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We went to the Giant Panda Research Base just outside Chengdu yesterday. We got up really early as pandas are only active in the morning as that is when they feed! P1070291.jpgP1070327.jpg We had a totally brilliant time, they are really sociable and playful with each other and like to perform for the crowd. P1070304.jpgP1070324.jpgP1070374.jpgP1070378.jpg Thats about as far as they go though, as they sleep for the rest of the day! P1070302.jpgP1070403.jpg They are so cute and lazy though, most falling asleep part way through a stunt for the audience! We got a really funny video of one falling gracefully from a tree, but we cant upload it on here unfortunatly! The crowds got too much by the time we left and we popped into the Red Panda enclosure before leaving. They are funny little creatures, half way between a fox and a racoon - nothing like a panda at all! P1070430.jpgP1070432.jpgP1070437.jpg They seem to be a lot more shy than their giant cousins, but they are just as cute and we managed to get some good photos despite the fact that they are not that sociable. We had a great day though - even the road signs are panda related!!P1070443.jpg

Today we got up really realy again to get a bus 2 hours down the road to see the 71 metre tall, 1300 year old Leshan Grand Buddha. Having seen a lot of buddhas throughout india and south east asia of varying sizes and poses, this was the piece de resistance as it is the largest buddha in the world! Even though we got there early we still had to queue for about and hour and a half as chinese tour groups start at about 400 people per group! P1070457.jpg It took ages to walk down the cliff to his feet, but it was well worth it! P1070444.jpgP1070448.jpgP1070450.jpgP1070461.jpgP1070464.jpg The climb back up was exhausting due to the heat and number of steps. We made it in the end and then went to get a boat which takes you on the river just in front of the Buddha, where you can also see to 'guards' carved into the rock which aren't visible from the land. P1070472.jpgP1070476.jpgP1070483.jpg That was also brilliant, despite the fact that we were forced to wear bright orange life jackets as no-one in asia can swim! We got the bus back to Chengdu afterwards, rather sweaty and very tired from the day! We fly tomorrow afternoon to Xi'an, where we will be for the next 4 days!

Hope you are all well,
Missing you lots,
Lots of Love,
Chris and Alex xxx

Posted by chrisalex 01:57 Archived in China Tagged backpacking

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