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“Pandas are even cuter in person”

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (Xiongmao Jidi)
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Chengdu Private Day Tour: Pandas, Kuanzhai Ancient Street, and Jinli Ancient...
Ranked #1 of 342 things to do in Chengdu
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Pandas are even cuter in person”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Took a one-day tour that included the panda center and the giant Buddha at Leshan on ChinaTours. Panda center is worth the trip to Chengdu -- their cuteness is off the charts -- and you get to see babies in the Panda Kindergarten, "teenagers," and mature pandas. Guide was very helpful in terms of selecting areas of the base to focus on because it is a huge area.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Milton781
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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755 reviews
327 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 297 helpful votes
“A lot of fun! Lots of pandas!”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

This is probably the main reason a lot of tourists come to Chengdu and it is worth it. It's like a large panda-only zoo. Most zoos that even have pandas only have one or two, and sometimes you're lucky if you can catch them outside, let alone moving around.

Come in the morning to see them getting fed and outside when their indoor pens are being cleaned. You will definitely see pandas.

We did a couple of extras, which we found well worth the money. First we did a Panda Internship program. You arrive in the morning and help handlers feed pandas. You place apples or special panda cakes on a bamboo stick to feed them - you can only get within a few feet - you have to stay out of panda's arm reach. They are not aggressive, but they are big and strong, with sharp claws that try to grab for their food, and you could get hurt.

Feeding them was a lot of fun as you make them do some tricks - standing, walking, climbing tress - to help them mimic movements they would naturally do in the wild, and keep their leg muscles strong for mating.

You also clean the cages. A little stinky and not glamorous, but interesting.

The "internship" teaches you about pandas and allows you to get closer than the general admission population, and also probably allows you to see the pandas more in action.

The second thing we did was the Panda Nurse program, where you hold a baby panda. It is very expensive (per person 2000RMB = $326 USD when we were there) but really a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We got to hold Oreo (not named for the cookies - even though a black and white cookie seems like the perfect name for a panda - he was named for his mother), a 10-month-old male baby panda, born around the time of the London Olympics. He was very squishy and fuzzy, and enjoyed his bamboo chutes (baby pandas don't eat bamboo at that age, but the trainers dip it in honey and they like to suck on it and chew it) while he sat on our laps.

Holding the baby panda is limited to 30 people per day, you cannot reserve ahead of time, and you must pay cash, so if you are interested you should get there early to try to reserve your spot, and have lots of cash on you! You only get to hold the panda a few minutes (we were told we got a few minutes more than usual since it was a slow day) and they take pictures of you holding the panda. You get framed photos and some other gifts. They will also take pics using your camera, so you will have plenty of documentation of your panda experience. It's very expensive, but very unique and we enjoyed it!

Visited May 2013
2 Thank 3RedDoxies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Loved every minute!”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

This is probably the most amazing experience I've had so far in China. Nowhere else in the world can you get so up close with these fascinating creatures. You can even hold the babies and pet them. Once in a lifetime opportunity, get yourself there.

Visited May 2013
Thank ShanghaiFantana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
189 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“It's worth overcoming the difficulties”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

The difficulties are [1] the pandas are in glass enclosures, making it difficult to see them [2] there are many people crowding around the glass! But it's a nice place, you do see them , it is educational and informative - and you can see the red pandas out in the trees and bushes.

Visited July 2013
Thank MacLancashire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
339 reviews
170 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Visiting the research base just 30 minutes from the city was amazing and just cannot be missed. The grounds (park) that it is set is is very large so allow a full day to visit here. There is a shuttle bus to get around the park but we enjoyed to walk and explore with our map. The work done here is comprehensive so ther is plenty to see. The pandas whether alone, up trees, in groups or infants are a sight not to forget. A must if in Chengdu.

Visited June 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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