With a population of 14 million people, Chengdu (成都) is the capital and the heart of Sichuan Province. The city itself is flat, with no distinguishing natural features. The weather is grey, hazy and super humid in the summer. However, the relaxing teahouse culture, the lively nightlife, the Panda reservoir, the snacks, and the great culture make it an absolute must see in Sichuan province.
In Chengdu I had another super lovely host who gave me a free room upgrade, free water, free dinner, tea, breakfast and Chinese herbals. And I paid 18¥ the night… What a warm embrace so soon after arrival in Chengdu. When I made my travel plans 2 months ago, I knew Chengdu will be one of the absolute highlights, which is so due to the fact that the nationals treasure; (国宝) Pandas live there in an absolutely lovely reservoir, but let’s go step by step.
In the hostel I met some young guys and this young lad celebrated his 21st birthday that day. He studies dancing at an academy in Changsha, Hunan Province and he’s such a positive guy!
So the host organized a hot pot dinner for all of us in the hostel! What an ice breaker!
Sichuan is famous for its enormously spicy food and I was welcomed by the most picy hotpot ever! Me and another guy from Hubei Province were struggling a lot, sweating, breathing heavily and trying to survive that dinner, while the host said, that’s far away from being very spicy from him. Welcome to Sichuan’s cuisine!
Later that night, we went out to explore the Sichuan nightlife and celebrate the dancer’s birthday. I witnessed a Chinese habit that I just won’t understand. We entered a bar and ordered 24 beers at once (for 4 people). I already got used to the fact, that beer is served warm in China, but ordering 24 beers instead if ordering one after another is economically just nonsense, isn’t it? And no, there was no minimum consume regulation.
However it was a great night with my friends from all over China (Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan) and I learnt something new about Chinese drinking culture.
The next day I went to see the Panda reservoir. It hosts 120 Pandas and 76 red Pandas. The base focuses on these shy creatures to breed. I immediately fell in love with those lovely little things.
And here some videos:
And a climbing Panda
And a very handsome red Panda
I didn’t only see big pandas but also baby pandas!
In the evening I went to see Chengdu at night..
.. and from above:
Also very nice is the Chengdu museum in the very city center, which offers some nice insights in the culture of shadow plays and displays many ancient figures:
The next trip goes to Dujiangyan to see an ancient and historic town, LeShan to see the biggest Buddha in the world and to Emeishan, a sacred mountain area south of Chengdu. Stay tuned!