WE SAW PANDAS, WE SAW PANDAS, WE SAW PANDAS!! Chengdu China is famous for its Panda Breeding and Research center. We arrived early in the morning at the center because Panda’s sleep a lot. Our expectations were blown away we thought we might see at the most five pandas and from far away. We saw so many – they were so cute, cuddly and adorable. We were able to see them eating and active. We even saw some cubs playing with each other and their mama. Kendal found a new favorite animal – the Red Panda. There were a lot of them at the center as well. They just wandered around and were fascinating to watch. They look like a fox, raccoon, panda mix. They are a beautiful red with black legs and a long bushy striped tail. The property was immense and beautifully landscaped. The Pandas all had a lot of room and looked really healthy and happy. They tour of the research center also provided an educational 30 minute video on the background of the center which also included detail on the breeding aspect of the center (that covered a large portion of the health education for the kids this year – wow). Overall it was a great experience.
Chengdu was a really nice town and we stayed at great hostel called Lazy-Bones. Lazy-Bones offered a free guided walking tour of the city in which we gladly participated. The tour took us to many different types of markets. We were even allowed to have a short visit with some kids at school and they all were so happy to see us they shared their mastery of the English language as soon as they saw us and shouted “Good Morning Teacher”. We stopped at some temples and visited a Nunnery for lunch. It houses Nuns who have shaved heads and wear a robe just like male Monks but are female – thus, Nuns. They have a lunch that you can join them for less than $1 US. We shared in their vegetarian feast (which was amazingly delicious) and listened to them chant before and after eating; another unforgettable experience.
One night we went to the famous Face Changing Opera. We again saw the energy conservation where you wear your coat the entire show – some people even had blankets. The show was very fast moving, showing many different types of entertainment. They did shadow puppets, a comedy act, dancing and the infamous Face Changing. It was amazing to see the masks change – we believe in magic!! We really enjoyed the show.