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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lima's Chintown and Acupuncture Adventures

About a month and a half ago, Colleen and I were on a tour with our friend Edwin, and we got to talking about alternative healing.  Since I was suffering from a terrible parasite at the time and was having no luck with traditional medicine, Edwin recommended a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner that he knew.  In true Peruvian style, we made a quick detour to Chinatown and stopped in to visit him.  Dr. Francisco Chung's family has been practicing medicine and acupuncture for generations and he is also written about in a book, that states he is one of the last true traditional healers in Peru.  I told Francisco that I had picked up a parasite in the jungle, and my symptoms and about 10 seconds later he wrote me out a prescription.  Not even kidding, the next day after taking these pills, I was totally cured.  I have been totally fine since.  
Strangely enough, my friend Amanda, from NYC just happened to also be there at the same time getting acupuncture done.  She volunteered to bring Colleen and I back the following week to show us how to get there on the Metropolitano (the major bus line in the city).  So we booked spots for Acupuncture and anxiously waited for the next Tuesday to come.  
Finally when the day arrived, I was soooo nervous.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I get nervous and stressed about pretty much everything so this came as no surprise.  The bus ride is really no different than taking the subway in a large city, expect there are the odd lurching stops for straggling pedestrians or crazy cab drivers.

It was about a 30 minute ride, and when we got to our stop, about another 15 minute walk into the heart of Chinatown.  I am not sure what I was expecting when I got there, but it was similar to any other Chinatown in any other city in the world, and actually quite beautiful.  And of course PACKED with people.  

After a bit of a tour around the main area, we still had some time to spare before we had to be at Francisco's office, so we decided to check out one of the large markets.  The markets in Peru are amazing, and this one was no different.  You ca seriously get ANYTHING you could ever imagine.  From food to clothing to housewares, to craft supplies.  You name it, it is there.  And dirt cheap.  The bottom floor was the meat floor.  Any kind of meat you can get in Peru, hanging and very fresh.  A little too fresh for me to be honest.  Not the biggest fan of seeing my chickens guts before I buy it.  Or still moving seafood.  

There is a whole alley of plastics and vinyls.  honestly I am not sure of all the uses for this but there must be a huge market for them!

 Further down we found places that manufacture things like chip bags and cereal boxes.  You can have anything printed on them that you want.  Some of the largest brands in Peru get their packaging from these places.

We found the party supply section, filled with princess posters and Disney themed plates and cups.

Further down the line, the clothing starts.  Prom dresses, wedding dresses, tuxedos in every size and color and design you could ever come up with.

I have shown pictures before, but the mannequins here are the most terrifying thing I have ever seen in my life.  Honestly, in my nightmares.

This storeowner insisted I have my photo taken with him.  Several photos actually.  He really went in for the cuddle.  He made sure to tell me not to tell his wife though.

Always one of my favorite areas, the dried goods.  Here you can get any sort of spice, or seed bean ever.  I picked up a quarter kilo of shredded coconut for about 4 soles (just over a dollar).

The undergarment section.

We walked back down and found Francisco's office again.  he is a middle aged Peruvian/Chinese man, that speaks decent english.  Thank goodness. Always makes things easier.  He is also hilarious, and in true Peruvian fashion, manages to throw in quite a few "compliments" as he is putting needles all over my body.  These photos are from my first time getting the treatment done.  I look pretty calm compared to what I was actually feeling.  My main purpose for going was to see if it would help my migraines.  After a my first couple treatments I have been migraine free for almost 6 weeks (I say migraine free, but I don't count the ones I have gotten from a few too many glasses of wine of Pisco sours).  That is the longest amount of time I have went without a migraine in a few years.

After about an hour of treatment, we went for another wander, to get back to our bus stop.  There are piles of street vendors selling everything from food to nail clippers to trinkets to apparently hand held sewing machines.  I am still kicking myself that I never got one.  They were pretty cool.

Hard boiled Quail eggs.  These are actually really good, but I can't bring myself to eat one from the side of the road.

The Buddha vendor and incense vendor.

This girl was selling puppies on the side of the street.  They were adorable but I'm really not sure that I like this idea very much.  

These boys carrying the paper towel were so cute, and were not overly impressed I was trying to take their picture.

The street art, as it is all over Lima is amazing.  

Creepy robot guy.

The view of the traffic from the metropolitan on our way back.  Much quicker to take the bus since it has it's own lane.  

Like I said,  the acupuncture has worked wonders.  I will see how it goes long term, but I am so happy with the results right now.  It is also very relaxing and doesn't hurt, although some places he hits really do feel like an electric shock.  If anyone with migraines is reading this, give it a try, it can't hurt.  If you are in Lima, Francisco's contact info is as follows. 

Francisco Chung
Jr. Paruro 851 office 123
open Tuesday to Saturday 11:30-7
telf: 427-3119
cel: 99-935-5912


  1. Like your blog, no body explaned/shows Lima and Chinatown sooo interesting like you did. I like to see you happy after the treatment. Edwin