Anthony's Interesting Times 2004 travel blog

Adult Pandas doing what they do best - eating

Young Pandas

Young panda - cute, huh?

Red Panda

Saw my first ever foreigners in a hard sleeper last night, an Australian couple, good to talk to. I was almost sad to realise that may be my last Chinese train journey, as I have come to quite like them (and often great views too).

We got in at 6, so after much negotiating with taxi drivers, got to my Guesthouse in the centre of big and modern Chengdu. Mein host asked if I wanted to see some pandas, and I must have been more tired than I thought, because I said yes. Actually though, it was quite fun. They are the strangest looking animals though, they look sort of badly made up by some child,and I later discovered there is some confusion as to whether they are in fact bears or raccoons.

I have also completed the formalities to get my permit and flight ticket for Tibet, so with any luck I will be there tomorrow!

Later: After a fine tea of stir fry on crisped rice (or rice crispies to the rest of you, nicer than it might sound, but see tomorrow for result) I am now the proud possessor of an airline ticket to Lhasa for tomorrow morning. The majick of this is slightly offset by the terrible smell of the toilet in the corner of this internet place, a smell that is stinging my eyes, it is so bad. But I am here for the third time today, as I try to make headway with a job application, which is bringing me far too down to Earth, never mind the hassles of unreadable keyboards and crashing systems. I never thought I would be doing this in Tibet, but it looks like I will have to!

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