Date registered: April 2, 2012
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I'm back from my journey, so I wanted to give an update for anyone heading west in the near future. We ended up going Leshan/Emei Shan> Kangding > Tagong > Danba > Chengdu. I know this isn't even the route that usually gets closed, but we could have easily made it to Litang or Ganzi. We were offered and even began to organize trips to both while we were in Kangding/Tagong. At the last minute we decided to not make the drives because, while no one we met had had any government related trouble getting to any of these places, the road situation was out of control. I suppose this isn't really "news" when it comes to the wild west, but one 14 hour and two 2-3 hour turned 7-8 hour bus rides was enough for us. Lots of landslides, road blockages, and broken down vehicles.
Also, not sure if this is news either, but they are tearing up the place, with mining and construction going on literally EVERYWHERE. Danba and Tagong particularly were packed with construction and really dirty and dusty as a result. Not exactly the towns we read about in the Lonely Planet, so not sure if this is a recent thing. Just throwin' it out there.
That said, we had a great vacation, and had no trouble finding great scenery, awesome hikes, and nice people!
tl;dr The roads seem to be open these days so go west!!
So, I know this gets asked every couple of weeks or so, but does anyone have any current information on the closings situation in western Sichuan? I'm reading everything I can find on the matter and it seems that it's really unpredictable and hit/miss, but any recent experiences are greatly appreciated.
My first choice is to spend about 10 days going from Chengdu to Shangri La via Kangding, Litang, and Doacheng (Yading National Park). Advice on this route also appreciated. I have poked around on this site and the only advice I got was to call up some hostels, which I did, but they also seemed unsure.
Finally, I'd like to have a plan B in case I get to Kangding and can't go to Litang, and that is to explore north/northwestern Sichuan. I know I'd do Jiuzhaiguo/Huanglong while I'm up there, but what else is really recommended up up north? Danba? Trying to get to Dege? I'm having trouble making a route heading north instead of south that would be as good. My group is pretty outdoorsy and looking for beautiful landscapes, hiking opportunities, etc. I know they exist all over the province, but I don't know which towns and villages to stop at!
Thanks for any help!
Not exactly surprised that the "eat free" scheme isn't actually free at all! Why not just put that you have to spend 60 kuai on the website so people know what they're signing up for? For some people that might not be a terrible deal, but hiding the information screams scam. I would be pissed if I went out of my way to one of these places just to find out I have to spend more on drinks than the meal is worth. I do not understand this marketing strategy. Even if you fooled someone into going by them not having all the information, they probably would be annoyed and wouldn't come back. Dumb.
i've stopped going to leanna's because i have been disappointed with their service lately. when i go to the restaurant to eat the food takes a really long time to come out, and i don't particularly enjoy the blaring christian music and children running around. when i try to order delivery they are short with me on the phone, never remember where i live, sometimes refuse to deliver to me (has happened on several occasions), and don't show up for about 2 hours usually anyway (and my food is completely cold).
just not worth it for me personally. i've been able to find the stuff i was buying there elsewhere.
Sorry, cannot give Pete's any stars. The food is not good enough to justify paying the ridiculous prices. Before they raised their prices I would go in every now and then for some of the more affordable items. Dealing with the complete lack of flavor or authenticity was a bit easier pre-price increase. Since it's become exorbitantly expensive to eat that shite I have not been back and I can't say I miss it.