Blogs from Chengdu, Sichuan, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu November 18th 2013

The weather in Chengdu has been good. There is often fog in the morning. One day has been overcast with a hint of rain. There is also a noticeable amount of pollution in the air, but nothing like Beijing. Yesterday was supposed to be a gentle and relaxed day with less food consumption. It didn't work out that way. Sangshen Chao was the program for yesterday afternoon, the antique market of Chengdu. My Tibetan hosts insisted on plying me with copious amounts of yak meat, soup and meat stuffed bread, all to be washed down with Tibetan salted black tea without the milk and butter. After lunch we walked a short distance to a nearby gallery and spent several hours discussing art, painting styles and fake sculpture while enjoying a green tea that was distinctly yellow ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu November 17th 2013

I am stuffed. I feel like I have been eating for days. If I vist a private art collection they want to feed you. If I give a lecture they want to feed you before and after. When I vist friends they want to stuff you with more food than is physically possible. After eating and then travelling to a second venue the food starts all over again. Last night I ventured into a Japanese restaurant, the choice of my host. By happen stance, the owner was a young woman who is three quarters Chinese and one quarter Russian. She lived for 15 years in Vancouver and considers it home. Who would've thought! Vancouver meets Vancouver in a Japanese Restaurant in Chengdu. By the way, the food was very good, however I didn't eat the bugs, ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 26th 2013

Today is panda day! We need to get an early start because pandas are most active in the morning. We have a buffet breakfast at the hotel, but there's little Western fare and the selections are underwhelming. On the way at 8:30. It's a grey, hazy day, even though the forecast promised sun. Pollution is probably a factor. Most people are sniffling and coughing by this time from exposure to the bad air, and there seems to be a cold making the rounds. We drive through Chengdu. It's a "small" city of only 4 million, the capital of Sichuan province. There's noticeably less English signage than in previous cities, but like the other cities we've visited it is busy and crowded, with bad traffic and lots of construction. In a way, it is a microcosm of ... read more
Giant panda, Chengdu, China
Red panda, Chengdu, China
Jinli St., Chengdu, China

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 25th 2013

Today is a travel day: Guilin to Chungqing to Chengdu. We sleep late on our wonderful king-size bed, have an excellent breakfast buffet, including crunchy bacon. Because of today's upcoming train ride, we repack so that we can live out of our carry-ons for a couple of days. We check out of the hotel and are on the way by 11 am. After only about a half hour drive through the city, we stop early for lunch. It's excellent but no one is hungry because breakfast was only a couple of hours earlier. The meal includes an attractive ying/yang soup (see picture), excellent crispy duck and noodles with meat balls. Jack our tour guide treats the group to osmanthus wine, which tastes something like Dubonnet. We continue the bus drive through Guilan to the airport. The ... read more
Hurrying onto the train, Chongqing, China

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 11th 2013

I am now in Chengdu. It is quite a bit warmer here than the last places. It is also the most polluted of the Chinese cities I have yet been to..... I was going to stay around Chengdu for a few days to take in the zoo etc, but I decided it would be more sensible to just stay one day (today) for birding and then tomorrow head north into the wilderness and see how far I get. I would not like to presume there will be any internet in the towns anywhere up there, but at the same time I would not like to presume that there will not be any internet up there.....suffice to say there ... read more

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Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 26th 2013

The Sofitel Wanda puts on an even better buffet breakfast then we’ve had yet. Choice of both waffles and pancakes, many flavours of yoghurt, and eggs hard boiled, fried, and poached. The baked beans are labelled correctly. This part of the story I am hand-writing, initially, in the car on the drive to Dujiangyan. It’s a bit difficult to write as this road is, in asset terms “very very poor”, and it feels like a mini roller coaster ride. It’s a bit of a surprise to me as most of the roads we’ve seen so far have been in very good condition. Ky and I are sitting in the back seat, and we regularly get airborn as the car goes over large depressions. Coincidentally I actually spot a roller coaster and ferris wheel on the way ... read more
Dujiangyan Building Roof
Dujiangyan Building Eaves
Dujiangyan Anlan Suspension Bridge

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 25th 2013

This morning it’s a flight out from Jiuzhaigou to Chengdu. That means a 5:00am wakeup and 1.5 hour drive to the airport. Its still cold and wet, and we join a huge crowd of people all booking in for their flights to Xian, Chongqing, Chengdu and elsewhere. The departure gates frequently change, and at one stage we find ourselves with a large group of people rushing to a different gate, reminiscent of a scene from “Airplane” (where the plane crash lands and everyone is rushing to get to the right gate). Finally the plane takes off and a short flight later it’s in Chengdu, warm and overcast with moderate air pollution. The new guide, Tony, and the driver meet us there and take drive us through the 17 million population city of Chengdu to the Chengdu ... read more
Teenage Panda
Teenage Panda 2
Panda Babies

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu September 1st 2013

Chengdu ( 成都 ) - Panda & Hot pot Chengdu the land of breeding Panda. If you want to hug real Panda you have to come hear and the second one is Hot pot food ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu July 29th 2013

Day 7 - Panda breeding research Centre and the Leshan giant Buddha We had another early start today. Up at 6.15 for a 7o'clock leave. I had ordered scrambled egg and toast as I knew it was going to be a long day. One room full slept in which caused bother, but we managed to catch up time. We saw quite a few pandas of varying ages at the research centre, and then 3 red pandas ( which I didn't realise existed!) it was interesting to see them; I was pleased I went, but when you've seen, you've seen them. It was a zoo setting, so you were very limited as to what you could actually see. We left there at about 11am, about half the group had chosen to go to see the Leshan giant ... read more
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Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu July 27th 2013

Day 6 - The sunset at Yangshuo and the night train to Cheng Du Some of us got up at 5am to see the sunset before leaving Yangshuo. It was pitch black, and we were not 100% sure of where we were going! I do have a torch in my bag, but didn't think to bring it, and neither did anyone else! Sally gave us vague directions last night. Nevertheless less, off we set! I did feel this morning that my back hurts more; time has passed since the hot cupping, I feel that I have been hit repeatedly with a big stick, and I don't seem to be having any benefits for all this discomfort! We found the park entrance ok, entered, and walked on. We were to look for the pagoda at the side ... read more
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