China

Seeing the pandas in Chengdu

If you mention China and pandas it’s most likely that your thought goes straight to Chengdu which is home to the country’s largest panda base.

Many people visit Chengdu just to see the pandas and then get to know the cool city that it is – think hotpot and historical attractions along with cool mountain hikes.

I visited the city during Chinese New Year with some friends from Xi’an and we were determined to see as much of the city as possible – but first stop of course was the panda centre.

Because we were there during Chinese New Year, the site was going to be incredibly busy to we opted to take a tour with the hostel we were staying at.

This meant that we didn’t need to waste time taking two modes of transport to get there. And the extra gem was that it meant we could get into the site earlier than the regular opening time.

We had a guide which I was a bit put off by at first but it actually turned out great because he knew which enclosures the pandas were in which meant that a) we didn’t waste time looking for them and b) we didn’t look like idiots staring around at trees without pandas.

And actually seeing the pandas move was an amazing experience. Usually when you see pandas, they’re not up to much but we saw them eating bamboo, climbing trees and even play fighting with each other.

I’ve seen pandas before but never that lively. It was so exciting!

Before we left we watched a video on the research base and it was really interesting to see how much work everyone at the panda base puts in to making sure there will be pandas around for generations to come.

We all left feeling glad we’d taken the tour and were now excited about what else we were going to see in Chengdu.

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