Big Panda, Round Panda, Red Panda, Smog, Taxi Drivers and Local Buses, welcome to Chengdu
Chengdu Travel Blog› entry 8 of 68 › view all entries
July 3rd, 2009 – by: ronin2k
While in Xi’an I met a Swedish guy and we decided to head out west. After much debate we thought to go to Chongqing to catch a boat down the Yangtze River to see the Three Gorges and the big dam there. Easy enough right, place decided, now only tickets need to be booked.
At the train station, we found out that there were no trains to Chongqing for a few days, well I could stand, but 17 hours standing while being given the evil eye by all of china on the train didn’t sound like too much fun! So we said now what?!! Ok, when is the next train to Chengdu? Tonight?! Ok f-ckit lets go! We’ll figure it out along the way lol. Off to Chengdu..
Chengdu, like any big city in China, is full of smog and friendly people, lol, of course they aren’t friendly.
Awww the pandas! Everyone’s favourite relative of the racoon, yup not the bear as most people think. Big ones, round ones, baby ones, giant ones and even red ones! There were pandas everywhere at the “Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding“. The only good thing about the 17-hour train ride to Chengdu was that we got into Chengdu at about 6 in the morning, therefore early enough to go see the panda feed. Which is about 830 -900.
Seeing the panda’s was actually pretty cool! Especially the little cubs. They were like little toddlers in kindergarten, playing on swings, chasing after each other, even trying to push one another off the little bridges and swings lol. Sometimes two would gang up on one little one push him/her off the swing and then run away, while the other one stumbled to regain their composure. Very cute.
Next up, the Mao Statue, which is a huge white/grey statue at the centre of the city. Although I’m sure its impressive, when you put a white/grey statue against a grey background full of smog, the effect really isn’t there. Ok now its like noon, now what?
Well. when we arrived early in the morning, we never planned to spend time in Chengdu, so we bought train tickets for a 2-hour journey to a little village/town called Emei Shan.
Once you figure out from a local which bus to take, now it’s a matter of getting ON the bus. One would think this is easy? No sir, I think the motto for local bus travel in China is, how many fucking people can we fit on this bus! The answer is a hell of a lot! Lol Anyways, once settled in (seated hopefully), You are greeted onboard to the follow message (at EVERY stop mind you), “May I have your attention please, please do not bring any explosives, combustibles, or poisonous gases on board, as it will affect the safety of the passengers. Thank you”.
For a few hours we walked around the city.
After a while, we jumped on another bus to what we thought was the train station. Unfortunately, we usually don’t know when to get off, and just look for familiar things. This time, the fact that basically everyone got off the bus, didn’t clue us into maybe we should get off. About 10 minutes later, the bus finally stopped somewhere. I tried to follow where we were after we missed the stop, I guessed about 1-3 km from the train station. Basically down one big street, across a short freeway, turn right into a bus station. Easy.s
The train was taking off in about an hour, so we decided to quickly just take a cab back. It was close. Big mistake. Lucky for us, we got one of those cabbies that wanted to take us for a little ride around the city. I pointed to the train station, he smiled and we were on our way. Now like I said, I knew we weren’t that far, but after about 5 minutes, I’m like this guy is taking us for a ride. So I point to the book, he smiles and continues to drive. Now I know we aren’t going the right way, because we’re on backstreets, in residential areas, basically no where near the big building around the train station.
So remaining as calm as I can be at this point, I say “its nice here, isn’t it!”, he smiles again. Finally, I say to him, why are you driving us around in circles?! He smiles and says close, close. After pulling INTO traffic now, and sitting there for like 5 minutes not moving, I start to get mad and say why you taking for a ride, the meter says 13 Yuan, I say no 5 Yuan! He says no, no and smiles. Now I’m thinking, laugh it up bitch, I’m getting pissed. The big Swede in the back is about to go ape shit on him. Anyways, after going about 10 km in a circle, I kind of recognize where we are, so I tell him to pull over. Then I throw 15 Yuan at him, meter was 18.
Now usually I would just walk out, but he, like a lot of Chinese that don’t do hard labour, had nails like Wolverine. Not wanting to be part of any mauling, I give him the last 3 Yuan and slam the door and walk off, I look back and he’s just laughing. Ya fun times bitach, fun times.
Anyways, we got to the train station with about 20 minutes to spare. Gotta love them friendly Chinese. I just thought about those cute and cuddly pandas to calm down….
Off to Emei Shan.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!