Wednesday, July 15, 2009

YP Bonding Trip to Chengdu, China Day 1

8 July 2009

I was real lucky to get my registration details submitted a day after the deadline approved. The YP Bonding Trip to Chengdu, China is organised by the International Relations team of the Young PAP. YP Comrades from various branches would be joined by YP Chairman Teo Ser Luck and Dr Faishal Ibrahim, In-charge of International Relations sub-committee.

At 11.30pm (7 July 2009), Hock Rong came to send me off at the Airport. It's a pity he can't join in the delegation due to his work commitment.

We were speculating if the MPs The flight took 4.5 hours and we reached Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at about 7am. After landing, we were told by the plane crew to stay put at our seats as officials, donned with masks, boarded the plane and scanned our body temperature one by one.

At the immigration counter, I was worried when the officer looked at me and remarked that I don't seem to be feeling well. Due to the long flight and the timing of the day, I really didn't look that good. Luckily, I wasn't sent for quarantine.

Leaving the Airport via coach, the tour guide Ying Yong introduced the city to us.

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province. It is usually foggy because Chengdu is surrounded by mountains so the fog is stuck within the city. There is lesser UV ray and that explains the nice facial complexion of the people. Chengdu people are shorter (Deng Xiaoping is a good example) and are heavy spenders.

Chengdu has been described as the best city to relax in. It is also the largest city in Western China is the 4th most livable city in China. According to Ying Yong, there are plenty of Capitaland and Keppel developments in the city.

The people in Chengdu don't spend much time for their breakfast unlike the Cantonese. Therefore there is only one restaurant that offers breakfast, and that was where we had ours. It is applaudable for Dr Faishal who made it a point to attend the trip despite not being able to consume most food items.

Our first place of visit was the Chengdu Research Base and Panda Breeding Centre. Chengdu is the birthplace of the adorable national animal of China.

I always thought there was only one type of panda - the Giant Panda, until I saw the Red Pandas.

The next enclosure we saw housed the young pandas. They seemed to enjoy the attention they are getting from tourists. Everyone loves panda, and that's perhaps why pandas make good for diplomacy.

The Giant Pandas are real huge. While they are normally peaceful creatures, under duress, they might turn violent. Once, a tourist climbed over the fence to take a picture with the pandas. The staff quickly asked him to get out of the enclosure, less the pandas get stressed. Imagining a 100 kg of palm whacking into your face!

Ying Yong told us that an expectant panda mother once climbed out of the enclosure. She was spotted on the road and the authorities were informed. It was a tricky case since she was pregnant. It took a whole day to finally subdue the panda and transport her back to the enclosure. From then on, electric gates were installed.

The slight drizzle made the weather cool. I just feel like sitting down and act as if I am meditating, in this bamboo forest.

Lunch was interesting. The dishes served were all herbal in nature but did not carry the bitterness or smell of it. While Singaporeans ensure that they can finish the food that they order, Chengdu people believe that it is more important to show the generousity by ensuring that the food on the table is not finished before the conversation or meeting ends.

After lunch, we checked into the Century City Chengdu Holiday Inn Hotel and took a rest before dinner comes.

Our dinner was hosted by the Tourism Agency Commissioner and after dinner was healthy entertainment at a KTV lounge, where we met some Chengdu-based Singaporeans.

1 comment:

  1. You should have taken a photo while hugging a panda cub! :p


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