"Pandas vs Eco-Tourism vs Economic Development" Wolong by worldcitizenra
Wolong Travel Guide: 1 reviews and 4 photos
My daughter had been looking forward to this part of her summer stay with my in Hong Kong. My work demands and conflicting commitments in the time she had available almost caused the plans to be cancelled. Actually, I should not call them "plans" because everything came together at the last minute less than 2 weeks before she was to return to the US for school. It was more like wishes and dreams. Certainly, the fact that we had easily travelled indpendently to other places in China caused us to naively assume that we could pull this trip off with no difficulty and just a little help from my Chinese friend. But fate had other ideas.
The plan was simple: short flight from Guangzhou to Chengdu on Friday evening, good hotel in Chengdu for the weekend, day trip to Wolong Saturday, then finish with Panda musuem and research center in Chengdu before catching return flight Sunday evening. Of course, we should have realized there might be problems when we could not find a travel agency in Guangzhou that had any real information about visiting the Pandas and the information researched on the internet had descriptions of what we could see, but no detailed information about how to get to any of the places. Considering how difficult it turned out to be, perhaps you are not supposed to learn that until after you arrive and have no other options until your return flight.
My Chinese friend's conversation with Chengdu residents on the plane was the first indication of possible problems. We could not find two people who agreed on whether or not we could see the pandas in Wolong or how to get there if was possible to see the pandas. Advice ranged from the optimistic - "It's just a quick 3 1/2 hr bus ride" to the pessimistic - "The road to Wolong is closed and you can't go there". As with most things, the truth was somewhere in the middle.
The uncertainty continued after we arrived in Chengdu. Our taxi driver thought we could get to Wolong, but would probably have to hire a car - cost at least 1,000rmb. The hotel staff in Chengdu could not provide any suggestions on how to get to Wolong. Apparently, seeing the pandas in Wolong (about 150km from Chengdu) is not a high priority item for the hotel's usual business guests. A call to one of their friends brought the advice to take the bus or hire a car. No idea which bus station to go to for the Wolong bus and no idea what a hired car would cost, but that wasn't important. Another call produced the advice that we could take one of several buses to Wolong and it would only take 3 to 3 1/2 hrs, so we should not be concerned. For a day trip, a 3 1/2 hr bus ride one way makes the schedule very tight, but still possible.
- Pros:Pandas, Pandas, Pandas
- Cons:Difficult and risky travel
- In a nutshell:Worth Meeting Every Challenge to be There
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