Chengdu (also cool without Pandas)

IMG_5146_jmkBefore we even got to the Panda Base in Chengdu, we knew we would enjoy exploring this city. Even on the ride from the airport to the hotel, it was clear that this city was different was different — cleaner, more modern, vibrant, pleasant, etc.

It had been a very early flight out of Changsha, so we hit the ground running in Chengdu, with a visit to the central Bamboo Park. The park featured historic tower architecture, and more than 100 different types of living bamboo.IMG_4764

It was a relaxing introduction to the city … until we got to the children’s “kiddie rides” section, where the Girls managed a quick roller coaster ride before taking a spin on the bumper cars. These rides were nothing unique to China, but provided a nive break form the tourist grind.

For our evening entertainment, we decided to see the Sichuan Opera, which was an awesome cabaret show of classical Chinese entertainment, including traditional instruments, hand shadow puppets, opera singing, and the famous “changing faces” masks of Sichuan.

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IMG_5202As one of China’s great agricultural centers, Chengdu is also famous for its local teas. In the afternoon of our last day, we explored street markets where Tea Houses offered relaxtion and souvenir opportunities.

Our time in Chengdu ended too soon, but holds many great memories.