Last weekend I went to Chengdu (major city in Southwestern China’s Sichuan Province) to see the Cactus Music Festival, an annual independent rock music event in Mainland China. For two days, I enjoyed live music, great food, and some historic-site-seeing in this ancient city. It was exhausted but fun. Here I want to recommend a few things for you:
If you ever encounter Chinese music, pay attention to the rock bands and artists from Mainland China. I’ve been a fan since middle school, and still keep a collection of a few hundred albums. Although I didn’t follow them that closely after I came to the U.S. for college and graduate school, I still have them on all my devices so their music is still part of my life. Some of my favorite bands include Gao Qi and Overload (Chaozai), the Dada, and Miserable Faith (Tongyang).
Apart from music, I also discovered a historic town center in Eastern Chengdu, called Luodai Old Town, which some people consider as “hidden gem” of the city. Luodai used to be the administrative center of Longquanyi District, and was historically the first post stop outside of Chengdu. Nowadays Luodai is one of the best weekend destination for the people of Chengdu, and you can enjoy many different kinds of Sichuan food and some national-level historic sites in Luodai Old Town center.
Food is always a good idea. I know that many of you have heard of Sichuan food, known for its spicy and delicious taste. However, since it’s summer time, I tried some new sweet-flavored Sichuan snacks this time. Yellow sugar rice cake (huangtang ciba) and ice jelly (bingfen) are my favorite. If you can’t make up your mind for so many choices in a restaurant or food joint, you can always rely on the locals’ suggestions. I hope you will consider a trip to Chengdu in the near future and get to know the great city, its music scene, and great cuisine!
Mingqian Liu is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Architecture