Well guys….I am back!
As some of you may know, it has been a pretty long time since I last posted on here, and some may ask, why?
Well to be honest it is mostly due to the fact that I have been so busy this last year or so that I just haven’t had the opportunity to do a whole lot of travelling, thus I have had nothing new to photograph or write about.
Some may be wondering at the title of this post; “the LAST great adventure….in China”, well that it because I am writing this post from the kitchen of my parents home in sunny England. My girlfriend got a visa for the UK which is great, but also for New Zealand, which is awesome! We plan on going there in about 6 months time…so hopefully there will be some posts from there in the not too distant future!
As I said, I had been very busy the last year or so busting my chops to save money for visa’s here there and everywhere, but also for one more trip in China. It was pretty clear cut where we both wanted to go, Sichuan!
PANDA’S BABY! I have always said that I wanted to see panda’s before leaving China, and now I can tick that off my bucket list!
I have to say, before i go any further on this post…I like Sichuan, a lot! It was a great place with lots to do, great food and a climate that was very agreeable to me.
“It don’t matter if you’re black or white”…or both!
After arriving VERY late at our hostel in Chengdu and getting a great nights sleep we both knew what was first on our list of places to go, the Panda research center.
For those of you who may not be aware, panda’s were recently moved from the IUCN endangered species list to vulnerable. This is mostly due to the hard work done by the Chinese to bring this beautiful species back from the edge with now about about 1800 adults and somewhere in the region of 2000 cubs, although this last figure is only an estimate!
I have always found it quite funny how the Chinese revere the giant panda…and ONLY the giant panda but none of the other amazing species they have in there enormous country. If this animal had been anything else then it would have been shot, fried and served with a bowl of rice. But hey…I digress.
This place is excellently maintained, compared with any zoo which I have been to in China. The difference is night and day, you can really see that they genuinely want to do the best they can with this one species.
To get here it is easy just to pick up the subway to the nearest stop and then grab a bus for 5 minutes, be prepared however to be packed in like a sardine as this place is very popular! Try your best to roll out of bed early and get there when doors open at 7:30, trust me on this as it will be 100% worth the extra effort. When you come to leave, the hordes will be arriving and you will be happy that you did it!
So what can you see here then? Well obviously panda’s…duh! There are Giant panda’s and also red panda’s, and then they have different areas for the different life stages, so adults, sub-adults and cubs. They also have some educational rooms; forget these though unless you are fluent in mandarin as they don’t provide English.
Due to the fact that the giant panda’s diet largely consists of bamboo, which is not a particularly good source of energy, they are a pretty lazy species! You will find most of them either lying on there back or sitting on there posterior covered in bamboo, but i found this to be pretty endearing. The smaller red panda’s are a lot more active than there bigger cousins, I would highly recommend you search out the breeding enclosure which you can walk in to and get VERY close to the red’s. I even witnessed a small little fight between two, which resulted in one losing and ending up in the drink!
All-in-all I would say that this is a MUST see place if you are even in the area, even if you are not an animal guy like myself, it is still a great half day out and one that you will definitely not regret!
Well, we have come to the end of this first installment to my latest trip. What’s coming up I hear you say! Well, I shall share with you my experiences from a number of different places including Du Fu’s cottage, JiuZhaiGou and the Chengdu zoo amongst many more places.
I am going to leave you here with a few more photos from the panda research center, enjoy!