The trip so far, Chengdu

Note: new/other photos will be posted once I have a chance to really edit them after getting home.

Chengdu is an interesting city. It’s fairly large, with a population of about 14 million, but has a more relaxed atmosphere than I expected. The temple districts are packed with people and small stores and stalls, but it’s still easy to find relaxing tea houses or quiet parks.

We had planned to spend a day at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base getting to work with and feed the pandas, but due to the First Lady’s visit, they had shut it down for two days due to security concerns… Damned politicians. So instead we to a two hour bus out to Ya’an to the Bifengxia Panda base. Did an amazing hike around the gorge, passing waterfalls and other amazing scenery. Finally we arrived at the panda center, and although we didn’t get to feed them, it was really cool getting to see the big and baby pandas.

The food in Chengdu was not as I expected, or my tolerance for spicy food has gone up a bit. Spicy hot pot was very good, mapo tofu a bit disappointing. The highlights though were the lamb in cumin at a Chinese Muslim restaurant and the yak meat dishes at a Tibetan restaurant.

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