China #7: Chengdu

China #7: Chengdu

Monday 12 August

This is the capital of China’s southwest Sichuan Province and is famed for being the home of the giant pandas. The Giant Pandas are found only in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. There are fewer than 2,000 with 70% distributed within the territory of Sichuan Province.

Chengdu Panda Base was founded in 1987. It started with 6 giant pandas that were rescued from the wild. The base also cares for other rare and endangered wild animals.

At last, in the morning we finally saw the pandas. The reserve also had Red Pandas (lesser panda). Despite the name they are not related to the giant panda.

Jinli Street

At one end of Jinli Street is an imposing archway with ‘Jinli Street’ carved on it. From there the lane, paved with green flagstones, winds through Chengdu for a length of 350 meters. It was mentioned as early as the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206 BC). It was restored and opened to the public in October 2004.

Visitors from all over China, and the world, gather here to relax, admire the traditional-style buildings, and taste some of the local snacks. We just sampled the ice cream and some of the local entertainment.

In the evening we ate hotpot and then flew out to Guilin, from where we had a further two hours on a bus to Yangshuo. It was dark by the time we arrived so we could not see very much.

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