On Tuesday, Professor Liu had originally organized for us to travel to a large Panda Breeding facility that was about 4 hours away. We were to spend the night on the road and then return the next day. Michael and I were concerned about this for several reasons…..first of all, Ping was going to accompany us and she gets horribly car sick. I simply couldn’t imagine spending 2 days in a car worrying about her the whole time. Also, the thought of having to pack up the suitcases again for just one night was almost unbearable. Finally, Michael was needing to have some “no-science” time and was desiring a day of just sitting and not having to interact. Consequently, we asked the professor if we could change those plans and instead spend half a day at a local Panda Facility and then have Wednesday free. He graciously agreed so on Tuesday we headed out for an adventure that we had looked forward to ever since we started coming to China.
When we entered, there were lots of people standing in line to ride in one of the small electric vehicles, including this little girl who already looked like she had seen enough…..
We looked at the length of the line and opted to walk instead, heading first to one of the Giant Panda Enclosures. The first one that we came to was a “Sub-Adult” male….ie teenager!!! We were excited to see him out and about and enjoyed a nice long viewing. He started entertaining us by doing some scratching, reminding me VERY much of my Dad…..I had seen him make those same moves many times before. And, as a matter of fact, he had the same basic physique!!
Have a look…..
We were all disappointed when he climbed down from his perch but shouldn’t have worried. He proceeded to walk behind his play area and take a stroll around his enclosure…. ……stopping to gawk at all of the tourists…..
I laughed as one lady took a selfie with her pointing to the panda behind her!!
Ping had told us that she had never seen Giant Panda’s before and that she was excited to be able to go with us. I love this photo of her showing her enjoyment…..
Unfortunately this was the only Giant Panda that we saw outside. It was starting to get pretty hot and, as the sign noted, Giant Panda’s are Heat Intolerant!!!
….and this one was making good use of snack time…..
Looking at this video ALSO reminds me of my Dad when he used to sit back in his recliner and have a snack!!!
As we walked into the enclosure we had to step on carpet strips that had been soaked in a bleach solution. I know that the idea was to keep germs out but it was a bit disconcerting!!!
The enclosure area had glass walls which were fairly steamy and had lots of finger prints on them. It was good that we were tall because we could photography over everyone’s head and avoid BOTH of those problems….
We all enjoyed seeing these glorious animals!!
There were smaller babies in another enclosure but the line was really long and was not moving at ALL. After standing there for about 5 minutes, we decided to leave it, although I think that Ping really wanted to visit the babies….
In between seeing the Giant Pandas, we visited the Red Panda Enclosure and had a wonderful time watching these cute, furry little guys. They are no relation to a Giant Panda and are much closer to a Raccoon or Skunk. But the best thing about Red Pandas is that THEY ARE CUTE…..
I mean, how can you not smile when you look at him!!!!
We moved down a bit further in the enclosure and came to an area where they were actively roaming around the compound. I pictured them as a model walking on a Fashion Runway, circling the crowd, stopping to smile and let people ooh and ahh and then resuming their rounds.
They are amazing climbers and we all loved watching one of them shimmy down a tree. It is fun to listen to the sounds that the crowd makes…..
As we were walking to another enclosure I commented to Michael that, since they were such good climbers, couldn’t they easily get out of one enclosure and into another one. As we were discussing this, I pointed to one that was just by the fence on the left side of the path. As we watched open mouthed, he darted thru a hole in the fence, scooted between myself and Ping and then back thru another hole on the other side……
We laughed and said that obviously they are not forbidden to move between enclosures, but actually encouraged to do so!!!
We decided that he only did this maneuver to frighten the tourists because he circled a tree and ran thru another hole, onto the path and back into the original enclosure. This time he truly did frighten a young woman, giving us all a good laugh. He probably enjoyed it too!!!
We took a few photos with the Pandas……
and one selfie with Ping……
Obviously we need to crouch more when taking selfies with Chinese!!!
We left the facility around 1:00 and Ping insisted that we have lunch with her. After eating “health food” which translated as a type of porridge we returned to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the day.
We did venture out for dinner, heading to the BBQ place that we had enjoyed so much.
We were able to order easily but did have trouble getting the red pepper salt mixture that we loved so much before. They didn’t speak any English and we didn’t have any idea of how to order it. We actually returned AGAIN to this restaurant on Wednesday night and this time showed them the photo of the plate from our first visit. It worked and we got exactly what we wanted!!!
This woman was amazing….. she would take green onions, roll them up into shallow disks and thread them onto the skewer. All of this was done without taking her eyes off of the movie on her cell phone!!!!
We loved our “napkins”……
…now known to us as “the day we saw Pandas”!!!!!