Hello from Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province. Home to the sichuan peppercorns and of course, PANDAS! Chengdu is a great city with a population of 11 million. It has a very relaxed lifestyle, people seem to be calmer and everything is less hectic. There’s also a lot less beeping and honking from cars.
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda
What’s a better reason to visit a city than seeing cute pandas. The research base was established in 1987 and is a breeding facility for the giant panda and red pandas. It is located just outside the city centre and is easily reachable by car and bus. There’s also a local shuttle bus that visits the main tourist sights. There are a number of areas where you can see the pandas, including the nursery where the baby pandas live. Entrance fee is 58 RMB per person.
Jinli Pedestrian Street
Situated 10 minutes from downtown Chengdu is Jinli Street. This ‘ancient’ street is built in traditional style with wooden buildings and red lanterns decorating the alleys, which are filled with street vendors and stalls selling a range of knick-knacks. Even though it is a very touristy area, it’s nice to see somewhere which isn’t occupied by skyscrapers. Nevertheless, in these traditional structures are familiar global companies. (Guess you can’t get that far away from them). We went during a weekday in the afternoon and it wasn’t too busy. I imagine at the weekends it can get quite packed. Entry is free for the street itself.
Food from this region is notoriously spicy, with the hotpot being the most famous. Mike loves spicy food so he was loving life.
We decided to live in a serviced apartment as they provide washing machines! We stayed in HDCL serviced apartments which are located centrally in Chengdu. We were just behind the main road filled with malls/restaurants so things were easily accessible. The apartment was really good, but the kitchen didn’t actually provide any facilities (plates/cookers/cutlery etc) so if you wanted to stay here and cook you may have to request them. The staff were super friendly and it was no different than staying in a hotel as rooms were cleaned every day. They also had a ‘coffee bar’ on the eight floor which was unnecessarily big where you can get unlimited tea/coffee(but no bar ?). The only downside was the internet connection, which was very temperamental. However, we have found this in all the places in China.
We are off now to our last stop in China, Shanghai. See you soon!