We went to Chengdu to learn about Science and Chinese culture, as a bonus we got to experience the beauty and fantastic food. Chengdu is a more relaxed city than Shanghai and is one of the capitals of the Shu Kingdom.
The first thing that we did when we arrived was eat! We went to a traditional hotpot restaurant, although a couple of our group wasn’t that enthusiastic. Most of us however really liked it, and the musician played us music on the pipa while we ate, which was a fabulous experience.
One of the main reasons that we chose Chengdu was to work with the pandas. Pandas are currently under huge threat, because of the destruction of their environment and they are very fussy eaters and easy targets for predators. We think that if there were no humans looking after them they would be extinct. They are actually extremely lazy and we even had to break up their bamboo dinner for them to help them eat it!
Pandas eat a great deal of food, and as we are well aware what goes in must check out. As a result they poop at least 100 times per day (!) (And we know this is true as we had to clean their compounds twice). As payment for our services we got to get really close and feed them by hand; a truly magical experience.
We also went to visit the ancient Leshan Buddha which is a world UNESCO site. Many people do not realize that there are actually three of them. The large one carved into the mountain, the reflection in the water and the sleeping Buddha that can be seen from a distance. We saw this site by boat because we could get a much better view of the whole site.
We also fitted in a visit to the Chengdu Museum which has outstanding collections from ancient Chengdu to modern history, including costumes, china and weapons. There was even a special exhibition about the bronze- age.We also visited Jinli and Kuanzhai Alley, the traditional parts of the city retained for their beauty and ancient architecture which sold extremely yummy blown candy specific to the area.
Chengdu was awesome and we were blessed to have been able to visit this great city and its history but most of all the sacred pandas.
Many thanks to Ms Nancy Xu and Ms Weeden for arranging this fantastic opportunity for us.
By G7 Jonathon, Evy, Mathilda, Jessica, Fiona, Yolanda