Here We Are Again And Only One Day Later!! Yahoo
May 6, 2005
The Panda Breeding and Research Center in Chengdu was great! We got to see many adolescent pandas and also several that were 8 months old. They were eating and playing with each other. So cute! We were within 8-10 feet of them. Had we been willing to pay 800 juan we could have had our picture taken with a baby panda. There were no takers in our group. A few, however, did pay 50 juan to have their pictures taken with an endangered red panda. (Looks like a red racoon). Chengdu has 2 major Panda Breeding Research Centers that are world renowned for their breeding programs. All Giant Pandas all over the world originated here. They have a very natural setting and very beautiful grounds. It was so peaceful walking around the grounds. They have the highest rate of births with the lowest death rate anywhere. Very impressive.
The hotel we stopped at for lunch before going to the airport had a wedding reception going on. We had to walk right by the bride and groom and their guests. They immediately offered us wrapped candies and cigarettes. Some of our group that were behind us were actually asked to poise for pictures with the bride and groom. Big Noses must bring good luck!!
Chengdu is located in the Sichaun Providence and we were served some of the local foods. As you can imagine, most of the dishes were very spicy.
We are now in Xi'an in our hotel, the Wan Nian Grand Hotel. It is a new hotel and is a 5 star rating, but not quite as nice as the Tibet Hotel in Chengdu. We are told that Xi'an is the oldest city in China but from all appearences,it is trying to catch up rapidly. Construction everywhere. The craziest traffic yet. Buses,people,bikes,taxis,cars,trucks, etc. going every which way. Saw two accidents on the way to the hotel.
Just realized we have not told you about the weather while we have been here. It is late spring and the weather in China has been in the low to mid 80's. Only rained for about one hour late one afternoon while we were on the cruise ship and a little while we were sleeping. In Tibet it was sort of cold in the mornings and evenings, but sweaters at most in the afternoons. Rained the one night while we were walking to the restaurant otherwise it was clear with beautiful clouds. We were expecting colder weather and have found we do not have enough light clothing. Thank God for laundry service.
We have internet access here in the hotel so we will send another email tomorrow after we see the Terra Cotta Warriors.
By the way there was also tons of construction going on in Lhasa. Women working right along side of the men digging, carrying heavy loads on their backs, driving trucks etc.
Our love to all,
Jean & Ollie
Hugs and Kisses to Lily!!! XXOO