Chengdu, China October 22-23, 2010
WARNING: This maybe the cutest post you will ever read!
This was Part of our China Itinerary:
|Xian to Chengdu||9:50 PM|
|67°/56°F||Arrive Chengdu||10:55 PM|
|Hotel:||Nova Traveller’s Lodge|
|Taxi Pick up|
|Friday||10/22/10||Giant Panda Breeding Base||8:00 AM (3/4hrs)|
|Leave for Airport||7:00 PM|
|Chengdu to Guilin||9:50 PM|
Our trip to China included a stop at Chengdu to visit the Giant Panda Breeding Base and Reserve. This is the only reason we came to town. We flew in from Xi’an and checked into the Nova Traveler’s Lodge. We arrived pretty late in the evening. I emailed them about our really late arrival. This hostel was so different from the previous one we stayed in. It seemed so quiet that no one was there. it was also late in the evening. The Hotel was simply decorated, some information about taxi and a plain looking reception desk.
All we did the evening we came into Chengdu was prepare for the next day. My plan was arrive early then wait to get to hold a Panda. We got there too early. So early that no one was there to sell us a ticket. Good thing there was a man selling steam buns and soup across the street! It looked so fresh and yummy we could resist.
Luckily for us Chengdu had great street food. Locals were there eating it up so we decided to join. We sat around and ate as much as we can until the Base opened up.
Finally it opened up. I rushed to get ticket and then we looked for where to hold the Pandas. Oddly there was no sign. We had to walk back and forth through out the research base. Finally we asked the information center and they gave us instructions. Price of admission into the Reserve was change. Price to hold the Pandas or what they call donation for the reserve was a steep $130. There were Australians in the area looking for the same experience. They were ahead of us. Finally a line had form but amazingly the line was short we were third and forth in line after the Australian couple. Behind us were tourist from another European country. The line was only about 15-20 people long. I was really afraid that the line would be so ridiculous that we couldn’t have a chance to hold these cute little bears. Must have been the steep donation price that weens the line down.
As i looked frantically for the “hold Panda line” i came across the nursery. I couldn’t help but stop and say “Aweee” . then our search continued for this infamous Panda holding. Funny thing was it was right next to the nursery!
Here i am, super excited. They made us wear these hospital scrub looking things. They were weird blue paper like gowns. To protect the Pandas from taking up our Human scent. With that they gave us gloves and booties. Just glad there wasn’t a face mask also with the prep.
They gave the Panda some bamboo with honey to keep him entertained as he was pass along to each of us. I’ve read that it was split second you get with the Panda. I actually thought i had him for a good long time. The caretaker plopped this giant bear on my lap. He was only a year old and was my size. He didn’t care what was going on as long as he had his bamboo. He was so cute. I couldn’t help but turn red from excitement. I held onto him as much as i can. I remember his hair wasn’t as soft as i would think. it was little bristly. He then started to slip off my lap because of my plastic gown they placed on me. So naturally i tried to shimmy Little Panda back up by squeezing him up. He got scared i think so he bite my hand. I looked up at the people and yelps “ouch, i think he bite me” they scooped him up as quickly and checked on me. he didn’t break any skin and they asked if i were ok. I was fine. So they placed him on my lap again and they gave him more bamboo and they took this great photo of us. He seems to like the camera too.
Now a few people can say they held a panda, but not very many can say they got bitten by one.
After our great experience. We wandered around the park a little bit more. Saw more Giant Pandas being fed, rolling around, and just being all around cute. This Reserve was better than Disneyland. It just made you instantly happy when you see these great bears!