Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chengdu Pandas

Feeding time in the morningIt’s a very rainy day in Chengdu. I had hoped to fly out of here to Lijiang right away, but lack of cheap flights meant staying here one more day. There isn’t much to see around Chengdu. It’s a fairly modern city.

Thirty kilometers from town is a world famous panda research facility, which also functions as a panda zoo. I wasn’t going to make a stop there, but with a day to kill, I decided to check it out.

It wasn’t too bad. I don’t know if there are many places that have as many pandas to see. They are also in open enclosures only a few feet away. For a thousand yuan ($150), they will even let you hold a young panda. For one-hundred yuan you can settle for a red panda. While they are pretty cute and this was tempting, I thought it was probably not a good thing for the animal so I passed on the offer.

The rest of my day I spent walking around Chengdu. I went hunting for dumplings and found a street vendor serving them for a real good price. For four yuan ($0.60) I got ten steamed dumplings. They were delicious. Later I came across some skewered food and filled up on some pork and chicken on a stick. It was so good!

Rockies posterWhile waiting for my skewered meat to cook, I noticed a poster for “mineral water” that featured the Rockies and a Canadian train. I recognized Mount Temple right away. I highly doubt the water they’re supplying comes from the Rockies. Coincidently it’s the same water I’ve been buying during my stay in Chengdu. Now I’m a little suspicious. Perhaps my Mandarin speaking friends can help me figure out what this poster says?

Giant panda:

Older pandas are pretty lazy

Panda eating bamboo

Pandas playing

Red panda:

Red panda

Red panda

Park in Chengdu:

A park in Chengdu

Delicious street food:

Skewered food



Anonymous said...

Glad you had a chance to see the Pandas...couldn't imagine a trip to China without seeing them.

Love the pic of the one napping in the tree, if only I could sleep that well!


Anonymous said...

Translation of the ad: the bottle water said "Farmer's Spring Water", the sentence said "treasure every drop & be the mover of the nature", the can said "King of Herbs Tea" (a very popular drink among the Chinese, sweeten herbal tea, but I drank it bitter when I was little) It is safe to drink it. Funny they used the Canadian Rockies as a background. In Lijiang, there will be a whole different world of China. Try to find a Tibetan restaurant in the old town where you will meet some very interesting people and get some very updated traveling information in that area. Much to see and do around Lijiang. I rented a bike to go further out of the town into the villages. Don't miss the journey up north into the Tibetan plateau. You might find your Shangri-La in the book of "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton. Good luck and can't wait to read the next story.


Phil said...

Love the Red Pandas :-) The Monastery I refer to was near Lijiang, which is beautiful & the Tiger Leaping Gorge. I would imagine that you would like the hike down the Gorge. It's probably very different now that the water level has risen. Looking forward to seeing your pictures :-)

Mandy said...

Oh, I love the red pandas! Way too cute. I have held on here and they are stinky, so good call on that.

Steve said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm - dumplings! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never knew there were red pandas - adorable! I'm glad you've been finding good food to eat. I think you made a good choice going with the skewered meat and the dumplings because some of the corn looked a little suspect...


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