Published: October 9th 2007October 9th 2007
I'm in Chengdu right now (finally). I lost a day of sightseeing because there was a typhoon in Shanghai and my plane was delayed over 9 hours! I had a 10:50 am flight out of Pudong airport and because of the storm, the plane we were supposed to take landed in Shanghai's other airport. It took them (China Eastern Airlines) 8 hours to organize getting all the passengers to Hongqiao Airport. The plane departed at 8:00 pm. So frustrating. I got to Chengdu 10 hours late.
I picked an LP recommended guesthouse - Sim's Cozy Guesthouse. The rooms are clean; I got a private room with bathroom and heater for Y90 a night! Not bad! There are tons of young people here, lots of independent travelers and people that are excited to be in China! It's fun to talk to everyone and get travel ideas from each other. The staff here is really helpful and have all kinds of travel services. This morning I visited the Chengdu Panda Research Center. One of my main reasons for stopping in Chengdu... panda bears. I took the car organized by Sim's and went along with two other travelers - a guy from Austria
Look at all his scraps on his tummy.
and a guy from Montreal. This place breeds pandas and has all ages of pandas. Newborn pandas are the size of your index finger and are actually kind of ugly. But once a few weeks old.... the pandas are so so so cute. So cute, I just couldn't stand it! They are so big, plush, fuzzy, and LAZY! We watched them eat breakfast and they just lay there chomping at bamboo. It's just so funny to watch them eat - they define gluttony. All the tourists were so enamored by these creatures and the picture taking is just obnoxious. It's raining in Chengdu, so my pictures are a little dark and fuzzy. The baby pandas are so precious - they are so little and fluffy.... really, I wish I could stuff them in my backpack and keep them forever. There's a research exhibit and museum there which are interesting. It is amazing that pandas still exist, considering it is so hard for them to find food to survive, have the energy to mate, etc.
I spent the morning and afternoon with Montreal guy and enjoyed chatting about our travels and impressions of China. Chengdu is much like the other
cities here in China - pretty busy and bustling. Things are a little cheaper, and spicier here though. ;) I'm going to Miyaluo tomorrow - supposed to be a nice Tibetan village with beautiful scenery and foliage.
More pictures later.
At night I went to the Sichuan Opera in Chengdu. I thought it would be a performance of the famous "Changing of the Mask", but instead it was a variety show with cheesy and painful singing, acrobats and 10 minutes of the face changing. The changing of the mask is where the performer uses a cape and the his/her mask changes with the blink of your eye. It is captivating. The acrobats were OK too, but the entire show can be skipped. I returned to Sim's and hung out at the bar with a bunch of other travelers and went to be quite late. I could have hung around Chengdu a bit longer, but I decided to move forward towards my final Sichuan destination: Jiuzhaigou.
There are more photos below