China is one of my favourite countries to visit and it’s been really exciting getting to be with Patrick on his first trip here. After our travels in Guangzhou, Guilin and Yangshuo, it was time to head to Guiyang and Chengdu.
Guiyang was an interesting one night stop between Guilin and Chengdu, with a really big, beautiful park in the centre which is famous for its mountains and its mischievous monkey population! They’re known for stealing drinks from tourists and can bite a hole in the bottom to get the juice out. One even decided to throw a bottle at an unsuspecting visitor’s head – mine!
We then took the 15 hour sleeper train to panda city – Chengdu. It’s a bustling place which I’ve actually visited before and have been so excited to return and show Patrick its sights. Aside from the Panda Research Base (an absolute highlight), it’s full of temples and interesting shopping streets. We visited Jinli market, strolled through the Tibetan quarter and ate lots of Sichuan spicy food that’s so hot, your tongue goes numb!
We visited the Wenshu temple and other nearby monasteries. We took part in a Buddhist vegetarian lunch ceremony at a local nunnery and spent two and a half hours watching Sichuan opera in Chinese with 60 local OAPs!
We took a tour to the Leshan Giant Buddha and a nearby tea plantation where we picked green tea and learnt how it’s grown and processed.
The absolute highlight, however, was visiting the Chengdu Panda Base. We saw babies just a month or so old, teen cubs play fighting and chasing each other up trees and adults munching their way through 50kgs of bamboo each!
See all our photos from Guiyang and Chengdu now…