After already visiting Xi’an in early April, then also having wonderful friends visit, we were ready for another great adventure, so a few of my teammates and I planned a fun trip to Chengdu (southern city in China, famous for pandas and spicy food). We called the trip “Qu Qu to Chengdu” because Qu (去) in Chinese means “go” and it was a fun rhyming phrase mixed with English and Chinese (Chinglish).
The first in Chengdu we visited the well-renowned Giant Panda zoo. We got to see lots of pandas! …but all they really did was eat lots of bamboo and climb up and down trees, and it was still really cool. Giant pandas are very interesting animals, and cool to see up close. There were also a few other animal exhibits at the zoo, so we got to see red pandas, peacocks, and other neat animals too.
After the zoo we visited a park in the city of Chengdu which is always a fun experience. Chinese parks are full of people. Some people dance, while others sit. Some walk with family and friends, while others try to play matchmaker for their younger family members. And some (us) observe and enjoy it all.
The second day there, we visited the Leshan Giant Buddha sculpture and accompanying temple. The Buddha statue is massive, over 200 feet tall, and was said to be built over 1,000 years ago. It was an impressive structure, although also a bit depressing to me as I realized that many people go there to pay homage and say prayers to the giant Buddha which seems very meaningless and a waste to me, but it was still an interesting cultural experience. The temple also seemed to be old, with many aspects of it preserved (although I’m sure parts were reconstructed or improved for tourism). And we got some great pictures with random Chinese strangers (as is quite usual for most foreign visitors in China).
We also enjoyed some really good Chengdu and Sichuan (the province) styled foods as we walked the streets and explored more, although I don’t have any good pictures of the cuisine from this trip.