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Published: November 8th 2008
My new friend
he was flirting with me at the airport
We've been out of touch a couple of days since we began the Yangtze River Cruise portion of our trip and there was no internet connection on the boat. Never fear, I took good notes and will do a blog for each day to catch up.
Another early flight and we are off to Chongqing, called the Detroit of China. Not much to claim for any tourist interest, except that this is where most Ynagtze River cruises begin and end. We had about a half day here to kill. First we went to the Panda House. This is where I was hoping I could make a “small contribution in US Dollars and pet a Panda” but as hard as we tried they wouldn’t go for it. So we just got to see them sleep and eat. The surprise of this visit was the Lesser Pandas. I’d never heard of them but they are not quite as endangered as the Great Panda but almost. They look like Racoons and act like cats. You have to see Ernest’s pictures of them. Unlike Giant Pandas, they are very social and stay in groups. We saw a couple of them eyeing a
look like racoons, act like cats
third that had some fruit and it looked so much like a cat planning to pounce it was uncanny. We also saw some Tibetian Bears, another first for me. They had been rescued from a zoo so they did little tricks for cookies. The male would turn around in a circle and the female waved at you and got into a couple of curious poises to get your attention to throw her a cookie.
After a Sichuan lunch, we took a stroll through Old Town Chongqing. This section of town dates back to the 40’s and is scheduled to be torn down soon for condos. This was a very curious mix of old China neighborhoods, with everything you could ever need just a few doors away. The people there never saw western visitors so we were as much a curiousity to them as they were to us, but very friendly letting us take pictures of them and explain what they are doing.
We had dinner on the 10th floor of some highrise in downtown then finally got to the river cruise boat after a very long day and settled in to start early the next day.
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