To anyone wishing to visit Chengdu,
My wife and I visited Chengdu last June 9, 10 & 11, 2006.
We had made internet arrangements for our transportation with an English speaking driver before we left home with a man named “Mickal”.
We were arriving at about 10:00pm on our flight from Hong Kong so there was nothing left for that day but to get to the hotel and try to eat and sleep. With Mickal’s help, this was an enjoyable experience and we were ready for our one chance day to make it to Wolong.
This sounded pretty easy from all the research we had done, but it was certainly not the case. The road is not only difficult on a good day, but it is under serious construction as we write. The driving skills that Mickal exhibited were outstanding! In the face of all the obstacles we encountered, he had us at our destination in excellent time. WOLONG NATURE RESERVE!!!
We enjoyed seeing the area the Pandas really live in. It is outstanding. With that behind us, Mickal suggested we visit the Panda Research & Breeding Center just outside downtown Chengdu. We had only the next morning before our next flight to Xian. We had believed this would be too much like a zoo, but he persuaded us to see it. It is excellent!!!
He also managed to get us to the Wenshu Temple & Monastery and back to the airport for our next flight in record time.
We cannot speak highly enough of the help Mickal provided for us. If you are going this way, and do not have him to help you, you will be losing out. He is an outstanding person.
If anyone wishes to contact us directly about this, please feel free to drop us an e-mail and we will be happy to respond and try to assist you.
Bob & Sharon Letendre
Boston, Ma USA
P.S. Mickal’s e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell #: 136 7817 7817
Other than the big pandas, there are many other animals in the research. This photo shows what are called "Little Panda" or "Lesser Panda" in Chinese characters. We were looking for smaller size pandas initially, but lately realized that these racoon-like animals were probably it.
The official name for this type of animal is "Ailurus fulgen". They are more commonly referred to as the "red pandas."
Visiting the panda research centre was no doubt the highlight of my entire trip. I read that the pandas are most active early in the morning (before 10:30am). I got there late -- after the feeding time at around 11 am -- but was lucky enough to find the pandas playing with each other.
To go there, I took a bus to the north train station, then changed to the #9 bus and got off at Jiang Jun Bei (the turnoff to the research centre). From there I took a taxi to the centre (it is possible to walk the remaining distance). I was told that bus #302 will get you there (I did see bus stops with that number along the way); however, I could not find where that bus originated.