I got to Chengdu and walked around in the park. I got sick in the car because one of the men was smoking like a chain smoker and there was a young girl who was sick. I read a book and processed some photos on the train. I ended up catching her cold and wanted to sleep in the hostel in Chengdu for the rest of the day, but instead I got a coffee and wanted to go for a walk and process photos. I walked around a tiny market across the street and next to the Wuhousi temple. Since I found the history of Wuhou si unappealing for the ticket price, I decided to walk down the market street next to it. Jinli alley or something like that which had a lot of interesting boutique shops, but nothing unlike the same exact street in Beijing or Shanghai that the tourists walk down. I walked a street parallel to the one where the hostel was and it was filled with Tibetan shops and restaurants. I ate at a pure tibeetan restaurant and had some beef soup and a small bread that was like a thick pancake mantou, but overall very tasty and somewhat fluffy and dense. After that I did eventually go back to the hostel and did some processing, and fell asleep at normal time. I went to Kangding the next day on the bus. I arrived and was too tired to do much of anything, but I managed to check into the hostel and go walk around town to a Tibetan restaurant, which was on the 6th floor of an apartment building, but inside was a lavish Tibetan decorations. I didn’t sleep all night due to bed bugs in the room. The food was a buckwheat beef soup, and some beef, potatoe, and rice. I was still sick and tired. The next day I woke up late feeling still a little sick and went to the two temples in town, Wufasi, which were both incredible works of art. I walked the wrong road to get there, which was actually a highway, and the huge loaded semi’s filled with construction materials were annoying and troubling. The city as well was going through tons of construction. I was quite impressed. I went back to the hostel and slept for a few hours due to lack of sleep the night before. I woke up and went to the hot springs. I soaked for an hour and had a very deep meditation. I was quite impressed.
I had dinner at a Mao Cai restaurant and then ended up going back for another hour long soak which helped cleanse my skin immensely. I got on the bus the next day to go to Dege. The ride was incredible, and one of the best rides I have ever taken. The landscape was stunning green rolling hills dotted with the kham style Tibetan buildings. It was like Tibetan mansions and grasslands and hilly mountains, which then grew to being terrifying huge mountains and a drop off of hundreds of meters down the side of the mountain in a bus. I enjoyed the ride so much watching the temples and houses go by, the herds of yaks getting in the way and the azure lakes in the distance, which were breathtaking in such nice weather. I only wished I had my camera, but some parts of it were so amazing I might never forget. I had never seen Kham before, so the difference between Amdo was really obvious. I had no idea they were so drastically different. I got to Dege and the whole place was a huge construction site, and there were a few traditional houses, but for the most part the majority of the small valley had been converted to apartment buildings and hotels. I was stayed in a really terrible hostel with no security and didn’t feel safe there. I left in the morning to go to Baiyu. I got there and it took over an hour to find a hotel for less than 50 kuai after the temple told me there was no guesthouse there. I spent the entire afternoon at the temple and a few of the monks befriended me. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to buddy up to the monks here because of the language barrier, but we did quite well. One of the monks helped me open all the doors to the temple, and told me about the latest reincarnation that lived on the temple on the top of the mountain. The schedule was strict for weekend visitations only and it was Wednesday. It was incredible to see all of the deities, especially Padmasambhava, whom I hadn’t been seen by in deity form since the US. The reconstructions were so beautiful. I ate a traditional Tibetan pot pie and some milk tea for dinner. I’m heading to yaqing si tomorrow hopefully and then onward to ganzi, Dzogchen monestary, and then the litang horse racing festival.