Motel 168 Chengdu Shuinianhe
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Back to join Rami and with only an hour to spare I decided to have a manicure.(President's wife should have nice nails).
Then we bid farewell to Hong Kong and flew to Chengdu for the real work to begin.
We were met by the general manager and other APAS assistants and we have been given an executive suite to stay.
It is a lovely hotel with all the mod cons.
... Jen managed to cut her toe open in the toilet. Tom ran off in search of plasters, only to be directed to the Veet hair removal strips by the friendly assistants in the supermarket! Finally plasters were located and we sealed off the wound. For dinner we went for a posh version of the local hotpot in a nice restaurant, where you get an individual little pot to boil and cook your food in. This time we were more clued up on what to do, plus the picture menu and ...
... into a land train and shot off somewhere else. We caught sight of our first Panda after a few minutes, sat happily in his pen, on his backside, munching through bamboo. Having seen so many people in Panda outfits, either on TV, or running marathons, or something like that, it really was difficult not to imagine a guy inside the furry Panda, but this was our first real Panda. His mannerisms were that of a lazy guy ripping through a meal as well, tossing away ...
Flying into Chengdu from Xi'an, we immediately spot the difference - although it is cloudy, the land below is lush and green, a stark contrast to the dry, smokey landscapes further north. Chengdu is an important city on the backpacker/tourist trail - it is the gateway to Tibet and home to the World's Panda population. The Lonely Planet reckons it is one of China's more chilled out cities despite having a population of about 13 million.
We land and quickly spot the Panda ...
... all over China were collected there. The collection has grown enormously since then and even includes the Nestorian tablet which shows a record of one of the first people to bring Christianity to China with the people's names inscribed in Syrian. Really, really cool stuff...though challenging avoiding the hoards of tour groups, lol.
We grabbed a quick bite to eat afterwards, on a side street near our hostel. There was a Muslim woman with a cart ...