Sixth stop on the journey, Chengdu. The 28-hour train ride from Xining was certainly long, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Watched a few documentaries and read a ton to kill the time.
Chengdu was a fine enough city, with the main attraction being the Panda Breeding Reserve. I spent first day walking around the city, seeing the Wenshuyuan Monastery, Du Fu Thatched Cottage, the People’s Park and Jin Li market. In the evening, a new friend from the hostel, Tessa, I went to go get traditional Sichuan spicy hot pot. It was absolutely delicious! We opted for the medium spicy, because Tessa thought the Chinese spicy level would be too much. It was spicy, but we both agreed that we could’ve had the Chinese level of spice. We also had cow stomach, which didn’t have much flavor, outside the hot pot spices, but it was like chewing on a rubber band. Don’t think I need to have cow stomach again, but you never know until you try!
The second day, Tessa and I went to the Panda Breeding Reserve. Luckily, we got there when it opened, and it wasn’t “too” busy while we were there. It was pretty cool to see pandas at different ages. My favorite were the cubs, which were rough housing and having fun. I was a bit hesitant to go the reserve because I’m not all that fond of zoos in general. I read that the reserve was better a standard zoo, which I would agree with, but still felt like some of the areas could have been bigger. Right as we were leaving, it started to pour and the lines to get in were super long. We timed it perfectly!
The main reason I went to Chengdu, was to take the bus to Jiuzhai Valley National Park (next post). That said, I enjoyed my time in Chengdu, mostly all the spicy food!!