Chengdu, Pandas and the Giant Buddha in Leshan

Chengdu, Pandas and the Giant Buddha in Leshan
Chengdu, China

Chengdu, China

We get up early so only four hour sleep for me, but then again I can sleep anywhere; on a bus, on a kayak or even on a bench somewhere. Chengdu is the city of grassroots, people are more consumed with enjoying life than obtaining money and power. We have this wonderful 41 year old guide who looks 20. Since it rains 300 days a year in this area, they have the most beautiful skin. I guess I’ll start shprizting water on my face! It’s funny how all the guides so far are very upfront about disliking their government! We definitely have something in common! 16 million people live in Chengdu with construction everywhere, very new city with tons of high rises. Today we are headed for the biggest panda research center in the world. We are to see baby pandas, adult pandas and red pandas. Jimmy insisted that we start our day early. I can see why. The place was getting crowded by the minute. Their life span here is 30 years but in the wild it’s 20 years, after all they live a very pampered lifestyle and they have the best vets for longevity. It was entertaining to watch the baby pandas while their were practicing their contortions and acrobatics on various trees. The most beautiful one was the Red Panda who resembled a fox but walked like a giant wild cat. We then have another huge family lunch with Peking duck near the river, I’ve never seen so many plates of food coming at us. Surely none of us will have dinner! Our next destination is a river boat to see the giant Buddha from the river. The best is yet to come. We crossed the river by bus and walk to the giant Buddha which was built 1200 years ago And must be at leant 23 stories high facing The city of Leshan. Only one person from our group did not come in this tour. I really didn’t feel like walking today but since everyone was going, I just followed. Here is how this went, it was a bit like A zigzag. We walked all the way up the left side of the Buddha to get to the platform 23 ostories high to the buddha’s giant head. Then we went down very small stairs to the ground floor looking at his giant feet, we crossed over and walked a pathway inside the Stone Mountain zigzagging all the way to the top again. “La piece de resistance” was when we reached the top again; there was an enchanting courtyard with a monastery and through the huge open doors were monks praying and chanting and playing instruments. What a way to end our tour , so soothing, so peaceful…. We slowly went back down again with Jimmy taking pictures of us. The cool part is that Jimmy timed our day so perfectly in that the crowds were minimal everywhere. We got to the hotel a 8.30pm. My feet were killing me, so Aman and I found a massage place recommended by the hotel. It was a foot massage place. They must have worked on our feet for a good half hour with oil and acupressure. It was divine and just what the doctor ordered! Every day I think to myself, Awe, thus will be an ordinary day, Naw it never is!!!

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