Thankfully the hostel I’d booked in Chengdu offered a free pickup from the train station so there was no hassle in getting there. I arrived at the hostel at 3.30, as it was too late to accomplish anything I decided to make my travel plans for the coming days. I’m glad I did! I decided to treat myself to a flight from Chengdu to Lijiang which only took 80mins compared to the 13.5 hours by train and as desert a 10 hour bus journey, I justified this to myself by saying I hadn’t spent as much as budgeted in Japan so it was all O.K. I lost track of time and eventually ordered dinner in the hostel, something else I tend to avoid doing as you overpay and there are only a small number of local dishes. As I was making my way through my dinner and sorting my route a familiar voice greeted me, it was Shavan (an Australian) who id first met in Beppu, then again in Kyoto and apparently he’d seen me in Xian’s Muslim quarter but wasn’t fast enough through the crowds to catch me. After swapping stories we decided to go to see the Panda sanctuary first thing the next morning.