On our first full day in Chengdu, we decided to visit the Tibetan Quarter and Wuhou Shrine, both of which are located in the same area.
The Tibetan shops were interesting to look at and are all run by Tibetan families. They sell a beautiful variety of goods, including plates, religious statues, jewellery boxes and a copious amount of beads and jewellery. We bought some lovely souvenirs from here and spent a good couple of hours exploring the different shops.
Being tired out from shopping, we found a Tibetan restaurant between the Tibetan shops and the Wuhou Shrine which I was amazed by! The menu had an array of different dishes (all for a reasonable price) and was comprised mainly of yak meat cooked in various ways along with fresh vegetables cooked in different spices. Being vegetarian, the thing that stood out for us both was the buttered Tibetan bread – it was amazing!
The Wuhou Shrine is in very close proximity to the Tibetan shops. The shrine was originally built in 223AD and is now a major attraction and must-see museum throughout China. We paid 60RMB to enter and look around. I think it was absolutely worth the money. It houses relics from across the different dynasties of China – all magnificent in their own right (and some a little scary). They impressed me to see in real life mainly for their sheer magnitude and detail, especially considering the time in which they were built and the lack of modern day tools.
Inside the temple was well kept and clean, with lanterns hanging everywhere in celebration of Chinese New Year. I fell in love with the different coloured lanterns near the entrance, they were spectacular!
The gardens were also impressive, well kept and an array of colours even in the winter. They boasted plants from across China and even some Japanese Bonsai trees that were manipulated into shapes to resemble temples. There was a beautiful pond as well – a haven of peace and serenity!
The temple backs onto a relatively large market selling different Chinese and Tibetan goods; from traditional Chinese instruments (I bought an Ocarina), to jewellery, to carved wooden statues. We spent a good amount of time browsing the different stands, some of which you may have seen throughout China and some of which were local and handmade goods. There is also a selection of Chengdu style food – one street in particular stands out for being entirely dedicated to local snacks and street food.
I would recommend dedicating a whole day to this area of Chengdu, especially if you like to wander around as much as we did. We didn’t expect to spend so long within the temple vicinity but I’m glad that we did.