After the classic destinations, and if you're coming with children, stop to visit up close up with the country's famous Giant Pandas in Chengdu or other centers nearby.
Where do pandas live?
Though you may easily view the Giant Pandas at the Beijing and Shanghai zoos, or Hong Kong's Ocean Park, Chengdu offers a more semi-wild setting and natural Panda habitat with more of them to see.a more intimate and authentic viewing, as do other bases located in the area which include volunteer programs.
Chengdu Giant Pandas by Gill Penney
Chengdu Panda Base
Chengdu Panda Base is the most popular and convenient viewing reserve. It is the closest base (approximately 45 minute's drive), and least time consuming way to view pandas - a good introduction. There are about thirty or so pandas of all ages, including about 6-8 of the 13 cubs born since June of 2015. Visitors may typically spot about half of the pandas in a natural habitat. Note photos with the pandas are no longer allowed.
Bifengxia Panda Base
The Bifengxia Panda Base, the largest of the Giant Panda conservations centers, is known for its volunteer program, one-hour activity that will bring you up close with the pandas. Although there are around forty pandas there, visitors can expect to see a fraction of that during their time.
Dunjiagyan Panda Base
The Dunjiagyan Panda Conservation Center is the newest base to open for visitors and is closer to Chengdu than Bifengxia, approximately forty miles or 1½ hours away. The bases organizes a volunteer program as well, and also allow taking photos with the pandas, by availability. There are about thirty pandas here, and visitors can see about half of them. Unlike Bifengxia, the pandas here are all adult pandas. China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda Dujiangyan Panda Base is a new panda center, established in 2014. The base offers similar volunteers and viewing activities as Bifengxia,but it is quieter and with fewer travelers.
Tangjiahe River Nature Reserve
The Tangjiahe River Nature Reserve is a comprehensive national nature reserve for rare animals and plants includes about sixty giant pandas in the wild, as well golden monkey, black bear, sassabi, macaque, many kinds of rare birds and plants. One of our guides just went there last week and spotted a black bear, sassabi, macaque and some birds. However, did not see pandas as I'm told there is very little chance to spot them in the actual wild without extended time spent exploring the large area. Few local people have ever even seen them. This is a 5-hour drive from Chengdu.
Experienced hands will organize and manage your trip in China—in addition to tour guides wonderful with children, or local experts on the arts, cuisine, photography or other interests. A local tour manager will be monitoring your trip throughout who is on call 24-hours a day.
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