Visiting Chengdu


It’s the third week of school and things have settled down a little so I have time to do a lot of things these days. For example, yesterday I spent all night on youtube watching random videos for fun. Yes, for fun…Everytime I do something for fun, I feel extremely guilty because MY STUDENTS ARE STILL WEAK, THEY STILL CAN’T READ, THEY STILL FAIL AND I’M WATCHING VIDEOS FOR FUN?!?!?!

*breathes in and out furiously

But I figured, I MUST not burn out so soon like last year. Last year, when March rolled around, I was ready to pack my stuff and leave this place because I was sooooo burnt out! I was sleeping 4 hours every night, printing worksheets till the wee hours of the morning, planning and thinking about my kids all night. But nope, this year, I figured I gotta work hard but I have to relax a little more too. I’m running a marathon here, so can’t compromise my sanity so soon!

Ok so blogging is part of my strategy to maintain sanity, especially blogging about something other than teaching. Yay!

Last month, I visited my best friend in China! We haven’t seen each other since we graduated 1.5 years ago so it was really good to know that we still haven’t really changed much (though admittedly we’re more serious and boring now cos we’re both teachers and we spent half the time talking about teaching strategies -_- )

Chengdu was really cold since it’s winter now and I spent 6 days there wrapped in at least 5 layers of clothing T___T


Ok I’m a lousy tourist cause I don’t remember names of places so this is umm..a fashion street in the city. Lots of people just like in Hong Kong!

You know what I can’t get used to here?

Not the rude people, they’re not that bad here. But the toilets. I CAN’T stand squatting toilets, despite coming from a country where we have them too. But in China, there are NO sitting toilets except in very fancy hotels. It’s really gross cause when they have sitting toilets, people squat on them and leave shoe stains!

This is Li and me. She’s Shanshan’s cousin’s girlfriend who is super chatty and cute. We’re eating icecream in this freezing weather cause we’re cool like that. I think some of my brain cells froze to death that day.


We ate at this tea house that has Sichuan opera! Crazy amount of food (people eat like crazy here but I’ve not seen a single fat person)


The famous face-changing performance! Basically they will change their masks just by turning their faces slightly, or using a fan to cover their face for literally 0.1 second. It’s a secret technique that noone outside their clans would know, super amazing to see it in person!





(Well, a panda here)

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it! It’s such a surreal feeling to see something you’ve never seen in real life before, like seeing a unicorn or a flying pig!


More pandas! Everyone there was just aww-ing and ahh-ing at everything the pandas do. Pandas eating bamboo, AWWWWW! Pandas got up to get another bamboo, OMG CUTEEEE! Pandas playing with their bamboo, AWW *heart melts

Seriously, life is good as a panda.


Shanshan and I! and a random angry lady behind us wtf



All they do is eat and eat. They don’t move or do anything cute also!! Feels a bit cheated wtf


Intermission: here’s your favourite beautiful Shanshan! As beautiful as ever. And she’s single now! She lives in the States though so if you’re ready for a long distance relationship, apply within wtf


Baby pandas sunbathing AWW
We thought they were dead though cause they didn’t move AT ALL hahaha


Oops I ate too much teehee I’m so cute no matter what I do cause I have black patches around my eyes teehee


Baby panda sho cuteee


The end of panda pictures, here’s me eating some street food. All I do is eat and eat, cause it’s so cold must keep warm ma!


Chengdu’s favourite past time: have your ears dug by professionals on the street! HAHAHA not even kidding. Shanshan said it apparently feels REALLY good cause they got skillzz


Some old street #lousytourist


Some sign I can’t read. By the way, my Mandarin improved by like 2384910826 times in that trip cause NOBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH in that entire city.

When we spoke English on the train, some guy actually approached us to say how admirable it is to see two chinese girls speak English. At first it was flattering but he kept standing really close to listen in on our conversation -____-
Seriously, out of all the places I’ve been to, China has the least amount of people who can understand and speak English. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go to major cities like Beijing or Shanghai though.


Starbucks in the middle of ancient town, a sign of modern capitalism. It costs a bomb though, everything there costs wayyy more than in Malaysia to my surprise.


Reminds me of the very beautiful Lijiang 🙂

I think there are more pictures (mostly camwhore pictures) but I think that’s it for today! Must maintain the suspense so if you don’t see my pictures too often and when you do see it, you’ll feel like how I felt when I saw the pandas wtf *perasan

When I told my kids I went to China and Thailand during the holidays, they were like “yer teacher you’re so rich!!”. I think I’ve been very lucky to be able to travel so often. Tickets to Thailand was ridiculously affordable even on my meagre teacher salary, and Shanshan sponsored half my ticket to China! (and I didn’t spend a single cent there :P)

Another good news is I got selected to represent Teach For Malaysia to a conference in New Delhi, India! It’s fully sponsored too, so I’m counting my lucky stars again 😀 I’ve always wanted to visit India, despite the new outrage, so I’m quite excited about the trip!

That’s all for today. Long day tomorrow since we are having our annual Merentas Desa run (cross-country run) and I’m stationed at the paddy field checkpoint (my favourite place here).

I can’t help smiling when I see the kids running past me with their eyes furrowed intensely, shirt drenched in sweat, pleading for water. Most, if not all of them, even greet me midst run. “Good afternoon teacher!” So cute lah cannot tahan. I don’t think I’ll have the energy to even look at people during a run, much less greet them!

The cutest of the lot are the small tiny ones running with so much enthusiasm. The young ones are always the most enthusiastic about everything and always have so much zest and happiness. I love kids so much. I love interacting with them, I love watching them get excited about things, I love getting all this positive energy from them! Though some of them are real devils, but I couldn’t have asked for better clients to work for everyday 🙂


  1. HiLo says:

    Great to know you took time out. Don’t push yourself too hard. Nothing to feel guilty about if you have to relax.

    Abt your Chengdu trip: the changing mask performance was banned by Mao Zedong. amazing that the art is still preserved after decades of being ‘haram’.

  2. yuhhui says:

    ooh india.. nice place to visit and an eye opening experience! if u got time, go agra and cochin and goa! careful bout auto( the rickshaw there).. a lot of them will con money so make sure know roughly how much a short distance cost.

  3. Fareeza says:

    I cried when I saw your photos of pandas.
    Thanks for the panda paw. I’m going to China this year to buy the another one, so I can walk around office with two panda paws. Charlie uses it to hit me in the head T_T, it’s okay…one day I’ll buy the other paw and plan my revenge.

  4. says:

    Awww. Chengdu! It’s actually one of the place in my list to visit! But I heard it’s pretty expensive as well…

    And after you mentioned that no one really speaks English there, I’m moar discouraged to go there unless I wanna get lost there, kidnapped and sold to some family that speaks something I rarely understand..

    But I really wanna go see panda! Does visitors get to take picture with them?

  5. Lit Rean says:

    hi. really hope that can be there some day!

    anyway, the chinese characters u mentioned in the pic (窄宽) simply mean ‘narrow'(窄-zhai) & ‘broad’ (宽-kuan),an historic street in chengdu.

  6. Cam says:

    Great pics! Miss Chengdu 🙁

    When I used to work in Shenzhen, ppl didn’t speak English as well. But it’s not just China. Kazakhstan, even European countries the same.

    We’re hoping to do the Lhasa trek in the summer. Hopefully the Gov opens up the Everest base camp to outsiders.

    P.S. Shan Shan got age limit? :p

  7. aw says:

    Dunwan moar pandas. Wan moar Shan2 please.

    Hey Shan Shan, haven’t seen your
    radiant countenance in a long time
    Your dazzling smile and your archy eyebrows
    makes me almost wanna commit a crime
    Your bright eyes filled with limpid pools of light
    I hope this bad poetry doesn’t give you a fright
    Noticed you ever since this blog was sweated from Mt Holyoke
    Let’s go to Chengdu Lan Kwai Fong, listen to music over a rum-and-coke

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  72. Aaron Lim says:

    Hi Suet Li, love reading your entries.
    I’m wondering how cold was it when you were in Chengdu and how thick did you wear?
    I’m planning a trip this year end 🙂

    • sweatlee says:

      Wow, you found a really old post! I remember it pretty cold during the end of the year, I had to wear a thick coat! Can’t remember the exact degree though so best to google for tips?

      • Aaron Lim says:

        With many layers inside? Haha.
        Yeah I remembered I read years ago that you’ve been there before.
        Btw, hope you’re enjoying your marriage life so far 😀

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