Chengdu


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Pandas

When our train arrives in Chengdu, it's 05:20 in the morning. Umpff, that's early. After a shower, breakfast and other morning rituals we're off to see the pandas. Chengdu is the home of the famous Panda Research and Breeding Centre, which is the place to see pandas.

When you say "panda", most people think about the black and white one, also known as the giant panda. However, there is another kind of panda, called the red or lesser panda. Those are funny animals, especially at feeding time (09:15).

 Red panda's just before feeding time

Giant panda's are really lazy

Real fucking live show

Next, a group of young black and whites, also at feeding time (09:30). Those pandas are lazy !! One of them is even too lazy to come down and eat. That's the moment I decide I really like pandas.

Too lazy to come down and eat

And I like the adult pandas even more. The one you see on the left was a true performer. Yeah, a real live show. As we say in Dutch, the panda must be a close relative of the "masturbeertje" .

Market

Close to our hotel I discover this small market. Ah, those markets are always nice. Not one tourist in sight, lots of local people shopping, lively colours, wonderful smells. And a lot of items for sale you haven't a clue what it is.

Meat the butcher

At the market

What's very interesting about Chengdu, is that old and new are mixed closely together. One moment you walk in one of those modern shopping streets, with Bvlgary and Cartier shops, and with an "M" every 50 meters. The next moment you step into this  market, which feels like it hasn't changed much in the last 200 years. Except for the high-tech scales of the butcher, of course.

Renmin Park

The Renmin Park is a small park in the centre of Chengdu. Small, but very nice, with a small lake where you can rent boats. And some people, like this man in his underwear, even have a swim. Never seen that before.

Naked man in the park

Huppelkutjes

Very important in Chengu's Renmin Park are the teahouses. There are many to choose from. Or you can skip tea, and find a nice place in the park where you can watch the many kinds of dancing that are practiced here.
Eating is very important for the Chinese. You will always see people with a bowl of rice, even in the park.

Feeding time in the park

A scary ghost house

A strange attraction in the Renmin Park is the haunted house, which is located in one of the many atomic shelters of Chengdu. It isn't particularly scary, because most of the lamps that should illuminate the 'frightening' monsters, have been stolen. Now you just stumble trough the dark, occasionally hearing whooaaaaahhhh!!

The Tian Fu Square is the main square of Chengdu. This is the place to be on a hot evening, with old ladies singing and dancing. When we were here, it wasn't hot enough, so there was no old-lady-entertainment. Just the fountains to look at.

Fountains in Tian Fu Square

Chinese Opera

Leshan Buddha

Leshan is a city about 150 km from Chengdu, and famous for it's Buddha.

Leshan Buddha (and Hans)

The monk Haitong

 That's me (with the Buddha in the background)

This Buddha is 71 meters high and is the largest sitting Buddha in the world. It was carved from the rock some 1300 years ago by the monk Haitong (and some of his followers), in order to protect the area from flooding of the two rivers. Yes, dykes would have been more useful, but then we wouldn't have a reason to visit Leshan.

The boat for the lazy people

There are two ways to visit the Buddha. The first is by walking (with a few steps). Lazy people can also take the boat. And of course the lazy people say it's very nice to see the Buddha from the river.
Yeah, right !


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