Mark Hiew (more chengdu)|
To Get There:
Note: Some visitors may wish to visit in July, when Luodai holds the traditional Hakka Dragon water-splashing festival.
Directions: Take the bus from Xinnanmen Station for 5.5 RMB. Travel should take between 40-50 minutes. The ticket o
Spring is finally in bloom, and as you make plans to flee Chengdu for some old-fashioned natural beauty and quiet, it may be helpful to consider the following:
First, you’re in China, and unless you delve further off the beaten path, crowds of people will undoubtedly be heading to your exact location, making for a far less peaceful day than you might have hoped for. So, why not embrace the fact that there will be a lot of people out, and use the opportunity to partake in the oft-fascinating, raw spectacle that is China’s developing domestic tourist industry?
Luodai is a popular day-trip destination located less than an hour away (by bus) out in the eastern suburbs of the city. Its most noteworthy feature is its ethnic make-up, which is over 80 percent Hakka (“Ke Jia” in Mandarin). The Hakka are ethnically indistinguishable from Han Chinese, but possess their own unique culture and language. They migrated to Sichuan from the country’s central plains during the Qing Dynasty around the 17th century. Beyond the food stalls, don’t expect to see anything noticeably different from any other town. Luodai is nothing like the circus-like “minority villages” found in places like Yunnan.
Take a stroll around the old town, which at this point has been restored into a touristy series of pleasant, if run-of-the-mill guildhalls. Try the salt-fried chicken or deep-fried goose at one of the numerous Hakka restaurants (“Xin Ming” is one of the more popular), or the spicy liang fen at one of the food stalls selling specialty snacks. A tourist center and bilingual street signs make getting around a breeze. Hakka Park, with its lake-surrounded pagoda, makes for a particularly scenic place to relax over a cup of tea, while those looking for respite from the crowds may wish to climb the steps just outside town for silence and solitude.
In my opinion Luodai is more a "Touristic" than an "Old" town. Well, for Chinese touristic goes hand in hand with shopping and "热闹". Not really an old town, lot's of different shops, good to buy small souvenirs and stroll for an afternoon. Better avoid the crowds during the weekend or holidays.