The day has started with all of us eating breakfast with our luggage and then figuring out how to fit everyone onto the bus to head to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Somehow, we managed to fit all of the students, faculty, and luggage all on one bus!
When we entered the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, we saw a panda named Welcome, who was named on behalf of the 2008 Olympics that took place in Beijing, China because he was born in 2008. We got to walk around the beautiful reserve that was filled with lush forestry, bamboo, trees, pandas, red pandas, and surprisingly noisy peacocks.
As we walked around the park, we were able to observe adorable pandas eating, sleeping, and lounging in trees. After seeing a few adult pandas, we stood in line under beautiful greenery to visit an infant panda who was three days old and a baby panda.
The baby panda sat in a way that made him look deep in thought, when actually he was just sleeping. Our guide told us that although pandas sleep in seemingly uncomfortable positions, they are actually very comfortable. We then visited the red pandas who were running around and playing with each other.
Although they are named “red pandas,” our guide told us that they more closely resemble North American raccoons than they do bears. After visiting the reserve, we all made our way back to the gift shop where we spent time shopping and buying souvenirs for ourselves, friends, and families. We then ate a fantastic Sichuan lunch with cool sliced cucumbers, rice cakes, spicy kung pao chicken, tofu, veggies, noodles, pork belly, an egg dish, and soup. After lunch, we boarded the bus to head to Mianyang Southwest University of Science and Technology where we were greeted by an incredibly nice university student from Malaysia named Irene. She showed us to our dorm rooms, taught us how to use the showers and washing machines, set us up with our ID cards on which we placed money we are going to spend
on food and essential dormitory things, and took us to the cafeteria thus concluding our day. What an exciting day it has been!