Tuesday, 10 November 2015

China Part 3.......

Day three found us on our way to visit Huanglongxi Old Town (Yellow Dragon Town).   I thought you might like to experience our journey through Chengdu to our destination, so I took this short video of the manic traffic.


Huanglongxi is an ancient town with a history of more than 1,700 years, it is situated in Shuangliu County, 30 kilometers southeast from Chengdu.

Arriving at our destination we followed our guide into the town, notice the locals keeping to the traditional way of carrying goods.

There is a lovely stream running through the centre of the town, beautifully clean and decorated with traditional ornaments.

It even has a working water wheel!

There were some very interesting food stalls.

Traditional birds in cages,

and transport.
Two small temples

and an offering tree.
There was a magazine photo shoot taking place whilst we were there using traditional costumes.

We really enjoyed our visit to the old town but it was time to board the coach again and travel to Leshan for lunch, before boarding a boat to take us to view the Giant Buddha.

The other way to see the Giant Buddha is to walk down from the top near the head and end at its feet,
 walk across the walkway in front of the Buddha
and up the other side.
Of course we took the easier option!

Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, the Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.

Facing the river, the Buddha has symmetrical posture and looks which have been beautifully captured in its solemn stillness. It is 71 meters (about 233 feet) high, and has 8.3-meter-long (about 27 feet) fingers. The 9-meter-wide (about 30 feet) instep is big enough for one hundred people to sit on and the 24-meter-wide (about 79 feet) shoulder is large enough to be a basketball playground.  It truly is a  spectacle to behold.
We had really enjoyed our third day in China taking in the culture but it we had to return to the hotel, rather late that day so we ordered room service and enjoyed a burger and fries, a nice change from a Chinese Banquet!  LOL

Please join me in Part 4 when we visit the Bamboo Park and journey to Chongqing.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Dona Nobis Pacem........

Please join the Peace movement by flying a Peace Globe on your blog with your own message or quote for Peace. Together we can make a difference.

If you haven't already got your Peace Globe please go to Mimi's and get one then fly it with pride and sign the Mr Linky to let everyone know you have participated.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

China Part 2.....

We had barely caught up with our sleep when Day Two in China dawned and after fortifying ourselves with a hearty breakfast we met up with the rest of our group for our excursion that morning to the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre.  You can read more about the centre and their work here.

One of the most endangered animals on earth, there are over 80 Pandas being bred and reared here, in surroundings recreated to resemble their natural habitat.   We saw babies in incubators, you can see in the photograph below the back end of a baby with it's head covered, this is because they tend to thrash about and don't settle if they heads are not covered.
When a Panda gives birth to twins at the centre the staff there only give one at a time to the mother to feed, keeping one in the incubator until she has fed the other one.  This ensures survival of both babies as left to her own devices she would just cast one aside.   Apparently the mothers are none the wiser when the babies as swapped.

Slightly older babies are kept in cots in the nursery
and older still in a larger nursery.

Pandas can't walk until they are a few months old which is why the nurse in the film is moving them about.   Adolescents live together, eating and socialising.

Fully grown Pandas live solitary lives.

The breeding centre also has Red Pandas, which I think look more like racoons.

It's a fascinating place, they have lots of information such as videos showing the breeding programme and the history of the centre.  The Pandas are adorable, especially the babies, and one could spend hours just watching their antics.  Unfortunately we had to leave to go for lunch (another traditional Chinese banquet) before setting off to visit a Silk Factory.
Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photographs in the silk factory but the tour was extremely interesting, starting with how the silk was farmed, woven and made into the most beautiful bed covers, quilts, clothes and scarves.

We made our way back to the hotel for a short rest and a quick freshen up and change for dinner at another traditional Chinese Restaurant.   This time dinner consisted of lots of different Dim Sum and MWM even tried a local delicacy - rabbit's head!    He had to hold it in one hand and pick the meat off the skull with the other, including the brain inside!  I know YUK!    He said it was quite tasty.  I couldn't believe he tried it, this man that heaves at the thought of mashed potato!!!!

Another busy day over we looked forward to a good night's sleep back at out hotel, with it's great views

and the trip the following day to an old town and the huge Buddha carved into a mountain.  I hope you'll join me for Part 3.

Monday, 5 October 2015

China Part 1.....

Well we've been back a week from our China trip and recovered from the jet lag, so let's get going on what we saw and did.

We arrived at our first City, Chengdu, at 11 am local time after a ten and a half hour overnight flight.   No time to sleep just unpack enough for a 3 night stay, freshen up before meeting our group for a visit to Jinli Old Street and dinner.

Jinli Old Street is one of the oldest shopping streets in Sichuan Province, and it can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms Period, over 1,800 years ago. The street showcases the customs of Xishu and the culture of Shuhan (one of the Three Kingdoms from 221 to 263). Most of the architecture here is of the style of the residences in western Sichuan Province.

 Lots of dubious looking street food, some recognisable (rabbits heads) some not.
Fish ponds and little bridges.

Two styles of ntertainment on Jinli Old Street.


Chinese lanterns.

A huge bell.

then onto dinner a traditional Sichuan style banquet, approximately ten dishes with rice, tea and beer or soft drinks, which was delicious.

Fed, watered and tired we headed back to the hotel for a much needed sleep to prepare for the visit to the Panda Breeding Centre early the next morning.  I hope you'll join me for China Part 2.