About an hour outside of Chengdu, China is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This attraction alone is what draws many travellers to the region. Chengdu is a lovely enough city, but it really is the pandas that steal the show.
The research centre is geared towards saving these amazing creatures from extinction. They have a very successful breeding program and help educate people about these adorable animals.
The park itself is green and lush giving you the feeling that you are walking through a giant forest. Dotted all throughout are very large enclosures for the pandas. The best time to go is early on in the morning so you can see them at feeding time. This is when they are most active. Later on in the day, all that they seem to do is nap.
The most amazing experience that the base has to offer is that they will allow you to hold a giant panda. With a hefty $200 price tag, many travellers might not think it a worthwhile experience, but it most certainly is. You have to wear a gown and gloves to protect the panda. They only let a few people in at a time to hold the “baby” panda. You are told that it is a baby panda, but the thing would be close to 40kg. When your turn comes up, they place the panda on your lap so you can hold it. There are many rules to protect yourself and the panda. The whole experience is over in 30 seconds, but it is incredible.
Written by Joseph Ramsey for TheEssentialestination.com