Summary: A father son trip with some business days in between. We will start off from Amsterdam through Shanghai to Xian to stay there 4 full days. We will then continue to Chengdu where we have 2 full days. Then we continue onwards to Vietnam, Hanoi where we will have 4 full days (of which 2 will be at Halong Bay). After this side trip we continue onwards through Beijing to Qinhuangdao where we will stay full day and the day after we return to Beijing to have 2 more full days there. Last day we fly back to Amsterdam from Beijing.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries (see all UNESCO sites here). We actually did not visit the sanctuary itself as there is mainly nature and difficult to spot panda’s. In stead we visit the Chengdu Panda Preservation Centre (and we hold a baby panda!) which actually is not part of this heritage site.
Day 1 through 6 – Arrival & Xian
Check this post: CHINA – Xian (2014.04.17 – 2014.05.05)
Day 7 – Chengdu Wuhou Temple & Jinli Street, Qingyang Temple, Du Fu Cottage, Kuanzhai Alley
First day in Chengdu, our hotel is a bit located out of the center but worth it. Global Center has a huge indoor waterpark complex and everything. Nice for my son. Anyhow, we started by taxi to the Wuhou Memorial Temple and next to it the Jinli Street. Wu Hou Shrine (Memorial Temple of Marquis Wu) is dedicated to Zhuge Liang, the Martial Marquis of Shu in the Three Kingdoms Period. His great personality, his dedicated service to others, and his outstanding intelligence place Zhuge Liang above all emperors, generals, and ministers in history. A visit to the temple illuminates his status with the Chinese people. Next to the temple is Jinli Street, a nice old neighborhood street to stroll trough.
After exploring we hopped into a taxi to our next stop: the Qingyang Temple. Qing Yang Temple is one of the largest Daoist Temples in China. The temple was first built in the Zhou Dynasty (1040BC – 221BC) and expanded after the Daoists gave the Tang Emperor refuge during the Huangchao Rebellion. Two Immortals Monastery is the only Daoist monastery in southwest China authorized to certify Daoist training, initiations and the passing of lineage.
We grabbed a taxi again and headed to Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage in honor of the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu. In 759 Du Fu moved to Chengdu, built a thatched hut near the Flower Rinsing Creek and lived there for four years. The “thatched hut” period was the peak of Du Fu’s creativity, during which he wrote two hundred and forty poems. A Quatrain, one of the poet’s well known pieces written at the cottage in 764, describes the surrounding scenery:
A pair of golden orioles sings in green willows
a column of snowy egrets flies off in blue sky
my window contains peaks with a thousand years of ice
my gate harbors boats from ten thousand miles downriver
After we went for lunch to the Kuanzhai Alley, a nice neighborhood with shops and restaurants. Back to hotel at around 4PM to do some swimming in the immense pool at the Intercontinental Global Center Chengdu.
Day 8 – Panda Center & Wenshu Temple
Today we got up very early to get to the Panda center as Panda’s are active in the morning. Here you can see baby panda’s, bigger ones and adults. You can also hold (after making a 2000 Yuan donation) a baby Panda in your hands. WE DID THIS! No photo of this here (anonymous) but it’s unique experience!
By taxi we headed to the Wenshu Temple which is build in the Sui Dynasty some 600 years B.C. In the Ming Dynasty destroyed and rebuild in the Qing Dynasty something like over 300 years ago. It’s dedicated to the future Buddha Manjusri which present was felt during the build of the first original temple. After that we took a taxi to Chunxi Road Shopping street check out the shopping and get some late lunch. From there we walked to Tianfu Square and there jumped into a taxi to get back to the Intercontinental Hotel Global Center with it’s huge indoor beach 🙂
Day 9 – Relax & Departure
In the morning a nice long sleep after some shopping and in the taxi off to Hanoi on Vietnam Airlines.