Travel the World: Chengdu, Sichuan Province China

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 We recently had a day long layerover in Chengdu, China. It was my first time in central China, the Sichuan Province region. We didn't have very long to explore the capitol city Chengdu, but we made it a priority to see some giant pandas!

We spent the night at Buddha Zen, a hotel with old charm but modern conveniences. The exterior is currently under renovations, but I loved the interior. 

 A tranquil garden in the hotel's center.
We picked a hotel that was about 60 yuan from the Chengdu airport, another 40 yuan from the hotel to the panda center. In total, about $30 roundtrip. 

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. It was overcast and sprinkling a little bit on the morning we were there, but that's for the best because the pandas do well in the cool mist. A hotter day would mean that they would have to be kept in their AC cooled houses. We went right as the Base opened (another good idea, it gets quite overwhelming as the morning goes on and the crowds arrive) and the pandas were being fed. They are really inactive in the afternoon (and in the summer, Chengdu can get HOT. So really would recommend early morning feeding time) as the pandas need to conserve energy.

This guy, lounging and wiggling around on the ground, having a good time.

More rolling and flailing around on the ground.

Young giant pandas, settling down for a nap after breakfast.

This pair of young adults couldn't decide if they wanted to lay or sit while eating, attempted both. Used each others as pillows/back rests. ADORABLE.

I had never seen red pandas in person. Those ringed tails! 

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sample Chengdu's famous foods. It's well known for the numbingly hot Sichuan peppercorn infused hotpot. I was restricted to milder foods (food poisoning in Phuket. No bueno) so I had to grumpily stick to porridge and plain steamed buns when I could smell scintillating dishes cooked with chilies all around me.

I did however, have spicy hotpot back in Shanghai. It's not the same, but it is something.

Split pot style, with two bases. The left is a mild tomato base (my cousin's seven year old and I are chili wusses) and on the right, tons of little balls of mouth torture - the peppercorns, swimming in more hot chilies.

At Shanghainese hotpot restaurants, the eater usually has a hotpot condiment bar with a very generous selection of ingredients with which to make their sauce.
My understanding is that this is not so in Chengdu, the condiments tend to be much simpler. Definitely give the ultra hot hotpot a try if you're ever in the region.

Definitely a fun city to stop in! I wish we had some more time, but I think there's a good chance I will be back to this part of China. Next time I'm hoping to see Jiuzhaigou, possibly one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

So, what do you think?
Please be respectful and do not spam links. If you'd like to link back to your own site, please use the feature in Disqus that allows you to do so.