...which represents impressions, opinions and possibly insights gained during a twenty day
tour which selectively dipped into a very large and complex society.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

July 16: Chengdu -- Visit to Panda Sanctuary

We fly to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province for one purpose: to see the inhabitants of the large panda preserve. From our bus window the city appears to be another sprawling urban area with look alike buildings crowded together. Given the heat and smog there is minimal desire to get out of the bus to see the city, even if we had the choice. According to our guide Chengdu is known for its many fine restaurants; a major form of entertainment is eating out. (Our food that evening is fine but nothing compared to the wonderful meal we will have later in the trip at the hotel in Wuhan.)

The Chengdu and Woolong panda preserves are the two major tourist shrines where one can see large numbers of pampered pandas in captivity. There are about 1000 pandas left, most living in Sichuan province. Breeding, in or out of captivity, seems to be one of their two big problems. The other is humans who want to kill them.



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