Rosie & Jim's Travel Blog

A blog of all our travels

Air China! Results :-)

Panda's and Buddha's

  |     |   China 2009   |   China, Chengdu

Yesterday morning started off a whole lot better than the previous one. We had breakfast early and were waiting in reception at the right time. So when our guide arrived, we headed straight off to the Chengdu Panda Research Base just outside the city. On route, “Bob” told us why pandas like living in the Sichuan province. It turns out, pandas are very lazy and so are the people of the Sichuan province, so they get on brilliantly!

We spent a couple of hours in the morning visiting the pandas at various stages of their lives, from 3 week old babies, up to the old adult pandas (12-15 years). We also learnt a little about another endangered animal, the red panda, which is related to the giant panda, but split from the tree about 20 million years ago.

In the afternoon, we spent some time out and about in Chengdu, fought locals for taxis (and lost), then generally chilled.

This morning we were met by our new guide, Java, who seemed intent on talking us to death. She was ridiculously excitable, and mapped out each of our free days for the rest of the trip within about half an hour of us leaving the hotel! The days trip was one to Leshan to visit the Giant Buddha that was carved into the cliff face in the 9th century. On route, we stopped off at a tea musuem where we picked up some fresh green tea, and watched a kind of Kung Fu like tea ceremony. It was quite odd really.

We arrived at Leshan and the Giant Buddha just after lunch. The first part of the tour was a boat ride down the river to see the carving in all it’s glory, and might I say, he is absolutely massive (71m high to be a bit more precise). We took some pictures from close up, and were then taken a little way up river to see what the locals believe to be a large Buddha lying down. They believe the mountain itself is shaped like a reclining Buddha, but neither of us were able to really see that.

Once we were back on dry land, we took a walk up to his head. From the top, it is difficult to see the enormity of the statue, but it was still impressive never the less.

After a very warm and humid afternoon at Leshan, we retired to the car for a well earned nap!

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