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Chengdu Panda Research Base

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Colorado Springs...
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Chengdu Panda Research Base

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Chengdu and its Panda Research Base. What a fantastic place it is. I have been a fan of pandas since before I can remember and it has always been my life ambition to actually touch one. Well, in Chengdu I managed to do this. The Research Base is an excellent place for the pandas. They are very well looked after and the enclosures are huge. We saw a total of 24 pandas while we were there and that included 9 babies (about 6 months old). For 400 rmb ($50) I got to stand behind a female panda and touched/stroked her head and ears. It was magical. Some people may say it's not worth the money, but to me it was worth every penny. I also got to hold a red panda too. They do make you put on plastic gloves and booties to cover your shoes which does limit the actual "touching" of the panda. We were there in January when it was freezing cold, so the panda just felt wet and cold to me although I could feel the thickness of her fur. It really was an experience that I will never forget. Somebody said it was not worth visiting there in the Winter but I would totally disagree. We practically had the place to ourselves. All the pandas were out, eating and playing. It was very cold, but take a good coat, hat and gloves!

We found a local tour guide here on the Forum who took us around the Panda base and also to a local monastry. He was exceptional, very knowledgable, spoke excellent English and was a pleasure to be with. I would recommend him wholeheartedly. He picked us up from Chengdu airport and took us to our hotel. The next day he picked us up at 8am and took us to the panda base. After about 4 hours we headed to a local monastry and he guided us around there, later dropping us back at our hotel. His e-mail address is csm028@yahoo.com.cn and his name is Mikal if anyone needs an excellent guide while in Chengdu.

Shanghai, China
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11. Re: Chengdu Panda Research Base

I think the babies are always on display no matter what time of day, but those are the ones behind glass (incubators?) and you're not allowed to photograph them.

home grown aussie
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12. Re: Chengdu Panda Research Base

Hi travellers,

I too have just returned from a trip to Chengdu and to the Panda Research and Breeding Centre and cannot overstate what a fantastic experience this was for anyone who has an interest in seeing pandas. I originally wanted to go to the Wolong Panda Reserve, but given my short time constraints in Chengdu, and the distance to travel (approx 6 hours each way to Wolong vs approx 45 mins each way to the research base), it became obvious that I would only be able to fit in a trip to the Research Base on a 1 day trip. However, I was definitely NOT disappointed. My primary purpose was to see panda bears and to have my photo taken with a panda cub and I am glad to say "Mission Accomplished"!!!

I can also HIGHLY RECOMMEND the services of a private tour guide Mickal, whom I also found recommended by other travellers on this forum. Mickal was always very prompt and clear in answering my questions that I had and I found that he was very knowledgeable and very accomodating.

I was fortunate enough to be able to have my photo taken with a panda cub who was only 8 months old but weighed in at 17kgs and was much larger than I had expected. This has to be one of the best things that I have ever done. As I was travelling on my own, Mickal was kind enough to assist me in taking photos for me whilst I spent a few minutes (which went by very quickly) playing with the panda cub.

If you are considering visiting Chengdu and are unsure about whether the trip to Chengdu is worth it or not to see panda bears, don't hesitate - I am sure that you will be as impressed as I was to see so many (20+ adult panda bears) all in pleasant environmental surroundings (although they are man-made) and which appeared to be well looked after. There would have been approx 6-8 panda cubs which were also able to be viewed.

Thank you Mickal and to the other travellers who had recommended Mickal - if I am lucky to visit Chengdu again one day, I would definitely contact him again.

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13. Re: Chengdu Panda Research Base

Is the Chengdu panda research base the only or the main research base for pandas? or there are other ones as well?

did Mikal also take you guys around the wolong panda reserve?

home grown aussie
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14. Re: Chengdu Panda Research Base

Hi baby genius,

From what I understand, the research centre is the only one in Chengdu. The one at Wolong is more of a natural reserve but this is quite a distance away from Chengdu by car - approx 6 hours away. So no, Mickal did not take me to the Wolong reserve. Although if I wanted to, I am sure that Mickal would have been able to take me as he has other Apparently the road is quite difficult to travel on as well and is under construction, so I decided not to go down that path given my time restrictions. Whilst originally I did want to visit the Wolong reserve, I was not disappointed with the research base at Chengdu - I wanted to see pandas and to be able to hold a panda cub - and I was able to these both at the research base. Hope that this helps.

Suffolk, England
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15. Re: Chengdu Panda Research Base

We have just returned from a trip to Chengdu, and can endorse everything you have said about Mickal.

However, we were rather less than pleased by the photographic expeience at the Panda Research Centre in Chengdu. It cost 1,000 Yuan for my husband to hold a juvenile Panda whilst one of the staff took a dozen photographs, every one of which was blurred. Still, we have the memories, and the money (overly expensive by Chinese standards) is said to go towards research.

Be aware.

Everything else there was brilliant and well worth the visit.

16. Re: Chengdu Panda Research Base

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