Chengdu’s Peekaboo Cat Cafe

Chengdu’s Peekaboo Cat Cafe

When I travel one of the things I miss is cats. Cute, cuddly, fluffy, affectionate cats. They’re one of my favourite creatures. That’s why I love visiting cat cafes. Luckily, I found just the thing in Chengdu.

How To Find It

If you read Chinese, maybe it’s easy to find but not so much otherwise. There’s no Google in China, after all. So, if you happen to visit Chengdu and want your kitty fix, here’s how to find the Peekaboo Cat Cafe.

Caotang Road North station, exit B

Take metro Line 4 to Caotang Road North station, exit B. Just a few shops immediately south of the exit, on the right hand side, you’ll find the inviting collection of kitties. It’s open 10am to 11pm.

Come early and there’s lots of room. Later in the day all the seats might be taken. Mostly by cats.

The Cats

I arrive around noon (on a weekday) and there’s only one other person in the cafe, so we’re out-numbered 10 to 1 by the cats. Purrrfect!

Greetings. Welcome to my cafe.

All the cats are wonderfully friendly and you can tell they’re used to people. No biting cats here. They seem to get along with each other really well too. There’s some play fighting but mostly just snuggling and keeping each other warm.

Spot the naked cat sandwiched in the middle?
So tired
I have a very long arm
This is my spot now

The Cafe
There’s no fee to enter, just buy something to eat or drink. A pot of tea is about $10 with unlimited refills. The coffee looks pretty good too. If you order the fruit salad, be warned it comes covered in something gross like mayonnaise. It is China, after all.

I’ll take that mayo, thank you
More tea, please
Ticklish?
I’m so big I don’t fit onto any of the cat furniture

There’s an upstairs and a downstairs, so lots of room for both the cats and their admirers. It’s a pretty relaxing environment with peaceful music.

Upstairs is completely empty when I arrive, except for about a dozen cats sleeping in various hiding spots

Throughout the afternoon more people start to drift in, mostly young couples and single girls. Two men show up and chain smoke, seemingly oblivious that they are surrounded by cats. It is China, after all.

Wait, what are you doing here?
As well as snacks and tea, you can also buy a tin of cat food. This will make you very very popular.
Excuse me, we’re trying to nap here!
Asian cats use squat toilets
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Chengdu China – Home of the Giant Panda

Chengdu China – Home of the Giant Panda

I’m stopping over in Chengdu China on my way back from visiting the “Stans” of Central Asia. Chengdu is famous as the home of the endangered Giant Panda. The weather here is perfect for them – warm and wet – just what you want for growing lots of bamboo. I’m very lucky that it’s actually clear and sunny! A rare occurrence, especially in winter, and a great opportunity to capture some photos of people enjoying themselves outside.

Chengdu – The People

Chengdu is often considered the most livable of China’s megacities. For a population of 15 million, it has surprisingly pleasant and large parks and green spaces. The People’s Park is on the most popular, of course.

There’s no better way to enjoy a Sunday morning than dancing in the park
…or paddling around the lake

Like all Chinese cities, there’s also a large central square with a huge Mao statue.

Flying airplanes in Tianfu Square

Enduring the Sichuanese tradition of “ear cleaning”

Chengdu – The Pandas

These adorable bears once roamed far and wide throughout much of China but today there are only about 1,500 alive, nearly all of them in captivity. The Chengdu Panda Research Base is the largest panda conservation project in the world and it’s easy to visit while in Chengdu.

Walking through the bamboo forests of Chengdu Panda Research Base

If you’ve ever seen pandas at a zoo elsewhere in the world, that zoo pays a fee to China to “borrow” the pandas (all pandas in the world are property of China and any born in captivity outside China must be returned). Those funds help support projects like the research base.

Save some food for me, mom

The ultimate goal of the research base is to reintroduce pandas into the wild. They have yet to do that and there’s no guarantee it will work but as the national pride of China, everyone is hopeful.

Mom!!

Right at 7:30am as the entrance gates opened, there was a mad dash to be the first to get to the pandas. I didn’t really know where I was going – it’s a huge park – so I just stopped at the first enclosure that looked promising. I couldn’t have been more lucky. For 10 minutes I got to watch a baby panda climb all over mom and I had this all to myself.

I thump you!
So itchy

Then the crowds arrived. Yes, it’s China so expect things to be a bit busy. Just come early and during the cold months.

But these adorable bears are well worth it.

Looking for a good place to nap

Don’t forget the smaller and more active Red Pandas too.

100 Scuba Dives

100 Scuba Dives

I’ve just completed my 100th scuba dive! I got into scuba four years ago on a trip to Cuba and I’ve been lucky enough to explore the underwater world in some fantastic places since. Learning to dive was a big challenge for me. I’ve always felt a little uneasy around water, having grown up in a landlocked city where the only lakes and rivers are freezing cold. I remember how nervous I was the first time I strapped on all that complicated scuba gear and sunk below the surface of the water. Something inside of you yells out “but I can’t breathe under water!”. It’s a real leap of faith to suppress that sense of panic. Once I started to overcome it, I began to love diving. There’s a real sense of freedom that comes with floating weightlessly. The marine world is so vibrant and distinct from what we see in our everyday lives.
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Australia’s Great Ocean Road

Australia’s Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road stretches for 250 km along Australia’s rugged southern coast. Built by soldiers returning from World War I and dedicated to their fallen comrades, it’s the world’s largest war memorial. It also has some of the best scenery in all of Australia. After having such a good time cycling in Tasmania, I was keen to tackle the tight turns and steep climbs of the Great Ocean Road but I hadn’t counted on the intense traffic (thousands of tourists came during Chinese New Year). After my first day, I decided to leave the bike behind and simply enjoy this stunning place as a road trip.
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Tasmania Cycle Tour

Tasmania Cycle Tour

I’ve just finished a month-long, 1,500-km cycle tour around Tasmania. This remote island is a pleasure to travel by bike with long winding roads that pass through incredible scenery with little traffic. Its diversity is striking. There are vast temperate rain forests, tropical white sandy beaches with turquoise water, rugged coastlines with towering sea cliffs, and peaceful sheep pastures and lavender farms. Tasmania’s history is equally rich. From its notorious convict beginnings to hardy miners who struggled to make a life in the remote corners of this island, there’s so much to learn. Whether you stay in campgrounds or treat yourself to character-rich B&Bs and historic hotels, you’re sure to discover some real gems along the way.
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Pet Sitting in Paradise

Pet Sitting in Paradise

We stayed with Simon & Stuart last night and got along so well that they asked us to come back for another night to look after their pets while they’re away. I’d planned on continuing my cycle tour but these opportunities don’t come up everyday. I’m a huge animal lover. That’s one of the wonderful things about spontaneous travel – unique experiences that just seem to pop up.
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I found the Tasmanian Devil!

I found the Tasmanian Devil!

I’ve finally found it! The endangered, elusive Tasmanian Devil!

Today I visited the Tasmanian Devil Unzoo where you can get up close and personal with some of Tasmania’s wild creatures. It’s more than just a zoo. Or, I should say, it’s not a zoo at all. I’ll get to that but first the exciting part – I got to watch two Tassie devils wait in anticipation of fresh food then devour a chunk of wallaby! They’re such interesting creatures. About the size of a small dog, they look really cute and cuddly. Yet, they have the strongest jaws next to a shark and can tear tough meat and crunch through bones as if they were toothpicks. They’re carnivores but they don’t hunt. They scavenge for food.
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