You'd better go to the Chengdu panda research base. As we known, pandas prefer cool to heat, they would be all slept after 11:00a.m. during summer. So, the best time to see the panda is in the morning. The Chengdu panda research base is just half an hour driving from the downtown. You can reach there around 8:00a.m. to see the most vivid pandas and the red pandas in the outside enclousures, and then, you could pay the donation for taking pictures with one baby panda. In order to make sure you can take part in the donation program, you'd better book it ahead. The Bifengxia panda reserch base is at Ya'an which is about 2-2.5 hours drving from Chengdu by private car which means you may miss the most vivid pandas, you can only see the slept pandas or the pandas indoors. Furthermore, there are less pandas than Chengdu panda research base.
The entrance fee to Chengdu panda base is 58 yuan/ person, and the pirce is 118 yuan/person at Bifengxia.
In both of the panda base, you can hold pandas for pictures. In Chengdu, you can actually hold the panda on your legs which is nearly 1 year old, and you will be given quite a lot of panda knowledge by the workers before taking pictures and you can try cleanning the bamboo for the pandas. You will also get a few souvenirs such as the picture of the panda and you with a nice frame, a DVD, a tie or a clothes with panda pictures and a certificate for your donation. In Bifengixa, there are 2 different ages pandas you can take pictures, the one is 2.5 years old which is too heavy to hold, you can only sit next to them, the other one is less than 1 year old which you can hold them but the price is 50% higher than that in Chengdu base. You can only get a certificate but not any other souvenirs at Bifengxia.
If you want more information, you can message me...
Edited: 11:25 pm, July 21, 2013