Panda's & Theater

Trip Start Oct 07, 2009
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Trip End Oct 24, 2009


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Where I stayed
Sharma - Chengdu

Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today we were scheduled to meet the group at 8:30 a.m. to depart for the Chengdu Panda Reserve. 
The weather was overcast, but we understand that is typical for Chengdu and weather the Pandas enjoy.  It took about 40 minutes to arrive at the Panda Reserve.

We started the tour with one of the scientists at the research center educating us on the Panda's.
We learned about the typical food, environment, hobbies and other key information on the Panda.
After the discussion with her we were off to see some of the Panda's.  We came across a few Pandas who were fairly active.  They were playing a bit and eating lot's of bamboo.  They were very cute some were laying on their backs eating the bamboo, others were lounging around enjoying their snack.

We stopped at another location where we saw Panda's who were 1 year old.  They must have eaten a lot before we got there, because they were all sound asleep.  They were funny laying around in all odd positions.  We then went to the Panda nursery where we saw two baby Pandas about a month old, one of the cutest sights we've ever seen!  Unfortunately we we not allowed to photograph the babies :(   In another area were two very active Panda's who were climbing through holes and up a tree.  The final area housed the red Pandas which look like a large red raccoon.

After visiting these Pandas it was time to sit with a Panda and have our pictures taken.  It was quite an experience.  The Panda was only 1 year old, but about 85 lbs.  He sat next to us on the bench and we could pet him, hug him, kiss him, whatever you wanted to within reason.  Prior to us sitting with him another traveler was giving him lot's of attention when he turned and went to "hug" her, but scratched her instead.  She was fine and handled it very well.

Upon leaving the Panda Reserve it was back to Chengdu for lunch.  Lunch was at the Sofitel Hotel -- however this hotel was also hosting some of the dignitaries, therefore they had extra security.  We had go through a bag check and metal detector to go to lunch.  That is a first.  The buffet was very good it had almost everything you could imagine.

After lunch we had a session with a Kung Foo Master.  He demonstrated a number of moves for us including some stick fighting moves.  Bonnie volunteered to learn from him and did a very good job learning quickly two moves.

We had a few hours of down time and then it was off for yet another meal and the Chengdu Opera.  Dinner was a Hot Pot restaraunt on what they call "Lovers Lane" in Chengdu.  Interesting that we were told that many couples go to Lovers Lane for their first dates, however it is mostly jewelry stores on this road.  Dinner was very good, however with the Hot Pot's the rooms get very warm.

The Opera House was close to the restaraunt and was held in an outdoor theater.  You sat in Bamboo chairs, was served tea and could have either a massage or an ear de-waxing.  Bob & I opted for the massage.  $8 for a 20 minute massage and the massage was unbelievable.  The Opera was very different than you expect.  It had puppets, singers, kazoo's, skits, and the face changing performance.  It was an amazing performance.  The cast was able to change their masks in the flash of an eye.  We were also able to view the cast as they
were getting ready for the performance.

What a wonderful day :)
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