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Giant Pandas...How Cute Are They!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you all

Awesome day today.?We headed to the 'Panda Factory' (The Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base).?It was a great day even though we didn't see many things coloured black and white move.?The little Red Pandas were at least up and about even though they were panting like buggery.?I guess you probably have to get there at seven or so in the morning, prior to breakfast to see them playing like children.?We weren't too worried though, they were just as cute sleeping.?They end up in the strangest positions.?it's so funny watching them move about trying to get comfortable and when they do find a comfortable position to me it is the weirdest and most uncomfortable postion.?The day was bloody hot and we were envious of the Giant Pandas and their airconditioned rooms.?The poor Red Pandas had to do their best in the outside heat.?

OK, how to get there...

1: You could join a tour with a hostel etc for around 70 Yuan (that's a HUGE 40 Yuan bus fare or 20 Yuan to and 20 Yuan from....unfreaking believable mate!) OR

2: Give the following ago.?Worked for me and you get to ride on the Double Decker Bus No: 1!?I shouldn't tell you but it's so crammed and hot that it is actually fun...for me anyhow!?

OK...we caught Big Bus No: 1 from right outside Soma's Hostel (for only 1 Yuan!).?For around thirty or forty minutes it weaves and winds it's way to the outta suburbs and ends at Qinglongcheng (say Chinglongchen) Bus Station.?

Once out of the city I began to feel so much more comfortable.?As soon as we entered the dusty old area I began to miss my little Tianyang.?I'd much rather stay in a place like this than in the city for an extended period of time.?BUT, Chengdu's cool for now!

Once you reach Qinglongchen Bus Station walk right next door to the 'Long Distance' Bus Station and catch the small local bus number one.?You don't have to leave the local bus station as there is a walk through.?I think the long distance station is called Zhaojuesi Bus Station, but who knows.?Who knows why my map has two names for the bus station. Anyhow, bus number one...there seems to be two of them running from the long distance station, one with number one in a red circle and the other in blue circle.?The red said no and the blue said yes to us. So, for a further 1 Yuan we made it to the Giant Panda Research Base in a further twenty minutes.?You know when you arrive as there is a HUGE Panda statue in the middle of the road and it says in large letters?THE GLOBAL 500 AWARD' or something.?

So, thats a saving of 18 Yuan on bus fare one way and 36 for the day!

Unfreakin believable how much hostels and hotels change!

For your return journey, stand outside the gate and down the road a little...away from the 'You Buy You Buy' people anyhow.?Wave down bus number and take it back to Qinglongchen.?Here you can walk accross the road and have lunch in a local eatery.?The one where we ate the food was awesome and the family who ran it was full of smiles.?Costs half of what you pay in the city too.?We had a huge storm going on outside so we got to watch the family members chase their shops signs up and down the road for five or so minutes.?

When your ready, simply catch the big Double Decker Bus No: 1 back into the city and get off where ever you please.?Great thing about the return journey is the bus begins here so you can grab the front seats upstairs for a great view of the city as you head home.?

To get into the park it cost us 30 Yuan which is the same for everyone.?I know these things as I always watch what the Chinese pay before I do.?If they pay less I get very VERY SNAPPY!?Not much more to say really.?You walk around a beautiful park under a tunnel made of bamboo so your out oif the sun for most of it.?During the day not much happens in the outdoor panda pens.?You do get to go into some of the little panda houses.?

We spent some of our time happily telling the Chinese famiies NOT to bash on the windows to try and wake the pandas.?No shit, the family stands there as the father teaches the kids to bash on the windows and yell.?It's unbelievable the total disrespect most of the Chinese have towards animals and signs right before their eyes.?If you have the courage to yell at them to stop, say it to the father as he then looks bad before the children and they will simply leave.?

I know it sounds horrible but it has to start somewhere!

There is also a little cinema where you can sit and watch a twenty or so minute movie on the history of pandas and hand breeding and raising them.?It's played in Chinese and then in English.?Once again you'll have to speak up to actually hear the movie in English.?Families walk in at any time though the movie and if it's in English they'll all begin talking and if you've never been to China then please understand this.?Most of the Chinese don't 'talk', they yell at each other.?Most of us can't understand why when they are right next to each other.?I spend half the day shaking my head at the things I just can't comprehend and this is one of them.?

After both Judy and I yelled 'Please be quiet or Ching ung Ching!' we finally got to watch and actually hear the movie.?I know some of the things I write sound rude but this is what happens and in China if you don't speak up you'll never get a bus ticket or hear anything.?They just keep pushing in and your left standing there in an invisable line.?THERE ARE NO LINES!?You actually have to make one.?Once you've yelled at the person trying to push in and put your arms out to stop them passing the rest won't even try, they actually get into some form of line and wait their turn.

After the movie we grabbed our overpriced drinks and sat outside chatting to a very lucky Chinese guy.?He was a tour leader and gets to travel to Australia and New Zealand nearly every month.?Unlucky for him, the route never changes and he only gets to spend 1 night on the Gold Coast, 1 night in Melbourne and 4 nights in Sydney before heading to New Zealand.?He loves his job and I can understand why.?The actual flight seating is more comfortable and cleaner than most Chinese rural housing.?Then there are the clean Aussie hotels (not hostels) etc.?He was great to talk to and he was in Chengdu leading a tour of twenty or so rather plumpish wealthy Israelies.?

After saying good bye we headed to the front gate and checked out the Panda History Museum.?Not bad for thirty or so minutes.?If your going to buy anything don't buy it here, buy it out front from the 'You Buy You Buy' people.?Judy got some panda badges from out front and paid 12 down from 25.?To check the price (after payment...tut tut Judy) she priced them at another stall and they began at 10 for the same thing.?

Now thats a real bugger for Judy!

As we waited for local bus number 1 to come along lightening and thunder began above.?The You Buy You Buy people began packing in a frenzy.?Some didn't bother packing and hurriedly began wheeling their panda wears down the road.?After lunch and when the storm finally calmed down we caught the big bus home.?We of course grabbed the top front seats.?How cool where we!

We got home pretty late and walked around the city for a time before sitting for some internet.?the two machines at Somas are much too slow, that is when both are working,?Found an International IP phone and called home for the usual 3.6 Yuan a minutes.?You can call internationally from Somas in your room but it's 5 Yuan a minute.?Bugger that mate!

Anyhow Beers, Noodles and Pandas to ya...shane

Panda Research Base

Panda Research Base


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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