“I thought the secret of life was obvious: be here now, love as if your whole life depended on it, find your life’s work, and try to get hold of a giant panda.”
– Anne Lamont, Novelist
Pandas are cute, everyone knows that. This is why a huge number of tourists visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan. It’s a tourist attraction to rival even the Great Wall!
Chinese people are very proud of their national animal and have spent a lot of time, money and effort in their attempts at protecting this black and white bear. The panda base was opened in 1987 with six pandas from the wild and currently has 83 successfully raised captive pandas. So at least the breeding part is going well!
The park was honored as a National AAAA Tourist Attraction by the National Tourism Administration in 2006, and there is plenty to do and see in the park. The Chengdu Research Base of Giant panda breeding is widely regarded as the best place to get close and experience pandas in real life. It is perfectly possible to spend most of your day here and you can learn almost all there is to know about Pandas.
- Giant Panda Museum
- Torusit service center
- Multiple Adult Giant Panda
- 2 Red Panda enclosures
- Panda Story Cinema (don’t get your hopes up, it’s no IMAX)
- Giant Panda nursery enclosure also called Giant panda kindergarten (very cute!)
- Giant panda juvenile enclosure (still very cute!)
- Swan Lake (not so cute)
- Giant Panda Kitchen (they make food for the pandas, you don’t actually eat any pandas)
- Veterinary Hospital
Check out the map below from the Sichuan China Youth Travel Service to see where they all are in the park.
- Get here early! The first reason it is important to get here early is to beat the rush. The panda base can get very busy (along with all major tourist attractions in China) and you may have to queue for a while to get in and also when you leave there may not be as many taxis available. However, the main reason I would recommend getting here is to see the pandas at their most active. The pandas are very keen to get their breakfast just as the research base opens so come here if you want to see them do something other than sleep!
- You can no longer hold a panda. Tourists used to be permitted to pay 2000RMB (over £200) to hold a panda and have your photo taken. Due to the spread of disease, this is no longer permitted at the centre unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for the sick pandas).
How to get to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
A taxi from Chengdu city center will cost around 40 RMB,and the taxi driver will almost certainly know where you want to go if just say “Panda”. Although if you are worried you can show the driver the Chinese name 成都大熊猫繁育研究基地.
You can take subway line 3 and get off at Dong Wu Yuan Station. Get out from Exit B and then take bus 198 or 198A direct to the base.
Alternatively, take the advice from Travel China guide and use any of these options:
1. Take bus no. 87, 198, or 198A and get off at this base station.
2. Take bus no. 9, 18, 25, 32, 64, 70, 85, 87, 99, 146, 150, 156A, 156B, 166, 193, 245, 527, 650, 1030 or 1035 and get off at Dong Wu Yuan (Chengdu Zoo) Bus Station. Then change to bus 198 or 198A to the base.
3. Take bus 60 or 665, and get off at Longqing Road Shulong Crossing. Then walk along the Xiongmao Avenue for about 15 minutes to the base.
How much does it cost?
The park admission is 58 RMB per person. (February 2017)
So what do you think? Worth a visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to see some of China’s favorite animal? Questions welcomed in the comments!