#GeraTravels to 四川: Smitten By Pandas

4 December 2014

My travel post to Chengdu is eons late… Mainly because my dearest cousin took forever to filter the photos from her camera. *glares* But they were worth the wait! I felt soooo happy just looking back at the photos!

But next time, I’ll make sure to have my own camera handy.

It was a midnight flight, so my dearest boyfriend drove me down to the airport for our “last” meal together before I jet off. He was mighty unwilling to let me go.

I think it’s more because I’m the one in-charge of clearing the cat litter box every night, so when I’m gone- he has to do it.  While I happily get whisked away to a winter wonderland with my family!

Queuing up at Swensen’s with my trusty adorable suitcase!

As soon as it was time for Mark and I to part, he was emotional & all… While I was just excited about going overseas. Felt kind of guilty, actually. 😛

But all that went away when we entered the gates & it was a sure-fire sign that the holiday had officially begun!

Grandma couldn’t stop giggling for some reason… Haha!

It was a relatively short flight- from Singapore Airport to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport.

About 4-5 hours? Which I spent sleeping like a baby because I popped a couple of Novomins before the flight. (for those who don’t know, I get travel sickness on flights- so Novomins are a MUST-HAVE whenever I travel)

People somehow always pitied me when they hear I have this problem… But I actually kind of like it. ^^’ Well, Novomin can really knock you out. So I get some of the best naps EVER!!! 

Most of the time I wake up just about when we are landing (thanks to the thunderous voice of the pilot) and I’m already in another country, all charged up & set to go!

Zzz…

First thing we all did upon landing… PILE ON THE LAYERS!!!! So we were all nicely wrapped up in at least 4 layers, ready for the cold. Boo-yeah!

We landed at a rather odd hour, but it meant we were just in time for the opening hours to see PANDAS!!!! ❤ ❤

I prefer to call it the Panda Zoo or something along those lines, because I simply hate the actual name of the place.

It is… Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. (成都大熊猫繁育研究基地)

Wtf, man. Just doesn’t sound pleasant at all… but it does give a rather apt description I guess.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (or Panda Zoo, as I prefer to call it…)

Much thanks to the cold weather, any stench emitted from our Asian Black & White friends was barely noticeable.

See this little bunch of eaters here? They were actually fighting over food (even though there was an abundant amount…).

“Mine! Mine! Mine!”

But one of them grew a little smarter, grabbed another bamboo that was just next to him- climbed to the top & just ate his own bamboo there. While the rest were still at the bottom fighting.

“Meh. Those losers. I’m just gonna sit here; be cool & eat my bamboo.”

One thing I found extremely intriguing was that the pandas can sleep on branches! o_O

They’re really full of blubber… And rather large in size too. But all over the park, they were just lazing on branches- occasionally with a bamboo shoot in hand.

I was so amused by those sights already, but let me show you something that got me loving pandas even more!

Yipee! Boing! Boing! Boing!

Told you the Novomins gave me a nap that got me all charged up.

Under super strict observation, were the baby pandas! They were sooooo cute.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!!

This is a totally random picture- I just found how my auntie looked at me quite funny. Haha!

The park was really quite enormous! Okay, given that China is super rich in land. So yea, pretty much everything is enormous.

Just look at the stunning foliage!

Being a big park (& a little bit of earning tourists’ money), there was naturally a tram!

We ❤ sitting at the backseat of the tram
Kath: *awkward…*

I really enjoyed the Panda Zoo! ⭐

And as horrid the name sounds, the place is actually quite dedicated to breeding pandas. Main reason being that it is an endangered species & there is a black market for it, of course.

But also a few other reasons:

  • They’re lazy as hell
    Which we saw quite a bit… So sometimes they cannot even be bothered to look for food when they’re hungry.
  • They don’t know how to have sex
    So they actually have to be exposed to panda porn to educate them on reproduction. I always just thought it was a natural thing that’ll come to a living being… Apparently not.
  • They’re not interested in sex
    According to science, the only other animal (other than humans) known to find pleasure in sex are dolphins. So means to say that pandas don’t exactly find joy in it. They might find it physically exhausting, pointless… And one of the research technicians told me that sometimes they actually fall asleep during sex!

So according to Darwinism, pandas actually should be entirely extinct- but thanks to mankind, they’re still surviving.

This just goes to show- be cute & you’re good.

And also that the movie Kungfu Panda is entirely fictional.

Awesome place for animal-lovers to visit!

You should totally check out their website here.

After looking at all the pandas eating, we humans figured we needed our own sustenance as well.

ON TO LUNCH!!!

My bus partner: Fran!

Oh yes, I had to remove my contacts because they were so dry!! I just threw them out.

I was endlessly thankful that I brought my spectacles in my bag.

Be-Spectacled

We were brought to this restaurant which was decorated so sweetly & the people were so warm! Unlike the weather… And unlike the usual people you meet in the urban jungle.

Their hospitality was actually heart-warming! The old women in the restaurant reminded me so much of my beloved nanny who brought me up. ❤ I actually loved them for that.

Okay, I think I might have emotional attachment issues…

The food served were simple but very delicious! I’d choose this restaurant over a 5-star restaurant anytime.

DELISH food!!!

While we were lucky enough to be seated in a heated room, I saw that the local folk sat by tables with heaters underneath.

I actually asked one of the ladies to go inside one of the heated rooms, but she said it’s only for customers and it’s just the way they are, they never minded that. In fact, they loved sharing the heat together.

Omg, my heart just melted.

To be fully honest, I wasn’t listening to our tour guide during this part.

Actually I hardly listened to him… I preferred to read. But sometimes the English errors in the write-ups got me spasming as well.

But (if I’m not wrong), this is a hotel.

Regardless of the purpose of the building, I thought it’s quite magnificent!

Grandpa started teaching me how to walk to generate heat within the body… So I had to swing my arms vigorously while walking & take huge strides.

Which I guess causes the heart to pump faster, therefore causing more heat within the body. Or maybe with my swinging arms, I’ll accidentally hit someone and end up having to run which will also cause my heart to pump faster- therefore generating heat within the body.

Doing the “heat” walk
Lovely auntie Demmi with doves! (…or white pigeons?)
Shopping begins ANYWHERE

During one of our washroom stops, we saw a yak! I have never seen a yak in real life before! *excited*

Heck, the only time I’ve actually ‘seen’ a yak was when I played Harvest Moon on my DS…

I was so elated when I said I wanted to sit on it, the man said a price & grandpa immediately pulled out the money and hoisted me onto the cutie pie.

“Damn fat tourist…”

Apparently yaks come in different ‘grades’ as well- hugely associated with their colours.

The common ones are the brown/black ones, while the white ones are much more expensive. In fact, in such areas- the number & colour of yaks in a household defines the wealth it has.

But anyway, it really was a washroom stop. So I had to get down to pee…

OH, THE HORROR!!!

So everyone could see your butt & occasionally your vajayjay… This was considered rather good already, because it had mini cubicles.

It was one of those times I was glad I’m a short girl.

And everyone basically does their business into this common drain that doesn’t really have a flushing system… Just some water that runs down. And the smell… Ugh!!

So while I squatted there, with my butt out in the cold & for practically everyone to see 😳 … My pee just didn’t want to come out!

There was literally an internal protest within my bladder.

All my pee molecules were sending messages to my brain like, “Are you sure we can drop? This environment doesn’t look like it’s suitable for deployment… We refuse to release in an inappropriate area! It’s not the way we do it! We are civilised pee!”

Then I saw a small chunk of shit stream down, which totally broke my concentration.

I tried all things! I hummed…
I did the “shhh” sound to myself…
I tried thinking of waterfalls…
I even sang in my head “Let It Go”…

And finally, my bladder let loose. Geez.

Oh, this is something quite cool that I learned!

Because of the extreme cold weather in the country, their petrol stations have this special form of petrol that doesn’t freeze in the weather. Singapore never had use for such petrol! I thought it was pretty cool.

Cold-Proof Petrol!

And this is one of their forms of traffic jams, all vehicles stopped to let the entire herd go through. It was such a sweet sight!

The Mane Road

So we got to our first hotel for the trip! Bunked with Kath!

Spot the Ninja
ATTACK!!!

It was at night, so the mountains weren’t so visible anymore. But the dome was just gorgeous! And inside was an indoor swimming pool. ❤

The dome outside our room’s balcony
Toilet Madness!

So all that whacky photo-taking got us a tad late for dinner, but we managed to get down to enjoy nonetheless!

I figured since we were late, may as well show up looking a little more proper. So I tied up my hair, left on my spectacles, put on a scarf…

Distinguished, yes?

But Kath & I still got a bit of chiding from her dad. 😦

Dinner was glorious!!! ❤ ❤

Look at all the macarons I cannot have

Coloured Noodles!

After dinner, grandpa went for a smoke outside and before we knew it- he was nowhere to be found! 😥 We were soooo worried. And it didn’t help that he is ageing and sometimes loses his sense of direction.

The weather was freezing, but I didn’t even bother going up to grab my coat & gloves. We immediately went about looking for that old man and when we finally found him… He was already back in his room watching TV. 😐

Not even sorry…

I even did my granddaughter-pout & scolded him for making me worry needlessly, then he just said he can take care of himself & told me to get some sleep.

So annoying. 😡

What was even more annoying was that there was practically no access to any social media! We couldn’t Facebook, Tweet or Instagram at all! We were downgraded all the way to just the basics- Whatsapp. #firstworldproblems

After a rather eventful day, I only saw fit that Kath & I enjoyed a cup of English tea to sooth our nerves.

There will be more posts on this trip coming up!

XOXO, G.

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