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In Chengdu, Finding Peace in Parks and Heat in Cuisine

来源:纽约时报    2018-03-06 07:11:49

        “Now, that bear is definitely not white,” said the Dutch tourist next to me. The giant panda turned in our direction at that moment and let out some kind of loud sneeze or snort as if to say, “Give me a break, pal.” It was raining and muddy, after all, and even slightly smudged, the panda bears at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding were still absurdly adorable. The bear ambled off to climb a nearby jungle gym-like structure, fell off it once or twice, eventually gave up, and finally settled on a choice piece of bamboo to munch on.        “呐,那只熊绝对不是白的,”我身旁的荷兰游客说道。这个时候,大熊猫往我们这个方向转了个身,响亮地打了个喷嚏或响鼻,仿佛在说:“饶了我吧,伙计。”毕竟那天下着雨,有些泥泞,甚至还有点脏兮兮的,但成都大熊猫繁育研究基地里的熊猫仍然可爱得出奇。熊猫慢悠悠地去爬附近一个攀爬架似的建筑,从上面掉下来一两次之后,终于放弃了,最终选定了一截竹子大口地啃了起来。
        Pandas reside almost exclusively in central China, and while a handful can be seen in zoos worldwide, the research base in Chengdu, the thriving seat of China’s Sichuan Province, is one of the only places to see dozens of the animals thriving in a pseudo-natural habitat. It’s just one of many compelling reasons to visit. Despite being one of the country’s largest cities, Chengdu has largely flown under the radar for the tourist set; deep in the heart of China, it’s closer to Tibet than to Shanghai.        几乎所有的熊猫都生活在中国中部。虽然在全球各地的动物园里也能看见极少数的熊猫,但这座位于繁荣的四川省中心成都的研究基地,是仅有的几个能看到许多只熊猫在准自然栖息地中茁壮成长的地方之一。而这只是其中一个到这里游览的有力理由。尽管位列中国最大城市之一,成都在很大程度上游离在旅游路线之外;深居中国心脏的成都离西藏的距离比离上海更近。
        After recently spending 10 days there over two trips, I can say that it’s a fantastically exciting, progressive city, with plenty of museums and urban temples to explore, great shopping, as well as a famously spicy cuisine that will torch the careless.        在最近的两次行程中,我在成都待了10天,可以说,这是一个非常激动人心的、进步的城市,有许多博物馆和市区寺庙可供探索,有很棒的购物中心,还有以辣著称的美食——一不小心就能让你葬身火海。
        Animal attractions can be dicey, particularly in China (I once had a very depressing visit to the Beijing Zoo), but the research base is very well done — the animals seemed happy and active — and seemed to serve a larger purpose: conservation and research of a threatened species that’s notoriously slow to reproduce. The price was right, too: only 58 yuan (a little over $9) for admission. My advice is to get there in the morning — not only will you beat the crowds, but it’s the pandas’ breakfast time so they’re more active than usual. Don’t miss the nursery, either, which may have some very cuddly snoozing babies (there were three when I visited).        动物景区会有不确定性,尤其是在中国(我在北京动物园有过一次非常失望的参观经历),但这个研究基地建的非常棒——动物们看起来快乐而有活力——并且看起来还有着更大的目的:保护并研究这个众所周知繁殖缓慢的濒危物种。价格也公道:门票只需58元(9美元多一点)。我建议在早上去——不仅能比人群抢先一步,早上还是熊猫们的早餐时间,因此它们会比平时更加活跃。也别错过保育室,可能会有几只特别毛茸茸的熊猫宝宝在打盹(我参观时有三只)。
        How to get there? I recommend Chengdu’s clean, efficient subway system, and suggest you get used to taking it. The metro, which went into service in 2010, has been built with blinding, almost frightening, speed. There are now six subway lines in operation, meaning that a new one is added every 16 months or so in a city of more than 14 million people. Single-ride tickets vary based on distance, but expect to pay between 2 and 5 yuan when you ride. You’ll also notice no one bolting down the stairs to make a train in Chengdu; there’s almost always another one about three minutes behind.        如何去到那里呢?我推荐你乘坐成都干净高效的地铁系统,还建议你要习惯搭地铁。于2010年投入使用的地铁正在以令人目眩的高速度扩建着。现在共有6条地铁线路在运营,意味着这个有着1400多万人口的城市每16个月左右就会新增一条地铁线路。单程票根据距离定价,预计在2元至5元之间。你还会发现,在成都,没人会冲下楼梯赶地铁,因为差不多每过3分钟都会有下一班地铁到来。
        My lodging at the Chengdu Panda Apartment (Chengdu is proud of its pandas and you will see them in advertising and the names of businesses everywhere) was tricky to locate — it’s hidden in a residential apartment block — but the room was comfortable and the price reasonable (276 yuan per night). The décor was, as you might guess, extremely panda-heavy: blankets, towels, bedspreads — everything. Fortunately, I thought it was pretty cute.        我在成都熊猫主题公寓(成都以它的熊猫为傲,四处都能看到它们出现在广告和商店名字中)的寓所有些难找——它藏在一栋公寓楼之中——但房间很舒适,价格也合理(每晚276元)。装饰正如你所想,是非常“熊猫”的:毯子、毛巾、床单——一切。还好,我觉得这样非常可爱。
        If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, I also stayed at the Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel, just one stop north of Tianfu Square, on the metro’s primary north-south line, for just 488 yuan per night. Getting into the city from the airport, incidentally, is fairly hassle-free. While there are shuttles into downtown, I would download and set up Didi Chuxing before your trip (check out other general China travel tips in my last article). My ride into the city cost just 45 yuan. One nice perk of the app is that if you message your driver in English (to tell him or her where you are, for example), it is automatically translated  into Chinese.        如果你想找一个更传统一些的地方,我还在成都天府丽都喜来登饭店住过。它位于天府广场以北,就在成都主要的南北向地铁线上,离天府广场只有一站地,住一晚只需488元。顺带提一句,从机场去市中心相当顺畅。尽管有去市里的大巴,但我会在去之前下载并设置滴滴出行(可在我的上一篇文章中查看在中国旅游的其他常用建议)。我去市里只花了45元。这款应用的一个优点是,如果你用英语和司机沟通(比如告诉他或她你在哪),它会自动翻译成中文。
        Taxis are also easy to hail in Chengdu, as are guys on motorbikes who will, for a fee, let you hop on the back and shuttle you to your destination. But I found that walking is the best way to get around Chengdu — the city isn’t as hectic as Beijing or Shanghai, and it’s a pleasant place to take a stroll.        在成都打车也很方便,骑摩托车的人也会有偿地让你跳上后座,把你送至目的地。但我发现,步行是游览成都的最佳方式。成都不像北京和上海那么忙乱,适合散步。
        For example, I walked to the Wenshu Monastery, a gorgeous and peaceful (and free) place to visit and learn about Chinese Buddhism. Built during the Sui dynasty (581-618 A.D.), the monastery is populated with almost all-wooden structures that are in remarkable shape. The Hall of Three Great Buddhisattva and the Mahavira Hall house gleaming, intricate Buddhist icons and treasures; you won’t be able to take photos of the statues themselves, but can photograph freely on the grounds. Don’t miss the Peace Pagoda of a Thousand Buddhas, a strikingly ornate 11-story tower that’s the tallest iron pagoda in China.        比如我就是走着去文殊院的。那里景色宜人,安静(而且免费),适合参观和了解中国的佛教。文殊院始建于隋朝(公元后581年-618年),有大量保存完好的几乎全木结构。三大士殿和大雄宝殿供奉着装饰繁复的精美佛像和宝物。游客不能对着佛像拍照,但在院子里可以随意拍。别忘了千佛和平塔。佛塔高11层,极其华美,是中国最高的铁塔。
        Wenshu has one other perk — a lively garden area where tea and vegetarian food is served. It’s here that you can get a true sense of daily life in Chengdu. Purchase a package of tea from a small kiosk near the entrance (jasmine tea was 15 yuan) and grab a thermos of hot water and a bag of sunflower seeds or lightly sweetened peanuts (5 yuan, paid on the honor system). Show your tea receipt to a worker and they’ll give you a ceramic cup with a lid. Find yourself a seat in the meditative environs and drink tea and munch on snacks to your heart’s content. You’ll notice dozens of locals doing the same while laughing, chatting and playing cards — this is typical Chengdu.        文殊院还有一个优点。这是一个充满生活气息的园子,提供茶和素食。在这里,你能真正感受成都的日常生活。在入口旁边的小售货亭买一包茶叶(茉莉花茶15元),拎一瓶热水和一袋瓜子或味道微甜的花生(5元,使用自觉付钱的机制)。把买茶的收据拿给工作人员看,他们会给你一个带盖的瓷杯。然后在沉思的氛围中找座位坐下来,尽情地品茶,吃零食。你会发现很多当地人做着和你一样的事情,他们还一边大笑、聊天和打牌。这就是典型的成都。
        Park life is essential in China, as it’s one of the few ways to escape from the crush of urbanity that marks its major cities. People’s Park is another great place to walk around, unwind and take in the sights and sounds of local life. You’ll see exercise and singing classes in session, along with electronic meters displaying the current decibel levels (keeping it under 65 is recommended), as well as tea-drinking and ear-cleaning. That’s right — men wearing headlamps wander around with cotton swabs on the end of long, metal rods, offering to clean out your ears. If you hear a repeating tinny clang, you know the ear cleaners are near.        公园生活在中国必不可少,因为它是为数不多的逃离城市喧嚣的方式之一。人民公园是另一个散步、放松以及观察和聆听当地生活的好地方。你会看到锻炼和唱歌的人群,电子仪表显示着当前的噪音分贝(建议保持在65以下)。还有喝茶和掏耳朵的。没错,带着头灯的人四处徘徊,拿着一头有棉签的细长金属棒,提出清理你的耳朵。如果听到连续发出的尖细叮当声,就知道附近有舒耳郎了。
        Another of Chengdu’s historical treasures, the Jinsha Site Museum, has only been accessible recently, as it was accidentally discovered in 2001 during real estate development. What was uncovered is something of a lost city: excavation of the ancient capital of the Shu Kingdom, dating between the 7th and 12th centuries B.C., has unearthed different pottery, jade, ivory and gold artifacts. Walking the grounds, which include a small bamboo forest and garden of fragrant Japanese allspice, was worth admission alone (usually 80 yuan, but only 40 during the winter season, with an additional 40 for an audio guide).        成都的另一个历史宝库是金沙遗址博物馆,它是2001年在房地产开发的过程中被偶然发现的,开放没多久。发掘出来的是一个遗失的城市——公元前12世纪至7世纪的古蜀国都城——出土了各种陶器、玉器,以及象牙和黄金制品。博物馆的园区里有一个小竹林和芬芳的日本多香果花园,单是在这里散散步,也值得买这个门票(价格通常是80元,但冬季只需40元,语音导游另需40元)。
        I was able to take advantage of another winter discount at Wuhou Temple, also known as the Temple of Marquis, paying 30 yuan instead of the usual 60. The temple is dedicated to the life of Zhuge Liang and the Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.), an era revered among Chinese for its political intrigue and military strategy. While visiting Wuhou, take some time to browse Jinli Street, which runs along the edge of the temple. There you’ll find, concentrated in one fairly touristy area, an enormous variety of regional cuisine: Roujiamo (a hamburger-like sandwich, 10 yuan), spicy tofu covered in fish mint (10 yuan), and skewers of baby squid (20 yuan). I picked up a block of glutinous rice cake slathered in chili, scallions and hot oil for 8 yuan.        冬季打折的另一个景点是武侯祠,我只花了30元,平常是60元。武侯祠是为了纪念三国时期(公元220年至280年)的诸葛亮。那个时期因政治阴谋和军事战略而引起了中国人格外多的兴趣。游览武侯祠时,你可以花点时间逛逛锦里,那是武侯祠边缘的一条街。在这条街上一个游客密集的区域,你会发现各种各样的地方美食,例如,肉夹馍(一种形似汉堡包的三明治,10元),鱼腥草辣豆腐(10元)和小鱿鱼串(20元)。我选了一大块糯米糕,涂上辣椒、葱和辣椒油,售价8元。
        Markets are another great place to check out Chengdu’s seemingly endless food offerings. Jordan Porter, who runs a local food tour company called Chengdu Food Tours, tipped me off to a bustling local market near the west side of the 1st Ring Road called Qingyang Market. It has everything you could want, from pig’s feet to sugar cane stalks, homemade sausages, crocks of blindingly potent baijiu (grain alcohol), fresh tofu, spices and vats of doubanjiang, a spicy, fermented bean paste. After doing a couple of loops, I sat down at Yanjing Mian. a small restaurant near the market’s entrance, for a piquant bowl of hand-pulled noodles with pieces of short rib (10 yuan).        市场是查看成都包罗万象的美食的另一个好地方。乔丹·波特(Jordan Porter)经营着一家名为成都美食旅游(Chengdu Food Tours)的当地美食旅游公司。他推荐我去一环路西侧的一个热闹的当地市场,名叫青羊市场(音)。那里有你想要的一切:猪蹄,甘蔗,自制香肠,酒劲很大的白酒(谷物酿制),鲜豆腐,香料,以及一桶桶辛辣的豆瓣酱。转了几圈之后,我在市场入口附近的一家名为燕京面(音)的小餐馆坐了下来,点了一碗放有短肋骨的劲辣手工拉面(10元)。
        Street food, incidentally, has its drawbacks. If you’re an adventurous eater, sometimes you get sick. One day on Dongsheng Street, near People’s Park, I noticed some appealing-looking stacked metal containers outside one storefront. They were sputtering steam and brimming with soft, fluffy baozi (dumplings). I bought a bag of eight (6 yuan) and chowed down happily as I turned left on Ningxia Street. After I’d inhaled three, I noticed something felt slightly off. I won’t get into the details, but let’s just say I didn’t find a place to solve the issue in time. It was a long, humbling walk home.        顺便说一下,街头小吃也有它的缺点。如果你是一个爱冒险的食客,有时你会吃错东西生病。有一天,在人民公园附近的东胜街,我注意到一家店面外面堆叠着一些看起来很诱人的金属容器。它们冒着热汽,盛满松软的包子。我买了一袋8个包子(6元),向左转到宁夏街上,开心地吃了起来。吃了三个之后,我觉得肚子有点不舒服。我不想在这里详述细节,我可以告诉你们的是,我没能找到一个可以及时解决这个问题的地方。从那里走回家的路漫长而难堪。
        The silver lining: Drugstores are plentiful in China (they’ll sometimes have a green awning or ads for knockoff Viagra in the front), and the people who work there couldn’t care less about your problems. Later that day, I went into one called Bai Xin Tang and announced, “la duzi” (diarrhea). The woman behind the counter scarcely looked up from what she was doing as she tossed me a box of pills (30 yuan).        不幸中的万幸是,中国的药店很多(有的药店前面有绿色的遮阳篷或万艾可仿制药的广告),药店里的人对你的病情毫不关心。那天晚些时候,我去了一家名为百新堂(音)的药店,说我“拉肚子”。柜台后面那个女人接着忙手里的活儿,头都没抬,扔给我一盒药片(30元)。
        If you decide to go the safer restaurant route, you won’t be disappointed, either. Chuan chuan is essential Chengdu — skewers of different meats and vegetables sitting in a bath of spicy oil (dinner for two might run 60 to 80 yuan) — as is getting an entire fish. My first night in the city, I met two friends, Chengdu locals, at Kao Master, a restaurant on the seventh floor of the International Finance Square Mall, near the extremely hip Chunxi Road area.          如果想去一些更安全的餐厅,你也不会失望。串串是成都菜的精髓,它就是各种肉串和蔬菜串,泡在一锅辣油中(两人晚餐可能在60元至80元之间)。还有一个特色菜叫烤全鱼。在我来到这座城市的第一个晚上,我和当地的两个朋友在国际金融广场购物中心七楼的餐厅烤匠相聚。那里离非常时髦的春熙路很近。
        We opted for a whole hot-and-sour fish (qianyu, from Guizhou province, 129 yuan), tangy and flavorful, and slathered in bright orange chili peppers. As I popped one, and then another, of the blisteringly hot peppers into my mouth — primarily to demonstrate that I was a foreigner with an iron gut and unafraid of spicy local cuisine — one of my companions, Jasmine, looked at me quizzically. “Why are you eating all those?” she asked. “They’re just for flavor.” Lesson learned.        我们点了一整条酸辣鱼(鱼是来自贵州省的黔鱼,129元),它辛辣美味,涂着鲜橙色的辣椒。我往嘴里扔了一个又一个极其辣的辣椒——主要是为了证明我是一个有着铁胃、不怕辛辣的当地菜肴的外国人——我的同伴佳丝明(Jasmine)诧异地看着我。“你为什么要吃那些东西呢?”她问道,“它们只是为了调味。”又得到一个教训。

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