Our Panda friends
22/04/2010 - 25/04/2010 16 °C
So we set off from Xi'an at 10pm and headed to yet another train station for our next (short) 16 hour train to Chengdu. Again we went for a hard sleeper and this time Rosie and I were put in the same Cabin, so the start of this journey was not as eventful as the last one. Oddly enough nobody queued for pictures with us and the staring stopped much quicker. Maybe we are not so wierd after all :-)
We had 6 beds in this Cabin instead of 4 and again we had a very musical sleep. 3 of the 4 men in our cabin were snoring. Unfortunately the harmony did not send us to sleep.
We finally arrived in our hostel (the traffic inn) the following afternoon. We booked a tour for the next morning to go and see the pandas. Not sure if anyone is aware that we saw some Pandas yet? Rosie may of mentioned it to a few of you aleady? One lucky 6 month old baby panda was treated to a cuddle from Rosie (has she told anyone about this yet?) :-)
Watching the Giant Pandas eating and playing was the reason for our journey to Chengdu and we were not let down. The park was set up as a breeding place for the giant pander to stop them from becoming extint as there are only about 1000 left in the world, but only one can say they have had a hug from Rosie (I bet he emailed all his mates straight after to make them all jealous) :-)
The rest of our time was spent walking and exploring the local area. We went to the peoples park for a romantic walk (we were tired and wanted to sit down and relax) so we stopped at a tea house (these are the only places in China you can almost get away from the loud noises and relax). The only peope that come up to you are people staring (we are now used to it and stare back and smile and say "Ni Hao". This normally makes them stop or get very shy cause 'the aliens' spoke. You also get harrased by men wanting to give you a massage and clean your ears while you drink your tea. £4 and 30 minutes later I had had my head neck and shoulder massage and had things poked in my ears to take out all that wax. Overall a very odd experience but it kept Rosie ammused watching me being shook and prodded by this man.
We were trying to plan our next move and decide when to go on our trip down the Yangtze river. As we did not like our hostel very much we decided to just pack our bags and head to the train station to try and get a ticket the same day to Chongqing where the river tours start.
So, farewell Chengdu and the Pandas! Chonqing and a 3 day river cruise through the 3 gorges next!