam, China is not a coffee freak. Second, the condition of general public toilets in China, honestly, killed my passion for coffee by consequence.

The pudding and the coffee only cost me 13 RMB. Compared to Jakarta standards, it's very cheap. But the thing I was happier about was that this coffee shop had a surprisingly super clean toilet. Wow! After being seated on a hard-seat class for 19 hours in the Chinese train, this toilet was excellent comfort. I did everything that could be done in a toilet -- I should call this a "rest room" -- except brushing my teeth. I went back to the parking lot, but our driver wasn't there. So I couldn't get my toothbrush out.

Would you believe me if I tell you that the photo on the left is a painting?
It is!
And the photo on the right, half of it is real and half of it is the painting.
I didn't stitch it!

This is the street nearby Pingle Ancient Town.

This is the street inside Pingle Ancient Town. It's a shopping area. When I met my friends again here, their hands were full with big shopping bags. Wow.

A curtain made of used bottles caught my attention.
The riverside wasn't something splendid, but interesting anyway. Some couples made their wedding shots here. I saw a photographer who held a very simple camera. Much simple than mine. Hmmm... I think I can find a job as photographer in China... hahaha.

This is another stolen shot of mine. They were posing across the river. They surely wouldn't have noticed. Thanks to 200mm.

Butterflies flew here and there to my excitement. For the first time I made a shot of a damselfly (top right). It caught my attention, because it looked like a dragon fly, but had wings like a butterfly. Angel said that it's a butterfly. But when I visited to Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, I learned that it's a "damselfly". 

On bottom right is a red dragonfly. In my country I've seen it before, but very very rare. And, I've never taken a picture of it. When I zoomed in the photo, I felt amazed by the figures of its body. So beautiful.

A local visitor came with his dog pet. So cute and adorable. I'm very satisfied I could make this shot.

Modern police car, eh? I wonder what did the ancient police car look like.

This was our lunch. An authentic Chinese meal. Luckily my friends didn't choose a more authentic restaurant where they eat by the side of the street and throw or spit, the food remains, like bones, etc. on the ground. I saw several places like that in this town. I saw one place where there were so many food remains under the table and chair that there was hardly space left to place a feet on the ground. Now I know why Chinese like to eat while putting both legs on the chair.

Do you see that white thin plastic sheet on the table? In such restaurants, people place the food remains on the table next to their plate. When the guests are done, the waiter will just clear up the dirty dishes, fold up the plastic sheet, throw it away.

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