Panda papanda kopanda

19 04 2010

This morning we had our last shower for a few days – we won’t get to wash on the train to Lhasa.

We took the hostel tour to the Panda Breeding Centre and visited the Giant Pandas and the Lesser (Red) Pandas. The tour was good value- 80Yuan for guide, private car, entry ticket (itself about 60Yuan) and a free panda keyring.

The pandas were very cute, although a little sleepy and inactive in the morning. Later in the morning we saw them eating bamboo, play fighting and exploring. The Lesson Pandas, I mean, Lesser Pandas were more active and much smaller.

After walking around and seeing all the pandas we went and watched a short movie on the breeding program and then visited the museum. When a baby panda is born it is 1/1000th of the weight of a grown panda, hairless, with undeveloped ears and eyes and is totally dependent for the next 6 months. At age 18 months they leave their mother and may live alone.

Once returning to the hostel we sorted out the last of our Tibet trip and went for a walk back to the Wenshu Monastery area and found another vegan restaurant for lunch, called Lotus Vegan Restaurant. For 60Yuan ($10) we ate rice, spring rolls, spicy mock chicken with peanuts and black beans and fake fish with beans and chilli. It was quite spicy, in keeping with the local famous spicy flavours. All this was topped off with a decadent slice of chocolate cake.

We definitely needed to walk off all that food so wandered back to the hostel via some markets selling slabs of meat in the open air and various fruits and nuts.

Tonight, the epic train journey to Lhasa begins. After dinner at the hostel we head to the train station for our 9pm train into Tibet along the world’s highest railway line. That’s one for the train otaku 🙂

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