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JiuZhaiGou to ChengDu (20th Oct)
 
  5:30am, I pop out of the door of the guesthouse. It's dark but it only takes 20 seconds for me to be spotted by a mini van. The driver, Jun [Soldier  More Detail], is the owner of a small restaurant and he is going to ChengDu to pick up some pork knuckle. I figure a van ride is faster and more adventurous. So I hop onto the front seat.
  
img_8994t.jpgStop by Jun's restaurant and see his killer dish - Ching Dun Knuckle Flower. We have some Chinese cooking concepts here.
 
"Ching" means simple, no seasoning. All "Ching" recipes emphasize on the original flavor of the food. Essence is to make the food not stuffy. See there is only a few bit of green onion there in the bowl, nothing else, not even salt is added.
 
"Dun" is cooking slowly in water bath. Emphasis is on slow and long cooking to extract part of the taste of food to the water (soup) while not making the food tough and tasteless. This knuckle has been "Dun"ed for 6 hours.
 
  The "Flower" part is just to give the dish a beautiful name. Hey, that is an important Chinese cooking concept.
  Jun is having a knuckle for breakfast. Come on, it's early morning and you eat this heavy duty stuff!!??? I circle him a few times and see the soft knuckle wobbling, the green onion drifting on the clean soup .. .. Gosh! Give me one!!!
4.5x!!!
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Better than a bus ride, I can ask the van to stop for PICs. This is a dried lake just outside of JiuZhaiGou.
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I am not prepared. I only have my tee on. 
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I am freezinggggggggggg!
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Tibetan with horses on the dried lake bed.
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A Tibetan village.
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1 hour from JiuZhaiGou. this is the ancient city of SongPan. Probably over 700 years old. These horses are for hire. They can take you onto week-long trips into the mountains and thru prairies.
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Jun also has a guesthouse here in SongPan. He says if I come here for horseback riding, he will offer me free meal and accommodation if I do interpreting work for him. Very friendly of Jun.
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I tell him, if the wireless internet of China gets to work smoothly next year, I will definitely be back for some horseback riding.
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A grocery store in SongPan.
img_9020t.jpgOk, meet the famous dish Chilli Chicken Bits. Where the hack are the chicken bits!!?? It looks like a dish of Chilli Chilli Bits to me.

Jun, the devil, enjoys it very much.

There are better ways to die so I am not gonna rate this dish. No, no. I refuse to. No will be given.

   
  Back in ChengDu late afternoon and check into a nice hotel. Why a nice hotel? Not for the soft bed, not for the hot shower, I want internet connection! So it's work from here on. I am back to reality.
  

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