Imperial China, The Yangtze River & Tibet
May, 2007 an OAT Tour


An Overnight in Chengdu

ATM's are plentiful but this one gave me a counterfit bill.

We arrived in Chengdu, population 9 million, late in the afternoon after our bus trip from Chongqing. Chengdu is a very modern city known for its gardens filled with hibiscus bushes and teahouses. We need to restock some camera supplies and everything was available. I bought a 2 gig compact flash card for my camera - made in Taiwan. I also logged on to the Internet in the electronics store and was able to look at my web page. I guess this means people in China can read this documentary. Or, maybe by now the Chinese government has blocked it out.

Chengdu first became a capital city during the Three Kingdoms (221 AD) after getting a reputation for its silk brocade and being the first to print paper money. Chengdu is now known as the city of the Hibiscus. It is located in the mountains loved by the Panda and it is always cool and overcast.

A modern city with modern traffic problems      Bikes are still a favored transportation

Transportation for a family of three      A modern city with lots of electronic stores

I logged on to my web page from one of these computers      All the latest electronic equipment; everyone has cell phones - China can't go back

Statue in the garden of our hotel      We are quickly reminded this is location of the Panda Center

Our restaurant for dinner      Shrine to Confucus inside our restaurant

At 6:30 a.m. we are at the airport for a flight to Lhasa, Tibet      Modern aircraft

  • Continue to follow our Journey as we fly to Lhasa, Tibet

  • The Panda Research Center

          For a small donation I get my picture taken with a juvinile panda

    The Giant Panda

    We returned to Chengdu after three days in Lhasa, Tibet. This time we visited the famous Panda Research Center. Breeding programs in China, and other zoos around the world, are trying to save the population of 1,200 from extinction. The rare giant panda can now only be found in wild in 12 reserves dedicated to panda preservation in the mountains around Chengdu. It is ironic that the Panda lives on a plant, bamboo leaves, which has so little nutrients that nothing else eats it. Most of the time the Panda sleeps in order to conserve energy. Now its food source is threatened as the areas are carved up by human development.

    Pandas in the wild live a solitary existence in clearly defined territory marked by scent. Pandas are not prolific breeders and only have a brief breeding window. The panda baby weighs just 3 1/2 oz. at birth and are carried by the mother for 90 days and stays with her for up to three years. The panda's paw is modified into a sort of opposable "thumb" that helps grasp bamboo stems.

    Naturally, suveiners for sale tell us we are close      Statue at the gate to the Research Center

    We are excited at our first sightings of the panda.      All they do is eat....

    ...and eat...      ... and then they sleep.

    How can you not take their picture?     

    One of handlers gives you an idea of the size of a juvenile panda      My feet and hands were covered in plastic so I couldn't contaminate the panda

    You give your camera to the handler and he takes the pictures      The handlers knew how to take pictures and they took a dozen poses

    The baby pandas were really playful      Just like any two year old child

    Just give him a ball      The red panda is also a unique spicies

    The question is whether the red panda is a bear or a racoon.

  • Continue with us as we fly to Hong Kong

  • Index to all China 2007 Advantures:

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    This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

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