With a little help from our Chinese-speaking friend Kai, we booked and boarded another sleeper train to Chengdu. Not as luxurious as the last, we quickly realised we had been quite fortunate on our previous train journey. The toilet experience can only be described as somewhat traumatic, but after trying to hold it for a few hours and realising we still had 9 to go, I admitted defeat and realised there was no other option.
We navigated ourselves from the train station to our hostel with relative ease and wasted no time in getting going on our primary goal for this city – Pandas! 🐼
The Chengdu Panda base was responsible for removing Panda bears from the endangered species list thanks to their breeding programme. Neither me nor James could recall having ever seen a Panda in the flesh even in a zoo, but we saw plenty this day. Essentially, we saw them eating and sleeping and a few of them played a little. Panda life seemed pretty desirable to be honest.
We spent a day sightseeing in Chengdu and then went for dinner with two other couples we met at the hostel! One couple from Germany and the other from Chille who had been travelling almost 2 years (goals!!). After getting lost a little (of course) we found another HotPot restaurant on recommendation and paid close to nothing to set our mouths on fire with spices and wash it down with beers.
Another short flight took us to Guilin. The city is built into lakes and rivers and mountains so was very picturesque in comparison to what we had been used to! Again, we made it to our hostel from the airport with little hassle and without getting particularly lost! We’re getting good at this! Our days here were slightly more relaxing than a lot of the trip so far, although we did walk a lot. And eat a lot. And James got beaten at pool a lot by his new friend Jerry.
The city was infinitely more beautiful around the lakes at night! This has only been a very quick post, because I’m full of local cuisine (pizza, chips and milkshake) and it’s almost bedtime here! It’s been a long but lovely day and the sun finally came out! So naturally we are a little burnt.. lots of fun to be had on our next few days in Yangshuo! Night night for now xx