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Chengdu Day 1

Sichuan food is famous world round for being crazy hot and spicy. After a quick nap in our hotel Aiyun did her food rating search thing and landed on a restaurant for us to try. Shu Da Xia Hot Pot. I've had several hot pot meals in China, but the Sichuan province is where hot pot originates from. She did the ordering and this is what arrived at our table...

The left side of the pot that looks red is full of chili peppers. They looked sort of intimidating after the water turned to a boil.

Beef, pork, fish, cow tongue, shrimp, thinly sliced potatoes, lotus, and another sort of item that had the texture of a potato. The thing that makes hot pot so awesome is the sauce you create to dip your food into after it's cooked. Usually people go with a peanut sauce and sesame oil. Throw in some garlic and other spices and your ready to go. This is what was left of my sauce after I was done doing damage to my lips.

As you transfer cooked items to your sauce you bring along the red hot pepper juice with it. It turns your flavorful mild sauce into a pit of lava gradually. It's sort of like boiling a frog slowly in water. You don't realize the criminal activity until you're near the end. I was really enjoying everything. The combinations of flavors. The spicy that just grabs your attention. But then I noticed my lips were going sort of numb. They started to have a conversation with me. Excuse me sir, could you not abuse us anymore? We're starting to incur some damage here that we may not recover from soon. Aiyun knew what was going to happen. She ordered me a lemon drink during the meal. The citrus was instant relief with every quick sip. That just allowed for the next assault to feel reasonable. Overall, a great food experience. Lotus slices were my favorite. They soaked up just enough juice and retained that crunch. You know those tiny candies you get when your leaving a restaurant? Yeah. Those. Necessary. We both needed several sweets to help cope with the burn.

After our meal we hopped a train to northwest Chengdu, Dujiangyan city. Aiyun was excited to see the blue tears water (Lanyanlei). There are a series of very old bridges that cross a river with a ton of blue lighting.

It's supposed to be pretty cool when lit up at night. It's another popular place for young girls to get dressed up in traditional dresses and have their photograph taken. Lots of shops like this one.

Inside the bridges the decorations were very cool. This is inside the larger south bridge.

We meandered a bit waiting for it to get dark. The river was littered on both sides by small shops and snack places. eventually the lights came to life and we got these views.

Long taxi ride back to our hotel. Up early tomorrow to see some monochrome bears. It's panda day.

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