Saturday, June 27, 2009

Xi'An and Chengdu

Sorry this will be a picture-free post, but we don't have it together enough to regale you with images. We went through Xi'An recently, the city that hosts the legion of terracotta warriors. It's pretty cool, and a massive act of humanism for a Chinese emperor to bury terracotta versions of his army instead of burying the live army along with him, but I thought it was a little boring. I know each warrior is totally individual, with a distinct face and clothes, but you're not allowed anywhere near close enough to them to really discern any differences. What was really cool was the Xi'An water and music show! An entire square in the city transforms into a dancing fountain that moves to the beat of music. It's really gorgeous. I bet there's a good YouTube video somewhere, but the site's still blocked in China, so you'll have to look it up yourself. I sort of worry that China's new, tackier tourist attractions sometimes appeal to me more than its ancient sights. Makes me feel like a heathen. I'm handing it off to Andy, who will tell you about Chengdu.
Chengdu is super fun! We just got back from the panda research center, where thanks to lucky connections with cool people we met, we discovered that we can avoid paying the 100 yuan fee to our hostel or the 58 yuan regular entrance fee, and instead were able to get special 1 yuan panda gold cards which allow us to visit most of the attractions around here totally free! So i used all that money i saved and blew it on getting to hold the cutest best red panda in my lap and feed it apples! IT WAS THE BEST! (I could have also held the baby famous pandas but those were 1000 yuan instead of 100). We got there at a perfect time and all the pandas were going freaking nuts:Running all over , attacking each other, and generally being the cutest things imaginable. Oh man!
Before that we have been visiting some weird old temples (if anyone ever played the game "Dynasty Warriors" we got to go to liu bei's mausoleum and castle), eating super spicy sichuan hot-pot, relaxed at a tea house and missed a very lame chinese death metal concert. (it started at 8 and was over before we got there at 9:30, super metal)
Tomorrow we are going to try to head out to some cool taoist caves, and maybe the world's largest overall buddha (



Anonymous said...

The red panda looks like it's related to the raccoon. The red panda is also known as a firefox of which I am using to browse this site!

Kate said...

I was really hoping the largest overall Buddha would be a farmer Buddha wearing overalls and carrying a pitchfork. Oh well.