When I walked in the backstreets, not far from our hotel, I entered in the middle of Chines life. In the backstreets kids were playing. Curious old women came out of the house, looking, smiling and greeting. Old men were sitting at the side walk , playing their game and discussing all kind of matters.
The Reserve is cool because the conditions are more humane than a zoo; the pandas aren't kept in cages, they are kept in wooded areas very much like their natural habitat, with ditches and walls around each area to prevent them getting out. It was so neat walking around this place, with pandas munching on bamboo and lying around in the shade. Just before leaving we went to the panda nursery, where a mama and two baby pandas are kept. They were playing with eachother, it was so adorable! I got some great photos of them.
My live in Chengdu
I came to Chengdu for study for a month. It was a group of Portuguese, and if I ask the opinion, each one has one. For me I loved Chengdu. Not for the city itself, it is a Chinese city with big and ugly builidings, but for the people. People from Chengdu seems almost to be lazy.. It is common to go in the street and see people sleeping everyplace, or sit down looking… Someone told me that in Chengdu lives a lot of people from other places of China. So they love that people from other countries feel well. And I felt that. People looking, smiling... You feel someone important, but you are just different. For one month I lived in a hotel, worked in the Tradicional Chinese Medicine Hospital, and studied. It was amazing, but so different… In the fist days we fell the smells, the spicy food, the traffic, and then everything seems to be normal. Is one of those places: or you love or you hate.
Chengdu is a large city in the Portuguese point of view, but a small city for China. And it is mainly a inner city, what makes her own charm . If the coastal cities, like Shanghai, are cosmopolitan, modern, appealing, more consumerism than communism, that doesn`t happen in Chengdu.
It is clear that it is a Chinese city, with its own dynamics and agitation, but without haste or consumerism. It is normal to see the vendors to sleep in the open shop or a store that is closed at two in the afternoon, be open at two in the morning. We can walk calmly through the streets, almost no other foreigners. Of course we attract the attention of people, who generally want to take pictures of or with us... especially if you have a big frizz hair.
The idea of fun is to be at an outdoor cafe drinking tea. Yes, there have some bars (few), but can be quite fun and surreiais!! I recommend it! And we shouldn`t forget that Chengdu is known for have the spiciest food in the country. We always have the rice!
The city is only visited by those who are passing, especially to Tibet. However it is worth spending a few days here. Walking through the city, visit Jing-Li, the giant pandas and finish a late afternoon at the opera.
Far from the tourist routes and underneath the ugly buildings, we have a genuine city, with hot summer nights, cicadas singing hymns throughout the city, and as I said before, people very friendly.
I came for a month and I felt an inhabitant. When I arrived in Beijing, I thought I was in the West ... but with many Chinese!!!