My little Dragon Boat festival travel adventure started Saturday morning with a 3.5 hour flight from Shanghai to Chengdu. Here I had planned to spend only one day including a panda tour. Ambitious but doable with a pair of nike free and lots of energy!
My Chinese friend Carlos picked me up in the airport and we went straight to Chengdu Panda Base to explore China's sacred and favorite animal - the Panda. I was so excited! The park is really impressive - very green, a lot to see, read and do but unfortunately midday in summer is probably the worst time to visit this lazy animal. It took us a while to actually find the REAL pandas and they were really really really tired. Still soooo cute so I forgave them for their laziness. I heard the best time is to come in the morning where they are fed and therefore a bit more energetic or maybe during winter season where I hear they run, jump & play. To look on the bright side Chengdu Panda Base let the pandas do what they want. Thus they are not forced to entertain panda-obsessed tourists like myself.
Straight from Pandas to the city center and the charming Jinli street where one can find old buildings, traditional architecture, souvenirs, lots of local snacks and this weekend: loooots of Chinese tourists. After some local snacks and an ice coffee at a very unique Starbucks we went to Tianfu Square which is known for the 30 m tall Mao Zedong statue. Hereafter to Chunxi Road shopping district which have an impressive range of brands, shops and malls.
We finished the day with the most spicy Sichuan hot pot which is a must-do must-try. It was even too spicy for Carlos and I learned that if that is the case when you eat out in China you simply just ask the waiter for cold soy milk and bean porridge which relief the burn from Sichuan-chilis.
(Zao shui, zao qi, shenti hao! / Early to bed, early rise, good health)
is an old Chinese saying and one that I had to follow as I was planning to catch the first bus to LeShan on Sunday morning. Here the Giant Buddha was awaiting me