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Chengdu & Xian!

sunny 16 °C
View To Asia and Beyond!! on AmyRossiter26's travel map.

Leaving Yangshuo we moved on to Chengdu - the home of the Panda Sanctuary!! Ben and I had really been looking forward to this and it didn't disappoint! The Pandas were amazing, I could have sat and watched them all day! There had recently been some babies born too, which we got to see - the cutest things ever!!
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We were only in Chengdu overnight but managed to fit in quite a bit. Aswell as the Panda Sanctuary, we visited a Monastery which was really interesting, the building and sculptures were very impressive and we timed it just right so that we were able to see the monks performing a ceremony. IMG_4039.jpg
We also experienced an authentic Sechuan hot pot which is basically a very spicy soup boiling in the middle of a table, which you add various meats, fish and vegetables to - it was okay, but think I'll stick with the English version!! We also had a massage by a blind masseur - the Chinese believe that if you are lacking in one sense your others are heightened which makes blind masseurs more skilled. I'm not sure about more skilled, but my back did feel bruised for a few days afterwards!!

After Chengdu we moved on to Xian - a massive city! It has retained some Chinese character though, with lots of pretty buildings. Xian also has a high wall which keeps contained the inner city from the outer city. Ben and I cycled the 7 miles of the city wall on a tandem bike and saw some lovely views! Ben was a bit sceptical about the tandem but it was really funny!!
In Xian we also did some volunteer work at a homeless soup kitchen, which had been set up by an English bloke Tony about 8 years previously. He does no fundraising or advertising to keep the charity going, it's all down to volunteers so was quite cool to be a part of it. In Xian we also had our first experience of KTV (Chinese karaoke). The Chinese go mad for karaoke - it was so much fun and a very messy night!! Ben even managed to interrupt a guy proposing to his girlfriend! He'd walked in to the wrong karaoke room accidently, which was complete with hundreds of lit candles and red roses! Oops! They weren't too upset though, and even asked for a photo with him!
Xian is also home to the Terracotta Warriors, which are deemed the eighth wonder of the world! The story behind them is really interesting and was cool to see them, but it's a very touristy place and was packed with people.

After a few days in Xian city we spent a night on a rustic farm in the mountains - amazing scenery and very relaxing! But very very cold!! We ate homecooked organic food from the farm and when it got dark lit a fire and played games! IMG_4037.jpg

All in all, had a very busy few days and lots more to come!

Posted by AmyRossiter26 19:15 Archived in China

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