Nancy & Tony's Little Break travel blog

Let me out!

Lunch time

Lunch time

Lunch time

Lunch time

Lunch time

Red pandas

Red pandas

Red pandas


Welcome back to the big smoke. And it really is the big smoke. Hot,a little humid (but nowhere near as much as Hanoi) and you can not see the sun for smog!! Really feel like we have entered the real China now - and not just the places they have invaded over the centuries!! - hope they do not censor that one (-:

We are finding we can breathe again now at this lovely altitude of just 500m

(should have seen the drop off when our plane left the Himalayas!) but what we do breathe now usually comes with a big dose of petrol fumes!

Apart from that, it is a clean modern city and apparently one of the most prosperous in China. Its another biggie as well, over 4 million population! And we have already partaken of that fine socialist tradition - a meal at MacDonalds! The only other place we have found this has been Bangkok. We are not huge eaters of MacDonalds but have to say it was a welcoming change.

The locals here still find western people a novelty and smile shyly and look away but a lot just blatantly stare..... the lady in MacDonalds had to bring something to us and stuttered out "Hello" then laughed loudly and ran back to the counters where all her friends were laughing too.... we are getting use to this now... also a lot of people want to have their photo taken with you, this has happened a lot to us all over South East Asia, so somewhere out there is our ugly mugs in a lot of strangers photo albums. We are calling ourselves the Beckhams of Asia when this happens...

And this morning, we went to see the main highlight of coming here - the Giant Panda Research and Breeding Centre. Sichuan is the home of the last 1,000 Pandas in the wild, but I will let Nancy tell you the story of our trip to see the Pandas!

Nancy reporting...

Very cool to see Pandas up close, but the centre is a lot like a zoo, a very nice zoo but still a zoo. The Pandas are very used to humans milling around and photos being taken and happily lay on their backs chomping through their favourite piece of bamboo. We did a tour that made sure we were there early so we got to see them eat, as after they eat, they just sleep.....

There were 3 younger ones inside behind bars, that were very cute, they knew it was feeding time and were pushing their snouts through, looking at us with pleading eyes, assuming we had the food (or maybe a key to let them out..)

I think we both enjoyed the Red pandas the most, there were about 10 that were 18 months old and they were seriously cute!!! You just want to pick them up, which you wouldn't of course, they have very sharp claws and teeth, so not a good idea....

You could also pay and have your photo taken with a giant panda, I would have of liked to but, the price was $50 US so budget said no....

The centre is having success with the breeding of pandas in captivity but, they say it is still unable to multiply the population to the level they were hoping for.

But as it is quite a tourist attraction now, it is good in the sense that the more people are aware of how endangered these beautiful bears are the less likely they are to be poached, and more reserves are set up for them as China's ever increasing population attempts to meet its land and resource needs. The government has apparently set up 11 reserves in the Southwest of China for pandas, so thats something I suppose.

So although the visiting of the Pandas was no where near as exciting as seeing the Gorilla's it was still the closest we have been to them, and this centre is doing some very good work, so the admission ticket was money well spent.

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