Saturday, June 7, 2008

Some News from Sichuan

I mentioned a few weeks back that I had contacted what few people I knew or had met who live in and around Chengdu in the Sichuan province, to see how they were faring since the earthquake. This evening I got an email from Sim's Cozy Guesthouse in Chengdu. Since the crackdown in Tibet and the earthquake centred in Wenchuan county, Chengdu tourism is seeing a dramatic fall off (Chengdu is a launching pad for travelers to Tibet). Here's what Sim has to say:

Recently, some of our guests called us to ask if Chengdu is safe to come, and others just skipped or cancelled to come to Chengdu (or Sichuan ). Here one thing we would like to announce to everyone is that you are safe at Chengdu , so please come to visit us! We luckily did not affected by this earthquake, and except some people who are afraid to sleep in their apartment buildings are sleeping in tents in parks, but the city is operating properly. You are able to visit Panda Center , Mt. Emei , Leshan Grand Buddha, Yibin Bamboo Forest and so on.
If your friends want to come but going to skip Sichuan because of the disaster, we really hope that you can tell them to get the accurate information from us and judge if it’s worth to visit. Please do not just be away from Sichuan . Disaster area is recovering everyday, and situation is changing all the time. Also, if there is anyone interested in volunteer work, we know some groups who are in actions and we try our best to make it work out.

Best Wishes
Sim and Maki
P.S. According to the latest notice, Tibet is going to be open for foreigners in the end of June after the torch relay finished in Lhasa .

I'm just passing on the message to anyone interested in visiting Sichuan. Inform yourself as to the real situation before discounting it out of hand. And if you do decide to visit Chengdu, you can do no better for cheap, confortable friendly accommodation than Sim's Cozy Guesthouse.

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