Before moving forward to write a rather extensive post covering the last few days of adventures in China, I came across something that I felt needed an entire page unto itself.

Look closely at the picture below.


What we have here is:

  • A dozen eggs
  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 3 green apples
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 pieces of lotus root
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 block of tofu
  • and a bag of oatmeal

These aren’t ingredients for a recipe or anything like that. Although I would be curious to see what a person makes using all that. It isn’t much, I suppose, but I can usually eat on this much for quite a few days (given that I already have a generous supply of rice). Now here’s the kicker: how much do you think all of that cost?

In the States I might have paid-well it’s difficult to say considering I don’t normally buy tofu or lotus back home-but I’m gonna guess $25. Maybe more, maybe less.

However here in China all of that cost me about 55¥. There are probably some old ladies that would tell me I could have bargained for a better price, but I’m still baffled by how cheap it is. According to XE Currency Converter, the exchange rate today would be 6.4CNY = 1USD

All of that to say I bought everything pictured above for less than $10. To be really accurate all of that cost me $8.65.

Now to make it even more interesting, I’ve spent the last two days traveling, but the story warrants its own post, so I won’t delve into details now. However, concerning money, the entire trip cost me roughly 550¥ or about $90. With that I was able to pay for 3 nights’ accommodations, eat 3 meals a day (sorta…a bit of it was more like snacking), drink coffee from this really fancy coffee place, AND travel by taxi, bus, and train to two different locations outside of the city, both of which are an hour away. Granted I received a student discount, and other little surprises along the way that cut some costs, but I would say that it would be altogether impossible to have done such a trip on a mere $90 in the States.

Now to put that into a photo story:

Holly’s Hostel: despite the beds being literally a board with a thin mat on top,it was really nice; the food was great (both Chinese and Western) out on the rooftop cafe, and it is in the Tibetan district of Chengdu. IMG_1136 IMG_1133IMG_1145IMG_1219

Two meals from Holly’s Hostel:

IMG_1220 IMG_1663

Coffee. Although I think the owner of this particular coffee shop also runs an international ring of chandelier thieves:


And of course what is a trip in China without a bullet train?IMG_1414

To the mountains of course:


Remember, all of that (and more) for $90.

As a teaching intern I’m not exactly rolling in the dough, but if you come with a little extra when you travel to china, a little can go a long way.

Until next time!



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