It all started here...

It all started here...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pandas! Pandas!

Jinli, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Pandas Breeding and More Good Food
September 5, 2016 -- CTourus Day 7

Our final full day on this tour was a rainy one. Despite the undesirable weather, we had a lot of fun! Not only we had some great food again (paying extra, of course), we also had a chance to see the giant pandas. Not just one or two like at the local zoos but many of them all at one place. What a delightful experience that was!

Rainy day in Chengdu.

Yes, one more shopping stop. This one is for Chinese herbal medicine. First, they treated us with a complimentary foot massage session which they encourage us to purchase the herbs used in that foot bath and some other ointment and dried ingredients. They kept emphasizing that the workers who were giving us the foot massage based their salaries on what we purchase. That these girls from the villages really needed our support but we were not suppose to give them any tips/money for their services. If they were found to have taken cash from us they will be fired. Well, of course, none of us really need any expensive unknown medicine other than some bought cans of ointment feeling sorry for the girls. The funny thing was that several of us were told by the girls in private that it was OK to give them money if we are not buying anything as long as they were not caught. They happily took the money secretly passed to them as they were massaging our feet. One even told a member to go to the restroom and do the exchange there after the massage. So, I am still not sure who is telling the truth or if they are double-dipping on us. There was also a 'Tibetan Doctor' who were giving diagnosis and treatment using 'chi-gong' on a particular member. We have been to one of these when we were in Kunming a couple of years back and knew about these 'Tibetan Doctors' and their tricks so we did not fall for it. I think that particular member spent quite a lot of US dollars that day buying medicines that would last her for a few months.

We were also taken to a silk factory on one of the tour days but I don't remember when since I did not have any photos of the visit. We were kept in there until they were happy with our purchase before letting us go. With one set of silk comforter already sitting in my closet at home, now, I bought another set just so we could leave the place. This particular silk factory did not have good sales personnel. We were quite offended by the way they presented themselves to the point of being very rude to us. Not a very pleasant experience!


Our guide on the bus.

For lunch, we were taken to this restaurant with private rooms and big tables. We were served a banquet type meal (Imperial Herbal Meal). Did I say that this was one of the 'add-ons' that we paid extra for? Food was good, nothing spectacular or fancy, it was more about the environment.

Black wood-ear (fungi)

ham and noodle

bean curd

tea-roast duck

wine was also served

a good bowl of soup

plates of food

onion pancakes and some sweet cakes

There was a sitting area inside the private room.

A medicine shop downstairs.

Jinli, Chengdu (錦里)
After lunch, we were taken to a popular attraction and pedestrian street in Chengdu--Jinli, which is located to the east of the Wuhou Temple. The Wuhou Temple is the most famous Three Kingdoms Period museum in China. Seems like this city is big on the Three Kingdoms history which I suspect the whole Sichuan province is. Jinli is also known as the 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. Jinli is more than a street but rather a pedestrian area where you can stroll through the store-filled streets and alleys. There are tea houses, eateries, stores, hotels on both sides of the streets making this a fun and colorful place to spend a couple of hours.

The Wuhou Temple which we did not get a chance to visit.

The archway entrance.

Beautiful buildings!

Notice the Starbucks on the left?



The wooden stage in the center of 'town'.

This stage is used for performing Sichuan opera or traditional wedding performance sometimes.

Shopping for chili?

Interesting! Jinli Catholic church chicken.

Even a Dairy Queen.

Characters from the Three Kingdoms.

Hall of the Three Kingdoms Heroes

There must be a story behind this well.

Store selling well-wishes decorations.

People hung their wishes all over the place.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Finally, one of the highlights on this trip, pandas! It was pretty quiet when we visited this research base, probably because of the rain. We were kind of worried if the pandas would even come out on such a wet day. Fortunately, we were treated nicely by the pandas.

Entrance to the site.

'Rain, rain, go away, come again another day!'

Again, we got tickets for the electrical golf carts.

part of the base

our ride

These photos are self explanatory. Aren't pandas cute!?

Snack time!


Oh, baby!

Napping time!

Beyond cute!

Kung Fu Panda as we leave the base.

What a fun visit! We did not get to hold the pandas but it was OK.

For our last dinner in Chengdu, we had the all-you-can-eat hot pot. We did not order the spicy Sichuan soup base and opted for the herbal one instead.

These were brought to us before we even ordered our food but they were OK to take back whatever we did not want.

Then we ordered all the stuff that we wanted and had a great meal.

Duck blood for those who dare. It was really good though, silky and soft like tofu.

Ending this tour with a wonderful hot pot meal before going back to the hotel.
That night, we also went across the street to check out the Carrefour which has everything anyone ever wants.

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