Review: Giant Panda Breeding Base, Chengdu, China
If Chengdu stands for only one thing - it's the Panda reservation in the northern outskirts of the city. It's called somehow unluckily 'Giant Panda Breeding Base'. Pandas come in many form and shapes - the ones that come up when we think about it are called 'Giant Pandas'. Given Chinas ravenous appetite for land Pandas are threatened in nature and not easy to breed in captivity. The Chengdu research center has succeeded and has built a sizable tourist attraction beyond it. A taxi will cost you about $10 from town to the entrance. While taxi drivers never know where you want to go in Chengdu (a problem all the locals have as well - they know the tourists want to go to see the Pandas! The entrance fee is another $10 per person. The while site is well organized with clear walkways and signage. There is a train that takes you directly to the major attractions but it's rather to walk (it was freezing when I visited but on a hot day it might be a welcome short cut). There are several open areas with pandas from kindergarten to grown adults. The rangers keep feeding them to make it easier to see Pandas in action. Yes these pandas look as cute in reality as on the pictures. Most pandas are lazy though as you may expect and just hang around a far away spots - away from the visitors.
However after 600 pictures I felt I have seen it all. There is little else to do here and I grabbed a taxi downtown. Surprising to me - not a single taxi driver wanted to haggle - they just started the meter without discussion - wow! Absolutley go here if you visit Chengdu - it's not too touristy and great fun to see some many cute Panda bears in a great natural park atmosphere.