18.05.2016 – 19.05.2016
We unintentionally ended up in Chengdu, originally we had crossed Chengdu off our visit list in China, as we had a few other regions we wanted to visit. However, after finding out how complex it was to visit certain areas (20-hour train rides to get to the middle of nowhere, after previous 20 hours train rides, and then you have to do that in reverse… not thanks – not today) we had to re-route our plan for China. In hindsight, we should have gone back to Beijing after Xian and used Beijing as a base, as trains are super accessible from Beijing, and serviced a majority of the areas we wanted to visit – hindsight’s a wonderful thing, we decided to loop around to our next destination via Chengdu.
We caught over first overnight train to Chengdu from Xian. We had no idea what to expected, but we were pleasantly surprised. Each train carriage consisted of about 11 sections, and each section consisted of two sets of triple bunks. The beds are comfortable enough, made more bearable with a nice snug blanket and plush pillow. The trains are well equipped, toilets and hot water supplied. So we had two minute noodles for dinner and breakfast. The only negative about the train was that they allow smoking in between the carriage and although not many people smoke, the smell of smoke wafts down the carriage, as there are no windows, and is super unpleasant at times.
Due to our lack of planning, we didn’t really know what to do in Chengdu other than visit the pandas. We are both animal lovers, and I’ve always thought Pandas were cute, but after seeing the pandas, at the panda breeding conservatory in Chengdu, and I am more in love than ever (is this what you feel when you have a baby – I suspect so – I had a real bond with the Ying Ying the Panda). We arrived early as we were pre-warned that after feeding time, the pandas turn to sleepy blobs during the day. So we took this advice and got out of our room early for once, and headed to see the pandas. There are multiple different enclosures for the pandas, some are by themselves, others together in groups, there even a maternity ward, where the pregnant pandas have a retreat. We loved our time here and could have watched them play for hours! Enjoy our slideshow.
PANDAS. OMG PANDAS. WE LOVE PANDAS!
The afternoon gave us a good chance to catch our breath and book our onward journey to Zhangjiajie. As we wanted to originally travel on a Friday night, it was impossible to get a bed for the overnight train, so we have to cut Chengdu short and go to Zhangjiajie the next day.
OUR FAVOURITE BITS
- Seeing the Pandas.
- Hearing the Pandas.
- Videoing the Pandas.
- Looking at the Pandas.
- Staring at the Pandas.
- Planning how to steal a Panda and smuggle one home to have as our pet.
- Did I mention we loved the Pandas?
- Leaving Chengdu! (but not the pandas)
- Go to see the Pandas.
- The city of Chengdu is not worth visiting unless you’re there to see Mount Emei, the pandas or taking a trek to Tibet. It’s pretty much irrelevant otherwise. Be sure to have a plan for Chengdu no matter what you want to do!