Published: May 10th 2005April 26th 2005
The way to Chengdu was different. We left the mountains, and everything became green. It looked more like the China you imagine - rice fields, green villages, etc.
Reached Chengdu on the evening of the 23rd. It was LEIL HASEDER. When we arrived to the guesthouse everybody told us that we just missed all the Israeli guys who went to a big SEDER somewhere in town.
Instead of that - we went to McDonald's for the first time in a month, and after such a long time with only local food - it was a celebration.
Chengdu is a big city (~12M) and like a big city time passes differently. It is like a short break from the trip itself.
We went to a big temple there, which was a Taoist temple, different from the Tibetan Buddhist temples I've seen so far. The monks looked like wise old Chinese, the sculptures and the wall paintings were the same, and all together it was very funny.
After that I went to a big museum of one of the Chinese dynasties from the 2nd-3rd century. They had sculptures of the kings and generals, some gardens and temples, and many many Chinese
visitors. It wasn't that interesting...
Another day was spent resting, watching movies in the guesthouse, and eating good food.
Near Chengdu there is a research center for Pandas. There are only a few of them still alive in nature, and they are trying to breed them in captive. We went to see the place, where they give them a lot of space so they will feel comfortable and breed.
Pandas are a very funny creature. Early in the morning they wake up and get their food - a lot of bamboo. They lie on their back and eat the bamboo for an hour or so, and then they just sleep all day doing almost nothing. The visit was short - there was not much of an action to see.
The rest of that day was dedicated for shopping. Bought some presents, and a lot of hiking gear, which is very cheap here. Now I need to send this extra weight home...
After that I felt I had enough of the big city, and I wanted to get out of it.
Bought a bus ticket north to a very famous nature reserve...
Until next time,
There are more photos below