PANDAS! PANDAS! PANDAS! // Chengdu, China

 

 

If I ever thought crossing the road in the Melbourne CBD could be difficult, I was very, very wrong. Crossing the road in Chengdu was an art in itself. A terrifying, terrifying art. The roads were insanely busy, cars didn’t indicate, and everyone rode scooters and simply did not give a shit about traffic lights. I soon decided acting like a local was the safest and easiest approach to crossing the road, and would frantically follow people across. As you can see below, helmets were also not a thing!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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On my second night in Chengdu I met up with Hamza again, and we – along with his lovely flat mate – ventured out for some local Sichuan food for dinner. We ended up going to a restaurant where there was no English on the menu, and spent a hilarious 15 minutes ordering our meal with Google translate. Thankfully the waitress took it all in good humour, and we soon had our fabulous food. Sichuan food is notorious for being spicy, and I can certainly vouch for that now! There is even a local peppercorn that turns your mouth slightly numb.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter dinner we ventured to the top of the nearby shopping centre to visit the face of the giant panda.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe caught a cab (again, terrifying) to Jinli Street, a popular tourist attraction. The bustling street is a refurbished shopping and food district around a temple modeled around what it would have historically looked like. It was beautiful to see. In the above photo, I am also the subject of the photo of a number of domestic tourists! Apparently international tourists aren’t overly common.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMilk tea! Green matcha milk tea with red beans. I became addicted to this stuff.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe next day, I went on a tour run by my hostel to the Giant Panda Breeding Centre! This place is the main tourist attraction in Chengdu, and is usually over run with tourists. However, my tour guide got me (the only person on the tour!) to the centre by 8am, and I was waiting by the enclosures before the pandas had even come out. It was great to have a tour guide, as he led me to all the best spots, despite not speaking English.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI even saw two week old baby pandas!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe below panda cubs were energetically playing when I arrived, which was adorable to watch. I probably stood around for nearly half an hour watching them!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRed pandas as well! Just casually walking right past me standing on the footpath.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe panda centre was well worth the visit. I took a million more photos than this initially, but I exercised some self control and cut them down!

– Reanna

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