Day 15 – Chengdu Panda Tour and to Zhongdian (Shangrila)
The last day of our group trip and we finished it off with an easy panda tour. Couldn’t really say we have been to Chengdu without visiting the adorable pandas could we?
Some parting shots of Sim’s Cozy – the travel desk, reception and bar/restaurant.
J and CY had american breakfast, CC had cereal while I had banana pancake for breakfast.
Like all good tourists, we wore our panda tags faithfully. We would be visiting The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base just 18km north of Chengdu city.
The place is huge and makes for a nice walk.
Slightly camera shy pandas.
Ah, this is better.
The red panda.
Some interesting signage around.
Mama pandas at the breeding center
Cute little babies and their gawking fans.
Panda sourvenirs are hot sellers!
Haha, I like the pose of this sleeping panda.
We watched a short documentary about pandas and the breeding base.
The family of Meimei.
Who has visited the breeding base?
Some familiar faces.
We were back at Sim’s Cozy at around 12pm. We reached the airport at 1pm plus and had lunch at a restaurant there. I gave the set lunches a miss and had a 58RMB bubble tea.
Goodbye my friends. Here were our games tally.
As my flight was not due till 8pm, I spent the time reading The Hotel on the Roof of the World by Alec Le Sueur at a quiet area near the international departure gate. The book is a humourous account of Alec’s stint at Holiday Inn in Lhasa. Commenting on the unrealistic expectations of foreign tourists in TIbet, he said:
How do you expect a Tibetan who has only lived in filth and squalor, surrounded by inefficiency and incompetence, to check if the room is correct for one of Europe’s top bankers?
Oh, in between the readings, I had a fantastic prawn burger from KFC which was one-third the price of the bubble tea I had earlier.
The flight to Zhongdian aka Shangrila was on time. Because the Lonely Planet warned about finding a taxi at Shangrila’s airport, I was a bit worried arriving so late. But my concern was unnecessary. I got a 30RMB ride to the old town easily. There, I called up Cobbler’s Hill Inn and a staff soon arrived to bring me to their place.
Cobbler’s Hill Inn is a 300 year plus building located within a short walk from the main square of the old town.
I visited the cafe at the ground floor for dinner. A charming little place. And the lady boss as well.
Hot chocolate and curry rice. I think my friends would have liked it here.