I’ve been to Suining twice now. Its a small town about 30 minutes by train from Nanchong. Once my friend was kind enough to invite to go along with her family and we saw the old town as well as having one of best hot pots I’ve had in China. Then last Saturday I went back because there was festival happening at one of the temples and one of my co-workers was going with a group of her friends.
One of the first things I noticed was how quiet it was, so few people on the streets or cars on the road. It was also considerable less dirty then Nanchong. I’m guessing there are even fewer (if any) white girls there.
Both trips were good. I haven’t been travelling in July to save for August but these day trips lets me get some much needed movement. I also saw a lot of what I love about China. The imposing city gates with their bright colors, the graceful gardens, and the heavy smell of incense burning outside the temple.
My friend’s family was so kind to take me out to eat for fungus hot pot (it was all sorts of mushroom like foods and delicious) and even with a language barrier I felt their kindness. I loved watching them fight (literally pushing each other) for the privilege of paying the bill.
With my co-workers friends there was again the language barrier, but they still insisted on buying me my noodles for lunch. The boys in the group realized I don’t love the attention I get when I go places and they chased people off from asking me for pictures.
The temple had a very high pagoda and we climbed the many flights of stairs to the tops. There were prayer ribbons flapping in the wind and a clear view of the mountains rolling out over the horizon. Dragonflies and hawks darted through the air and the breeze was fresh and clear. There are certain places that are just good for the soul and this place was one of them. Everyone was so pooped out from walking up the mountain and climbing up the pagoda that they wanted to chill out and I got to happily soak up the views.
It was a lovely daytrip. Being on the move feels good. Suining also has a second temple and wetlands park to visit so I won’t be shocked if I go back to spend a third Saturday there. For a little town that’s not even in Lonely Planet its beautiful. I rather like finding the tiny places that most travelers will never go see.