Pandas in Chengdu!!!!

If there was any animal I needed to see before having to return to the States, it would have to be Pandas.  Early in my stay in Shanghai, Isaiah, Nicholas, Alex, and I attempted to get a glimpse of these Chinese iconic figures by going to the Shanghai Wildlife Zoo.  Unfortunately, our timing to the zoo could not have been worse.  We went on a weekday, when the forecast gave glimpses of a potential storm, so, when we arrived to the zoo and saw that almost all the animals had been kept in their indoor homes, we were deeply disappointed.  Although this zoo offered a Bus tour and a Pedestrian tour, none of them provided us with the opportunities to see a Panda up close.  Even though, we were able to see Lions, Tigers, Snow Tigers, Bears, Rhinos, Hippos, Cheetahs, and other exotic animals, our main goal of the day was to take a picture of a Panda, alas we were unsuccessful.

Returning back to Tohee with a 马马虎虎 attitude, we decided that we needed to go to the one place known for breeding Pandas, Chengdu in Sichuan Province.  Our trip to Chengdu focused primarily on the objective for us to see Pandas.  So, the morning after arriving to Chengdu we set off to the Panda reserve up in the mountains.  All of us were dying to see these beautiful creatures up close that the bus ride to the place seemed to take forever.  If that was not enough, just as we were about to approach the reserve, we saw traffic buildup up ahead which delayed our arrival.  After a two hour delay, we had finally made it to the Panda Reserve.

Getting off at the parking lot, all you could see were stands of vendors selling Panda stuffed animals, shirts, apparel, and other merchandise.  We knew that any minute now we would be able to see the real thing in action, an actual Panda!  We all boarded a small bus which would take us to the four different locations designated for tourists to take pictures of Pandas.

Getting off at the first stop, I could not help but feel anxious about what I was about to see!  However, fate would have it that I wait a bit longer. As I peered over the rails to look for the Pandas I searched and searched for the Pandas but could not find one.  Then I hear our tour guide tell us, “look up at the tree” and sure enough there it was, a Panda hugging the top of a tree, chilling.



Finally!  I was able to check “see a Panda” of my list!  Even though this particular Panda was quite far away and hard to spot, it was not the only Panda present at the Preserve.  In total I believe I saw about ten Pandas, two of which were cute, little baby pandas resting sleeping in their basket.  This was without a doubt the highlight of the Chengdu trip!  Seeing a Panda was well worth the wait!  I wish I could have seen the Panda above climb the tree, but I am thankful for being given the opportunity to see this rare creature.  Can’t wait to see what is in store next!