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Chengdu and the Panda's

Joys of dorm sharing in Hostels

6 °C

Our bus journey to Chengdu was scheduled at 1920hrs to 0430hrs so when we arrived at 0630hrs without any sleep and a full night of men gozzing up and spitting in the aisles we were seriously relieved to get off the bus. This wasn't our first stop though we did have breaks through the night. One was at a restaurant for anyone to have some food from the buffet, this was an open area with benches full of people eating from the buffet, spitting on the floor and smoking - you wouldn't be able to put your arms out without touching anyone so to say it was busy is an understatement! We decided that we needed the toilet and this was a great concern considering the cleanliness of the eating area! We went in and it was like going into an old cow shed, concrete floor (as the restaurant) tin roof and concrete walls and concrete partitains. I wondered where the toilets were and was then suprised to see a lady stand up from inbetween the partitains. I turned to look at Chloe and she had her coat covering her mouth and nose because of the smell - and yes it was bad - strong amonia right next to the kitchen too. We had no choice but to go - either that or struggle for another four hours! So I went to see what was behind the partitains.....an empty gutter that ran the length of the ten or so partitains containing alll sorts of stuff - YUK!!

When we arrived in Chengdu we were ill and really suffering with the colds, being up all night hadn't helped and we couldn't wait to get into bed and hoped they would let us check in early, luckily they did. We had booked into a four bed dorm - now usually this is fine we have met some really nice people so we didn't think twice plus being in a dorm really slashes the price and keeping to a budget to travel for a year helps considerably. We got into the room and the receptionist turned the light on - a man sat up in his bed looking rather annoyed to be rudely awoken - yes not a nice way to get up but to be expected in dorms, plus by this time it was about 8am. We turned the light of and got into bed still constantly blowing our noses and coughing. About an hour had gone by and we had both drifted off to sleep only to be woken up by .tap tap tap.....tap tap tap...bang bang...tap tap...a rather still annoyed man trying to type on his laptop - this guy, Mark we later learnt, then opened the curtains and begun to make phone calls "YES - YES - I KNOW BUT I AM STILL IN CHENGDU!" he hangs up....a very loud annoying ring tone sounds on his phone "HELLO? HELLO? HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME?" I could him alright and was getting really aggitated by this bloke, how inconsiderate of him I was thinking but I tried to reason it out in my head - maybe he thinks we are lazy and should get up - maybe its none of his business if we stay in bed all day anyway - maybe he should go and sit in the lounge and make his phone calls where no one is in bed this is a dorm after all! I decided to say something "Hye - sorry about this morning - we have been travelling all night and haven't slept plus we are ill so we will be in bed today" I waited for his reply "Yes I am ill too and have been for ten days now - i've not been able to leave the Chengdu and I'm trying to get better......." his phone went off again "HELLO? HELLO?" he left the room. By now I actually hated this man and was thinking about when he was sleeping that night I would put the lights on and play angry birds with the sound on top level. Childish I know but I actually wouldn't do it but it's ok to think about. Chloe was annoyed too and thought what a selfish guy he was. We went back to sleep but he was in and out of the room all day (mostly in) making calls and tapping away. At about five we got up........he got up and closed the curtain.....so we couldn't see - we both tutted which must have been loud because he drew them back and apologised. Bloody idiot - enough was enough and it was clear this guy didn't want anyone else in the room so instead of having any hassle I decided to check out and book a private room. Bliss - best idea we had!

We went to see the Panda's - they are so cute! The centre where they are kept is really big and they are really well looked after. I was amazed to see them climbing up trees balancing on the thinist of branches. They were sat chewing on bamboo shoots muching away which is what they do all day apparantley! They look like men with costumes on though! The centre was really easy to get to as well only a bus ride away which cost 40 pence each way for the both of us for an hours ride. Transport here is very cheap! I took goodness knows how many pictures of them and will post them when we find a computer that will let us do this.

On our last day we asked the receptionist where we should go to for an afternoon and were directed to a place called Peoples Park. This area, which is a park, was built for the residents of Chengdu by the Government. We were expecting a green area and when we walked through the entrance we could hear very loud music. We walked on through and could see about 70 people dancing, all styles, really enjoying themselves. We went to another area and the same again - it was really wierd to see but also really nice to see all ages enjoying themselves with simple dancing!! They were really going for it! We walked across a bridge looking at the river which was green and looked beautiful - people were on little rowing boats with their children. We entred into another area and could hear a man singing loudly some kind of opera - it was karaoke - in the park - speakers everywhere so everyone could hear. I looked to my right and saw a length of red carpet with two ladies strutting down like catwalk models both aged about 60. I was trying to work out what was going on when an Chinese man spoke to me telling me that the people were restricted when they were young and now they are retired they are no longer restricted so they like to express themselves with Karaoke - catwalking - dancing, drawing etc. As we continued to walk around I noticed there wasn't any graffete or vandalism - no hoodies- no anti-social behaviour. This was a breath of fresh air.

Posted by Vicky Bailey 20:46 Archived in China Tagged pandas china panda chengdu journey mother_daughter blog world_trip back_packing chloe_bailey flash_packing

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