Published: August 3rd 2010
August 3rd 2010
After a good nights sleep, we decided to go and see the Terracotta Warriors with Mitch (an Aussie we had met the night before). Mitch was well travelled and with his help we had no problems getting there!!! The trip was really interesting and the warriors are quite impressive. We spent the evening in our hostel, which is rated in the top 10 on hostelworld and is very historical!
We got up early and headed to a local park where there were loads of locals exercising, doing tai chi or playing badminton...everyone seems to be awake early in the morning. (The street markets apparently open around 5am!)
After some breakfast we got a bus into the busy city centre, checked out a shopping mall and the Bell and Drum Towers (has anyone else ever been to a drum museum?!), where the views were cool looking over the city. We found a nice Japanese restaurant and had a huge lunch. We then walked back to our hostel and were surprised we found it without getting lost...
In the evening we decided to get a bus to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda where apparently there are spectacular water fountains etc...however this turned into a Big Wild Goose Chase, we got off the bus at the wrong stop (you know Brett's history with buses!) walked around for ages and couldn't find it - needless to say Mandy wasn't very happy. Shamefully we ended up having a Mcdonalds before heading home in a Tuk Tuk, ducking and diving through the crazy traffic.
We woke early to meet Christian as he'd offered to take us to the ticket office again to get our train tickets for our stops after Chengdu - we've learnt to book early!! Christian was soo helpful, we ended up having to go all the way to the train station to buy the tickets (the ticket office here was crazy!!!!), he got our tickets and insisted on buying us breakfast as he'd been late!! We now had all of our transport arranged up to Hong Kong and we later booked our hostels too! We checked out of the hostel and spent the rest of the day waiting around until it was time to get our train to Chengdu. The train station was absolutely rammed with people and after finding our 'platform' everyone was trying to get to the front of the queue even though therewas 45 minutes until the train arrived (apparently if you're not allocated a seat number it's first come, first served, otherwise you have to stand!) - luckily we were on a hard sleeper!! We found our 'cabin' quite easily which contained two lots of bunkbeds (three high), we managed to get some sleep and the 16 hour journey went quite fast.
We arrived in Chengdu around lunch time and experienced our first rain in China (Brett was amazed!) and following a lengthly wait for a taxi we arrived at our hostel, the Traffic Inn - again a really nice hostel and is pretty central. After a shower and exploring the area we finally tasted Chinese Dumplings which were not quite to our taste and the non spicy sauce was NOT non spicy!!!
We had to get up at 6am as we were heading on a tour to the Panda Breeding Centre. Despite booking breakfast the night before it arrived 2mins before our bus left, so we had to scoff it down! We spent the whole morning there and the Pandas are soo cute we could have watched them all day. For a special treat Mandy paid around 50 pounds (which is a lot of money in China!) to go inside the enclosure with one of the Pandas, touch it and have a load of photos taken with it - Mandy loved it!!!
We found a busy high street in the afternoon on one of our strolls and also saw the Mao statue. In the evening we took part in a Hot Pot night in the Hostel where we tried different food and had a fun night talking to some older Australian travelers.
Today we are heading to Guilin (again by a sleeper train) but this time the journey is around 26 hours!!!!!!!! Should be fun.