The Panda base is the one must-see attraction in Chengdu. There doesn't seem to be a lot of reason to go to the further panda bases, when you can see up to 80 pandas here, hold baby pandas to get your photo taken with them, learn all about the pandas, etc. It costs 58 RMB for admission (about $8.50), and is open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM every day.
The base is located just outside Chengdu, it was 30 RMB for the taxi from our hotel - watch out because our hotel concierge tried to first sell us a private driver for 700 RMB, then when we asked for a taxi, he conspired with the taxi driver to first say they could only do round-trip taxi because there were no taxis at the panda base, then after I told him to forget it, they said it would be 80 RMB one-way. I knew that it was closer to the hotel than the airport was, and we paid only 43 RMB from the airport, so I knew they were trying to scam us - not unusual for hotel concierges in China. Took about 30 minutes.
Make sure to get there very early because that is when the pandas are active - after about 10:00 AM, they're just sleeping. The feeding is at 9:00 AM, the babies are released at 8:30 AM for a pre-breakfast playtime. You can watch them frolic with each other, very entertaining. After breakfast (no bamboo with the babies, just something in a bowl, as they are young), you can have your photo taken with a baby panda on your lap for a whopping 1000 RMB ($145.00). You can also have one taken with a red panda for a much more reasonable 100 RMB ($14.50). This is all cash-only, of course, so bring it with you - there are no ATMs on site.
You can walk over to the nursery and see the infant pandas sleeping in the incubators, and see the adult pandas mostly being lazy. The youngsters had lots of energy, and played with each other and put on quite a funny show for us. It is a pretty good walk up to the baby pandas, but there are golf carts just inside the gate that cost only 10 RMB to take you up there - well worth it, as every minute you spend walking is a minute you could be with the pandas.
The photo op is of course a total rip, but where else can you sit a baby panda on your lap and take photos and video with it? They are so soft and cuddly! We probably sat for about 2-3 minutes as we took several photos and one of the staff members shot a video with our video camera too. You wear protective clothing, so no worries about that. The panda museum onsite is interesting, and only takes about 15 minutes to walk through. There is a panda cinema that plays a movie about the pandas - you can also see one in the coffee shop over a beer or espresso. There are tour guides at the front entrance to hire, I'm not sure if they speak English or not. Wear mostquito repellent, as in some areas, and on some days there can be quite a few.
Taxis are a piece of cake to get outside to take you back to your hotel, despite what our hotel concierge tried to say. We had no problem at all, there were like 10 taxis lined up waiting to take people.
This is a great, though super expensive, experience. You won't forget the day you sat with a baby panda on your lap.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.