4 Easy Steps to Plan a Panda Tour
Giant panda is one of the most adorable and cuddly animals on this planet. Like a black and white teddy bear, pandas get human-like gestures when they are sitting and eating, which adds more spectacles to its unique look. What’s more, giant panda is an incredibly rare and endangered creature that only lives in Chengdu China, whose number amounts to about 1,600 in the wild and 300 in captivity. Everyone loves rare things, and giant panda no doubt enjoys enduring popularity among fans across the globe. The four steps below easily help you plan your panda tour.
Some travel reviews mentioned that pandas are sleeping all day which is not 100% true, yet visiting at the right time would far exceed your expectation.
In general, you could have a pleasant panda tour all year round, as pandas do not hibernate. Regarding to favorable weather, spring (March - May) and autumn (September - November) are two best periods, mild and cool when both travelers and giant pandas could enjoy themselves outdoors. Pandas do not like summer heat but it happens to be panda’s breeding season when you are offered a valuable chance to see the pink newborn panda babies in incubators in the nursery rooms. Winter might be a bit chilly for visitors, but pandas are good with it, and probably they would spend more hours for outing activities. Besides, smaller crowds also create you a better chance to have interactions with lovely pandas.
The time of year doesn't matter too much about your panda visiting, but the time of the day really does. It’s never fun to watch pandas in their sleep, so get up early and arrive at the panda base early while they are more active, better around 8:30 am. Young pandas are most active and animated in the morning when they often go out to enjoy their bamboo breakfast or have morning exercise by running, fighting and climbing trees. The base is less crowded until most tour groups arrive at 09:00 am around, so before that you could have clear views from below and above without others blocking your sight. Most pandas are asleep indoors after 10am.
A lot of people are fascinated with giant pandas, but few of them get the chances to see them in person. Chengdu, the hometown of giant panda, is definitely the best place to meet this adorable creature, and there are several bases and reserves for your choice.
- Chengdu Research Base of Giant panda Breeding is the most popular choice for tourists to see pandas, as it houses the largest number of pandas in captivity up to 50 and could be accessed easily by a short drive from downtown. Not only can you view pandas, but also learn more about panda breeding and even see the newly babies.
- For travelers who long for an in-depth and up-close panda tour, Dujiangyan panda base would be the best option to take volunteer panda keeper program to experience what a panda’s life is like and take care of pandas by cleaning their home, making food for them and feed them by hands.
- Wolong Panda Base inhabit pandas in natural habitat, where you can also enjoy working as a panda keeper and searching for the traces of pandas in natural environment.
- Bifengxia is a more scenic panda base located about 90 miles from Chengdu, where not only can you see adorable pandas, but also do some trekking through the gorges with lush forests, crystal streams and waterfalls.
- Besides, some zoos also get panda enclosures, which are quite convenient for tourists who have a tight schedule but still want to meet with pandas. For example, a transit stopover in Beijing could allow you to date with giant pandas at the Beijing Zoo, or encounter pandas in Chongqing Zoo after or before a Yangtze River Cruise.
Available both in Dujiangyan and Wolong panda bases, the Panda Keeper Program may give you an opportunity to have up-close contacts with giant pandas by taking care of them in one day or a half day. After pre-work training, travelers can help the caretakers babysit pandas by cleaning the enclosures, preparing meal of bamboo and snacks of steamed buns and apples, and more excitedly feeding them with your own hands, and become a real Panda Nutritionist, Love Feeder and Research Expert.
Supportive donation to panda bases could offer you a chance to hold a panda for some great memorable photos by wearing sanitary blue outfits and gloves. The holding lasts only for several minutes, and most pandas to be cuddled are very gentle and docile as well as frisky, so you do not need to be afraid or nervous at all. After that, usually you could get a panda sweatshirt and a certificate for your donation.
Please note holding a panda for photos is currently suspended. We will keep this information updated as soon as it is reopen again.
Wolong Panda Reserve is the only place where you could do some trekking and trace the wild pandas in their natural habitat. The hiking allows you to explore the primitive wild habitat in Tiantaishan Mountain for better understanding of their living environment and great efforts made to protect the natural habitat for pandas. If lucky, when you follow your local trekking guide, you could encounter released pandas and other adorable animals like squirrels.
Travel around Chengdu
3-4 days are perfect for tourists to absorb all highlights around Chengdu. One could not only meet with the cute giant pandas, but also could discover local people's leisure life and taste the authentic Sichuan snacks, or even make a short side trip to marvel at the Leshan Giant Buddha.
Recommended Panda Tours:
Recommended Panda Tours:
For a wonderful China tour with giant pandas visiting, 10-12 days is long enough to explore the far-reaching history, rich culture and splendid natural scenery of China, plus a memorable panda dating experience.
Recommended Panda Tours:
1. Reach the Chengdu Panda Base before 8:30 am, as pandas are most animated, and it is less crowded so that you could get superb location for photography.
2. Do not use flash when taking pictures of pandas as they are very sensitive to strong light.
3. Do not litter anything to feed the pandas in the enclosures or try to arouse their attention by loud shouting.
4. Come during August and September for a bigger chance to see the newborn babies.