Spice and Sichuan Pepper in Chengdu
Among Chinese People, the province Sichuan and its capital Chengdu is mostly famous for being the hot pot origin and its spicy and oily food. But Chengdu is much more than “just” its food. Between the modern city center and the countless hot pot restaurants are beautiful traditional gardens, the largest panda research center and the tallest stone Buddha in the world.
Giant Panda Breeding Research Center
It is the perfect place to observe not only few, but dozens of Giant and Red Pandas. Especially in the morning when the Pandas get there meal, they are playful and active. We even got a glimpse of baby pandas in their nursery. But the line was so long, that we were only able to walk through and have a brief look at them. In general the place was not as crowded as expected, as the area is huge and there are several habitats. Also, there are free running peacocks all over the park.
Old town and parks
As I visited Chengdu just before Chinese New Year, there were beautiful lanterns everywhere and more tourists than usual. Chengdu has several beautiful traditional parks with stunning collections of Bonsai trees. Everything was beautiful cared of and very clean. Even though it was still winterly cold, the national flowers “Plum Blossoms” were already blooming everywhere.
Anshun Bridge (Dongmen Bridge)
The Leshan Giant Buddha (乐山大佛)
The 71 meter tall Buddha was carved out of stone by monks between 713 and 803 AC. There were two stairways around the Buddha so were able to climb around him. When the Buddha was built, there was a thirteen storage wood structure build around the statue to shelter it from wind and weather. This was then destroyed by the Mongols during the wars at the end of the Yuan Dynasty. As the guide explained to us, they might cover the stone Buddha again in the next years to protect him from more damage.
Last but not least:
Some mandatory food pics.