Clumsy Baby Pandas at Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base

Finally, I managed to edit all my Panda videos into one! It’s still 20 minutes long, but I could watch Pandas the whole day.

Actually, these Panda videos were the first reason for me to start editing all my videos. And I was really looking for a programm where I could make one Panda video and share it for my friends and family to watch and drool over the cuteness of these animals <3

And I don’t wanna withhold this video from you guys either, so here it is:

 

What about you guys? How much do you love Pandas? Have you ever seen a Panda?

Thanks for reading and watching!

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Trippy Temple Lights in Chengdu!

Now, I have finally uploaded a video that is more like a vlog since I am also talking more and telling what we’re doing and where we are going.

This video also has subtitles (German and Turkish) since I am obviously also talking more.

I think it’s easier to vlog when you are with someone since it won’t appear too awkward when you’re talking on your own or filming yourself :D

So I think that’s also one reason why I am talking so much in this one.

Here you can watch it:

As always, thanks for watching and reading!

Merveille.

What to do: Chinese New Year | Part 6 Sichuan Hot Pot in Chengdu

After living the adventure in Jiuzhaigou for only 2 days, we were ready for our 10-hour bus drive back to Chengdu.

In the morning, our hostel owner’s driver took the four of us to the bus station. It was quite early in the morning, but we were ready for the ride. Except for Ana, because she was even sicker than the day before, so the next 10 hours would be torture for her.

We were happy when we finally arrived in Chengdu, and the first thing we did was to put our things back in our hostel and ask for a pharmacy.

When we found the needed meds, we went back to our hostel and got changed. We were hungry, so we decided to end our last night in Chengdu with a famous Sichuan Hot Pot.

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The middle pot was filled with spicy soup, the bigger one around with non-spicy one, because I absolutely can’t eat spicy food. Unfortunately, the hot soup kept on spilling into the non-spicy pot while it was boiling. But luckily, we had some coconut milk ready which saved our tongues from burning :’D

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Never order boneless chicken, because it is actually just the chicken feet which we refused to put into the hot pot :’DΒ 
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Other than that, all the ingredients were delicious! <3

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Inside the restaurant
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The entrance to the restaurant.

After our amazing dinner we strolled through the city a little bit. It was beautiful to have a last glimpse on Chengdu at night. It was still very busy and bright, a typical evening in a chinese big city.

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This was the funniest building I have seen. A panda climbing up the Prada building :’D

We returned to the hostel, tired and sleepy from the food. We packed our stuff and went to sleep, ready to fly back to Shanghai the next morning.

What about you guys? Have you ever tried Hot Pot? And do you like spicy food, or are you a sucker like me? :D

Thanks for reading and travelling with me.

Merveille.

What to do: Chinese New Year | Part 4 Tibetan Hospitality

On our fourth day we had to wake up even earlier than the days before. We had to catch a bus that would take us to Jiuzhaigou – a huge national park famous for its turquoise lakes and deep blue pools – in 10 hours. We were excited that we would finally be able to see this beautiful place but we didn’t feel like going on a 10-hour bus ride into the mountains.

Plus, when we entered the bus, we realized that 1. we were the only non-chinese tourists and 2. that Ana and me were sitting in the crammiest back row seats I have ever seen.

Anyway, the bus ride did really feel like 10 hours. It was driving through winding streets up to the mountains. We were snacking, sleeping and trying to read. Unfortunately, I have been having a huge reading slump with A Clash of Kings, the second installment of A Game of Thrones and the bus ride felt even longer than it already was. Once in a while I was able to take some snaps out of the back window.

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When we finally arrived at the bus station, we first had to check out where to take the taxi to, because the valley consisted of different villages and our hostel was in a quite small one. They helped us at the bus station but there were just too many clueless people like us trying to find their way. When we finally made it to a taxi he took us to probably the tiniest village I have ever seen. The taxi driver was Β a little bit confused about the exact location of the hostel as well. He brought us to the end of a street and told us that our hostel was up the street. We paid and tried to find it, but it wasn’t there. We searched through the place and aske a chinese woman who couldn’t speak any word of english. She tried to help us, asked for a phone number which we didn’t have and then also asked another man passing by. They were really helpful, but it was all for nothing. We couldn’t find it. They left us and I was starting to panic. I suggested to take the taxi back to the city centre and look for a hotel there. Luckily, Ana managed to calm me down and suggested to look inside that one hostel in fron of us. We went in and the hallway was empty. There were rooms but it didn’t seem like anyone was in there. At the end of the hallway we saw a stairway leading up to a room from which we could hear voices and noises. Ana waited for me downstairs with our suitcases and I went up and knocked on the door.

When I opened a door I saw two young girls approximately my age, a young guy, two older women and one older man sitting and having dinner. I went inside and I tried to tell them in a mix of english and chinese if they knew where this hostel was. While the two young girls approached me immediately and spoke english to me, of the elder ladies who was standing in front of the stove pushed a bowl of rice into my hands and insisted to eat it. I was overwhelmed by such warmth and kindness that I felt my eyes burning. My voice was shivering now, too and as the girls told me that they knew where the hostel is, I felt so relieved. I told them that my friend was waiting downstairs and they told me to fetch her up so we could have dinner and warm up.

We were eating rice and some vegetables. Then she offered us the most delicious Baozi I have ever eaten. It had walnuts inside and although I don’t like walnuts, it was one of the best things I have eaten in China.

The lady was one of the nices people I have ever met in my life. She wasn’t able to speak our language. She probably didn’t know anything about our countries. We could have been robbers or killers, but she welcomed and accepted us without fearing or judging us. It was obvious that this family wasn’t wealthy. They were sitting in a little room, 6 people crammed together and were ready to share their food with strangers. In this moment I realized that kindness never has to do anything with money or education and this is the most important feat a human being can have.

After we finished with our meal, we asked if we could take a picture, so one of the girls took a picture with us and their aunts and uncle and it is one of my most favourite pictures I have taken in China.

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The woman in the blue sweater was the one offering us the food.

The girls helped us and we finally found our hostel. Then, they invited us to a Karaoke evening with them and all of their cousins.

Our hostel’s owner was a very friendy young mother and she welcomed us in a friendly way. She also offered us dinner but we told them that we already ate.

After checking into our overly cold room we got ready and met the girls. They took us to the city centre and we picked up some more cousins. One of the cousins’ parents has a souvenir stand with a lot of beautiful things. I bought a bracelet for our family friend’s mum and a mirror for my mum.

The KTV we went to was probably the most beautiful KTV I have been to. One of the reasons was that the rooms had their own toilets, so you didn’t have to use the disgusting public toilets. The ones at KTVs are always so dirty and disgusting that sometimes, I refused to use them.

It was so much fun to sing with those girls. There were so many of them :’D

Unfortunately, the germs of that woman in Leshan that sneezed on Ana caused her to feel a bit tired and sick so we told the girls that we wanted to go back to our hostel. They had drunk beer though, so they told one of their cousins to drive us back. We didn’t know him, so we were a bit suspicious, but she said that we could trust him. So we did, and he brought us back to the hostel safely.

It was an unbelievable day with a fun and unexpected ending.

Have ever had such an experience with locals offering you food and shelter? Tell me in the comments, I would be so interested to know.

Thanks for travelling with me!

In the next post, you will finally see the wonderful colours of that place.

What to do: Chinese New Year | Part 3 The biggest Buddha you will see

Our third day started early as well with our walk to the bus station where we wanted to take a 1-hour bus ride to Leshan in order to see the Big Buddha which is the biggest stone Buddha in the world with 71 metres in height. Actually, I can’t imagine any other Buddha that is bigger than the one in Leshan. I was seriously in awe when I saw it and couldn’t stop staring.

Our ride there was quite comfortable and we even met a polish guy who just happened to have the same surname as my friend Ana and they both couldn’t stop laughing at this coincidence.
Later, on our way walking to the Buddha, we also met a girl from Germany. So we were 2 Polish and 2 Germans :’D Best crew ever!

DISCLAIMER: Before you decide to go visit a mountain or a Buddha statue or anything that has to do with Buddhism, be warned! If you wanna do this during Chinese New Year, you should expect a lot of people. MASSES! And you should also calculate some time for queueing. We didn’t expect that and thought we would be able to visit the surrounding area as well, but our plans were destroyed within seconds of seeing the unbelievably long line leading to the Buddha. We wanted to cry, but we didn’t give up. We had come all that way to see the Buddha, and we would get through the queueing.

We were lucky that we were a bunch of fun and chatty young people with so many topics to talk about. 4 hours (!!!!) in a queue flew by so fast and before we could say knife, we were already descending the stairs down to the Buddha.

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Of course, something had to go wrong: As we were descending the stairs, an old chinese woman came up next to me and behind Ana, and she suddenly sneezed on Ana, so loud and spraying saliva all over the place. It was disgusting and rude! Ana got all the germs on her. I literally saw it rain down. We got pissed off at the end and sweared to never go to any holy monument during a holiday in China anymore :’D

When we were finally at the bottom, the size of the Buddha overwhelmed us even more. It was immense and we had to contort our necks to see the whole thing.

We took some pictures, and it was already time for Ana and me to slowly head back to the bus stop. We had booked a Sichuan Opera show in the evening so we had to be ready at the hostel on time.

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It was really hard to fit all of us together in one picture with the Buddha, but we somehow did it. We then exited which meant climbing up the stairs this time. It was really exhausting and we also had to hurry a little bit.

Back at the hostel, we just had time to buy some snacks for the next day (A 10-hours bus ride would await us), get changed and ready for the pickup. There were two other guys with us in the minivan. One of them was from France, and the other one from a South-American country (I think Argentina or Brazil or something), but studying and working in Shanghai. They told us they had like 6 weeks off and planned a trip through China. We were quite envious of them.
Anyway, when we arrived at the opera house, we had to wait for about 20 minutes before the show started. We were invited to wait and tea was served, Jasmine tea I think, one of my favourites <3

The show finally started, and it was really impressive. It had everything you could wish for: Acrobats, slapstick, singing parts, action, firespitters, amazing costumes and face-changing masks which is famous for Sichuan Opera. I can 100% recommend you to visit the opera while you are there. The price is fine as well.

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Unfortunately, I don’t have more pictures because my camera died.Β 

After the show, we looked for a place to eat and found a venue with food stands and restaurants. There, we ordered some malatang, hot spicy soup (Mine was not spicy of course) and roamed through the streets a little bit to buy some fruit for our bus ride the next day.

This was our 3rd day in Sichuan. I enjoyed it a lot, despite spending it waiting on lines all the time. The opera show was my highlight and the big Buddha was something different than I had seen.

What about you guys? Have you ever been sneezed on?
What was the longest time you had to wait in a queue?
And tell me about the biggest Buddha statue you have seen.

Thanks for travelling with me!

Stay tuned for my next post which will be a quite emotional one.

What to do: Chinese New Year | Part 2 Panda Mania

Finally, it’s time to write this blogpost! I have been waiting to do this for so long Guys! It definitely was one of my favourite days in China, and after looking at the pictures, you will understand why :)

Before showing you the pictures, let me explain how our morning started and give you some advice what to do and what not to do.

We booked the trip to the Panda Research Center at our hostel and they organized a driver who took us and a couple who were also staying at the same hostel to the Center. We had to wake up pretty early in the morning, met at 8am in the lobby and arrived at the park at around 9am. I think we were the very first ones to enter the park. We wanted to see the panda babies, so that’s why we went there so early in the morning.

Do: You should go there as early as possible as well to see the panda babies and some grown pandas before the crowds. You can organize a driver from your hotel/hostel as well, but you should ask them some questions and you definitely shouldn’t do the following…

Don’t: Stick to your guide/driver! If we did that, we would have left the park at around 12 or 1pm. We talked to the driver and told him to leave us here. We would find a way to return. That was no problem in our case, but it was a little bit of a work because he didn’t understand english so we tried to tell him with our broken chinese that we wanted to stay. If possible, try to explain this to the receptionist who can usually speak english very well.

Do: If you don’t want to hire a guide or a driver or if you plan to stay longer in the park, make sure to get information about how to get back to your hostel/hotel or the city centre. There are a lot of taxi drivers at the exit of the park, but they will try to rip you off. If your chinese only consists of Ni Hao and Jiao Zi, you should definitely try to take a bus or ask a local.

Don’t: Please, don’t be too loud and aggressive. Don’t litter and don’t offer food to the animals there. Just try not to disturb the animals in any way. It is a good news that the Pandas are no longer endangered, but they are still peaceful animals who deserve to be left alone.

Do: Take a lot of snacks with you. If you want to spend the whole day there, as we did, you should be prepared. We weren’t and we regretted it. We had to look for cafes and restaurants all the time, because we were starving twice. It is really hard to find a good place that is open, not too expensive and sells the kind of food you need.

I hope these Do’s and Don’ts will help you on your Panda Day. Now, enjoy the pictures!

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What to do: Chinese New Year | Part 1 Chengdu, Sichuan Province

Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, started February 7th this year and ended February 14th. Our last working day was the saturday, February 6th. We could spend that day packing everything and getting ready for our trip the next day. Our destination would be an amazing province in China, namely Sichuan Province, home of Pandas and spicy food!

We had our flight at early afternoon from Shanghai, so we took the fast train from Yuyao in the morning. This is how the sky said goodbye to us:

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Everything went well, our train ride and the flight were very comfortable and we soon arrived at our hostel where we had our own private room.

We relaxed in our room for a while and then asked some questions at the reception, including where to go celebrate Chinese New Year. The girl at the desk told us about the Wuhou temple in the city centre which would be decorated, so we decided to go there. We also looked for a resturant on the way, but couldn’t find it, so we tried our luck findin some place to eat inside the temple.

A lot of people were out in the streets, including police and the military. But we still managed to enjoy the decorations and the festive atmosphere.

After we found the temple, we finally got in. I can’t remember if we paid anything, but I think we did, because we go tickets. If I remember well, it was 20 RMB, so around 4€

We didn’t regret it though. As soon as we entered the temple, we were overwhelmed by the incredibly beautiful decorations! It was so beautiful!

After strolling through the temple a little bit, we realized how hungry we really were, so we tried to find a restaurant, and we actually found a very nice-looking one. It wasn’t crowded, because it was way past dinner time we guessed. We quickly had a seat outside, because the weather was really nice and mild for February, and there were actually seats outside which is pretty rare in Yuyao.

We ordered some food and I tried to take care not to get something spicy. We had some broccoli, eggplant, I think we also had beef and for dessert, we had tangyuan which is glutinous rice balls filled with sesame or red bean paste.

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After dinner, we strolled through the temple and found some beautiful spots and admired a lot of impressive lanterns in form of masks, monkeys and other creatures.

After we returned back to our hostel, we were high on colours. It was so overwhelming. We couldn’t believe what happened to us :’D I literally imagined an LSD trip to be like this: Like a temple in China for Spring Festival.

It really was a glorious evening and everyone seemed so happy and elated. We were wishing random people “Xin Nian Kuaile” (Happy New Year) when walking past them and they returned that wish as well. It was almost like being part of China.

Back at the hostel, we tried to sleep after the colour-flash, but we couldn’t so we stayed up a bit, browsed social media and talked about the next day, which would be one of the most fun experiences we would have: Visiting the Panda Center!

So you can look forward to a post full of cuteness overload!

Thanks for travelling with me!