146 big pandas and 14.3 million Chinese are inhabited in Chinas 4st biggest city – Chengdu which is part of the famous Sichuan province.
Immediately we realize the relaxed mood – and contrary to our in China so far experiences – unexpected friendliness of the people. Our guide at the panda breeding centre probably was the role model for the smiley emoticon and at the cafes their actually get call an English speaking waiter to take our order. Are we still in China or was our flight redirected to somewhere else?
While our so far culinary experiences in this country were more or less lets name it unsatisfying the food in Chendgu is full of proper spices (we both LOVE spicy food). For some reason everything here in Chendgu is different – but in a very positive way.
Chendgu seems to be able to harmonize the traditional and the modern China in a very attractive way. Everywhere you still can find little teahouses where men are playing Mahjong games. Big food stands with fresh fruits and veggies remind me on Thailand. Additionally my lonely planet states that the formerly famous street food bikes seem to disappear and the demand shifts towards big food courts.
One of our highlights was for sure spending a Sunday afternoon at Peoples Park – the first installed park in Chendgu. Hundreds of Chinese families are heading towards the teahouses and flour fields and spend some time at the little artificial in little motorized boats. Everywhere we can see singing and dancing performances. Pensioners are rehearsing at the fitness trek and children are smiling as their parents take them to the free adventure park next door.
China is still loud, strange and really different to everything I knew so far – but Chendgu is different in a good, positive way for us.
Our next stop will be at the tourist spot “Terracotta Army” in Xi’an. We are looking forward how this part of the country will influence our picture of China.