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