Located 25 kilometers outside of Chengdu City, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a popular tourist place where visitors can watch cute Giant Pandas. The institution has a huge facility that replicated the natural habitat of the giant pandas. Its primary aim is to preserve and increase the population of the pandas to eradicate extinction. In here, locals and tourists have the chance to see the giant pandas as well as the red pandas which look like raccoons.
The institution boasts its panda breeding center, one of the institution’s biggest attractions where you can see the baby pandas in their playpens. One important regulation to note in the panda breeding center is that you cannot photograph the little pandas since the flash of the cameras and smartphones can hurt their eyes. There is also a video played in the center wherein the panda reproduction and birth are highlighted. When a mother panda gives birth, her baby just slides out of her and for first-time mothers, they would not know what came out of them. That is why the researchers in the center must help out in time in order to avoid accidents of killing the baby when the first-time mother swat it around.
When is the Best Time to Visit Pandas?
Early mornings are the best time to go to the base. Pandas here are usually awake and perform their activities like eating, drinking, and playing with each other from 8 am to 11 am. After those times, the pandas would probably be sleeping. If you visit the base in September or October, you might be lucky enough to see newborn pandas in the nursery.
There used to be close encounter activities with the pandas such as Panda Base volunteer day tour, playing with the pandas, and taking photos with small pandas, but due to canine distemper accident that happened in Xian, the activities were temporarily canceled. No definite timing of the resume date has been announced yet.
History of Chengdu Panda Base
The Chengdu Panda Base was constructed and founded in the year 1987. It is a non-profit research and breeding facility for rare animals, especially giant pandas. The base began their operations with only 6 giant pandas who were rescued and saved from the wild. Their operations have succeeded and by the year 2008, the base was able to facilitate 124 panda births and the population of the rescued pandas increased to 83.
In the year 1993, the Giant Panda Museum was opened and it aims to develop scientific education and improve the awareness of the people to protect the wild creatures and their environment. It is the only thematic museum in the world that focuses on rare and endangered animal species.
The base is located more than 10 km from the city, in the northern area of Chengdu Futou hill. Going to the base is very convenient and its location has a distinct geographical advantage for the giant panda tourism development. From the founding of the base, it was able to comprehensively simulate the natural ecological environment wherein the wild giant pandas live and survive. It has constructed a pool, stream, forest, lawn, and bamboo forests. Another good factor of the area that contributed to the suitable environment for animal survival is the natural mountain scenery and previous artificial landscape that were combined skillfully.
Other Popular Attractions
- There are plenty of bamboo forests in the base like the Bambusa multiplex. Because of the rich cultivation and preservation of the base, an environmental tour within the bamboo forest path was formed. The visitors can also find a variety of cherry blossoms and other ornamental plants.
- Other rare and endangered wild animals and birds besides from pandas can also be seen in the base like peacocks and white swans. There are also hundreds of insects and butterfly species being bred in the base.
- The Giant Panda Museum has three main halls to visit. There is the Giant Panda Hall, the Vertebrate Hall, and the Butterfly Hall. Lots of displays can be found in the museum such as various information about the wild animals, models, fossils, pictures, and samples. A comprehensive education about the animals’ characteristics, habitat, and China’s preservation and breeding efforts are also shown in the museum through scientific displays. Books and scientific literature about giant pandas from different authors around the world are also available in the halls.
Restaurants and Shops
A Chinese restaurant, a leisure outdoor café, and a canteen are the choices of the visitors of the base when hunger strikes. The restaurant has a 200-seats capacity for dining. Its chef has a distinct technique for cooking and the offered cuisine is mainly traditional Sichuan cuisine. On the other hand, the outdoor café can be occupied by 100 people.
The Home of Panda
It is a gift shop located in the right corner of the entrance. The sellers in the gift shop are bilingual, they can easily communicate and provide service to the customers who speak Chinese or English.
Tourists Shopping Service Center
On the left side of the tourist service center is the Tourists Shopping Service Center which offers an open-type shopping experience. Chinese traditional characteristics and other souvenirs are sold here.
The Panda Bookstore
Located near the Panda Charm Theater, the Panda Bookstore is a small but elegant bookstore that offers different books, literature, and souvenirs about the wild animals and their environment.
How to get there
Address: Xiong Mao Da Dao Xi Duan, Jinniu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610016
Opening Hours: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm
Ticket Price: 58 RMB per person
Tel: +86 28 8351 0033
- You can use your car going to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. It is approximately 10 km away from downtown and the broad Panda Avenue is connected to the downtown.
- If you are to take the bus, you can take bus # 1, 49, 53, 63, 64, 69, 71, and 83 until Qinglongchang Bus Center Stop. You can then transfer to bus # 198 or 87 to go the base.
- Taxis are available to take you to the base which can cost 30 RMB.
- The subway can also take you to the Panda Avenue Station by taking subway line no. 3.