Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Day 10: 13 March 2008
Itinerary: Chengdu (Panda Research Base), long distance coach Chengdu-Chongqing, board ship at Chongqing for Yangtze cruise.

Woke up at 6 am early morning, 6.30 am the transport pickup heading for the Panda Research Base near to Chengdu. The driver was a lady and originally there was another person going but he cancelled last evening hence only myself went on this trip. The minimum number of persons for this trip was two otherwise single person charge would apply. However this lady still proceeded with the trip even though she was making a lot less money with only 1 paying guest. I offered to make up part of the difference but she declined strenuously, saying business is business, making less is still business afterall. I really admired her business ethics! She could have declined to take on this job in the first place. This tour was really an option for me but I was glad I went as it turned out to be a major highlight of the whole trip! I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and could have stayed there the whole day if only time permits! I ended up spending more than 2 hours there. This was the closest I ever came face to face with Pandas and I can now say I am absolutely love Pandas. Truly heaven sent and is there any other more special than them?

See one of my earlier post here:

By the time I returned back to the hotel it was already close to midday. I went to a nearby bank to change RMB and also bought some tidbits from a supermarket nearby for the long coach journey to Chongqing (almost 4 hours). Checked out of the hotel at about 1 pm, gotten the directions to get to 五桂桥 Bus Terminal from the hotel (courtesy of the travel desk's Vicky) by taking public bus no. 58 from along the main road just a hop away from the hotel that conveniently terminate at that Bus Terminal. Purchasing the coach ticket to Chongqing was a breeze - RMB120 + RMB6 (insurance). The coach was very comfortable, a double-decker with allocated seat number and very spacious seats. I had a seat next to the stairs on the upperdeck. Along the highway journey I caught glimpses of the countryside, it was a most relaxing coach trip.

Goodbye 琴台路!

五桂桥Terminal, Chengdu

The coach ticket.

Inside the coach.

Farewell Chengdu!

Hello! Chongqing.

Reached Chongqing's 陈家坪 Bus Terminal at around 6.15 pm. Asked for directions from the Terminal staff to get to 朝天门 jetty and they were very helpful even pointing the direction to the nearest bus stop for the public bus that would get to the jetty area. However finding the correct ship to board posed some difficulty as it was a very large berthing area with many ships and the berth signs were quite confusing. I ended up at the wrong end with the wrong ship initially and eventually had to walk quite a distance (very steep climbs both up and down) to find the correct berth and the correct ship! Was very glad to finally checked into the cabin sharing with a Malaysian man. After putting my luggage into the cabin, I went back up the shore again to find a place for dinner and also purchase some drinks and snacks for the next 3 days on the ship. The ship would set sail only early tomorrow morning, all guests need to checked back into the ship at around 11 pm so I had a couple of hours to spare to take some photos at 朝天门 Square before going back to board the ship.

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