During most of our time on the Earthwatch expedition, we stayed in the city of Ya'an, China at the Ibis hotel there. I would certainly recommend this hotel, very nice, right off the Qingyi River and covered bridge. They had a small restaurant where we would eat breakfast.
As a group we met up in the lobby each morning at 8:30 to catch a ride up to the Ya'an, Bifengxia Panda Base. Arrangements had been made with four local people who drove us in their cars.
I tried getting video of the scenery to and from the base because we do climb up into the mountains to get to the base, but it was difficult in the car with 3 others. Beautiful scenery, with the rivers and waterfalls along with the individual family farms and small shops that held locally grown fruits and vegetables, freshly butchered meats as well as all kinds of stores and restaurants.
Didn't realize that furniture making was so big there. Beautifully carved out of huge tree trunks that you would see sitting outside the shops.
We would get back into town from working at the base all day around 6 pm and then meet up for dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants. So I didn't get much time to explore the city, unfortunately, but I did get up for one sunrise setting up on the covered bridge to capture what kind of activity took place. Am waiting for our group to upload their photos, because I believe there are a few shots of us at dinner. We tried about 5 different restaurants including the 'hot pot' where the food is cooked at the table in these huge kettles.
The bridge itself could use some touching up, but not sure of the overall condition. There are shops inside on the lower level, I don't think the upper two levels are being used, I tried to get up there but it was blocked off. Here you can buy some of the famous Sichuan tea.
As the influx of money has helped the country, you can see how it is making a difference in the cities also. Their clothes shops have all of the latest styles and the people of Ya'an dress very well. You can see the impact of the use of automobiles, scooters has on the city. There is very little space for them to park as most of the shops sit right on the roadways and interestingly, they have some stoplights and stop signs, but basically everyone comes and goes pretty orderly using their horns to communicate with each other as they move about.
I couldn't help but feel a sense of freedom about they way they could move around among each other in traffic, driving across lanes, scooting in and around each other. No yellow or dashed lines telling them they had to drive per those rules we find in the United States. Just alot of honking. lol
Here is a little glimpse of the city of Ya'an, China. Of course I had to add a panda into the video so you will see Suzie at the end.
The next video I put together will begin with our work at the Ya'an Bifengxia Base.