Helena Grace in Chengdu

During my time in China, one of the stops was Chengdu in the Shichuan province. The main reason for visiting was in fact Pandas. Quite frankly, I can think of no better reason, I think they are such lovely animals. 

We had a hostel recommended to us - Mix Hostel - and it was fantastic. After a slightly gruelling overnight train, we arrived and checked into our very basic (and slightly damp) room, but the rest of the hotel had a slightly boutiquey and Tibetan theme. 

Outdoor bathroom area with nice ceramic sinks

A random collection of framed photographs in the hotel hallway

Lion guarding the hostel from outside

GREEN TEA CHEESE CAKE IN STARBUCKS! - why we don't have this, I will never know. 

Fun fact: I LOVE anything Green Tea or Matcha flavoured. Sweets, Ice Cream, Cocktails, Cake, anything. 

Streets in Chengdu

Finally, we reach the Pandas. We saw the Pandas at the Research and Breeding Centre in Chengdu - I am convinced, far better than seeing them in any zoo in the world. http://www.panda.org.cn/english/

The enclosures are huge, they are well looked after and you can actually learn about the breeding program in place for the Pandas. Clearly important, as I think we are all aware of Panda's reluctance to procreate.

I could literally watch the Giant Pandas for hours! I love them. I particularly liked the one second in from the left, just lying down, covered in food, munching away.

Cheeky Red Panda on the walkway

Just nomming away

We were lucky to see babies in the nursery. There were some interesting noises coming from all of the visitors, including myself, which I can describe no other way than "SQWEEEE". They were absolutely adorable.

Koi pond

Sweet baby Panda dreams.

Buddha Park in Leshan

 We made our way to Leshan to see the Largest Buddha in the world - in case you can't get a sense of scale, just look at the peoples umbrellas at the top.

Some local cuisine. A Pork dish, which was fairly spicy, and if I remember correctly, it did not sit too well with the old stomach #TMI

In fact, there were several graffiti scribbles in the bathrooms on the topic of spicy food. A few which stuck with me were:
"Beware the hot pot. I have been in here for 3 days"
"Never trust a fart..."
Words of wisdom, I think you'll agree. 

Rainy Leshan!

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