Day 17 – Giant Pandas and Giant Buddhas

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Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu
April 16th 2012
Published: April 17th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

We left our hotel at 8:30am for the short ride to the “Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding”. Chengdu Monday morning traffic and Chengdu drivers are just as bad as in Shanghai. Actually the thing I noticed so far was that drivers all over China are much the same and totally insane, except for in Beijing.. In Beijing, drivers stick to their lanes, indicate, and generally do not try to cut you up into small chunks of metal. Apparently this is a well known fact, but I diverge. Back to the Pandas.

What can I say? They are cute, cuddly, and extremely lazy, pretty much spending the morning eating bamboo on their backs, and the afternoons sleeping. They’ll sleep anywhere. Up trees, on the ground, making makeshift sofas out of bamboo trees. So cute were the Pandas that we were all convinced that they were really just people wearing “Made in Guangdong” panda costumes. I’ve decided that I want to be reinicarnated as a Giant Panda in the Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. All they do is eat, sleep, and breed.

Happy with the morning, we headed for a bowl of famous noodles at the famous noodle shop next to the other famous noodle shop that had been made famous on CDTV. Then off to the car shop to load up on spare wheels, two for the Landcruiser, and one for the MX 5.

In the afternoon we headed for Leshan, a couple of hours away, to see the Leshan Giant Buddha. This Buddha is the largest “sitting” stone Buddha in the world and was carved in the cliff face over 1,200 years ago. I’d had enough of climbing for now, so we just took the boat out into the middle of the river and took photos.

Then back to yet another smelly hotel room in a smelly hotel. There really is no other reason to stay in Leshan than this Buddha, which can be done on a day trip.

Sin and my stomachs needed a time-out from Chinese food, and we caught a glimpse of a KFC on the way to the hotel. So after checking in, we walked the 3.2km down the main street, catching fake donuts on the way, finally arriving at KFC. I’d not had KFC in 10 years, and after that meal, I don’t think I’ll be having it for another 10.

No Wifi in this room, and the window won’t close. The noise from the traffic below is gonna keep me up tonight. Dang.......

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