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How to Choose a Place to See Pandas in China

There are four panda bases in/around Chengdu: Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, Dujiangyan Panda Base, Bifengxia Giant Panda Base and Wolong Giant Panda Center. They are all the  best places to see giant pandas in China, but how to choose one to visit? Let’s see the differences among them.

Differences among Four Panda Bases in Sichuan

1. Chengdu Panda Base: Visitor-Friendly, Nearest to Chengdu

A baby panda

A baby panda

Chengdu Panda Base, fully named Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, is only 6 miles away from downtown Chengdu, making it the best choice for travelers who want an excursion tour while on layover in Chengdu. The place simulates the giant panda wild living environment and houses lakes, streams, bamboo forests and lawns. It can be cheerful to see tiny new-born pandas in the delivery room.

  • Location: No. 1375 Xiongmao Avenue, the Outside Northern Third Rong Road, Chenghua District, Chengdu City
  • Admission: RMB 55/person
  • Opening hours: 7:30-18:00
  • Getting there: by bus nos. 87, 198a, 198 or 867 from Chengdu downtown.
  • One-stop tour with us: 1-Day Panda & Chengdu Highlights Tour

2. Dujiangyan Panda Base: Volunteer to Feed a Panda Face-to-Face

Dujiangyan Panda Volunteer Program

Dujiangyan Panda Volunteer Program

Dujiangyan Panda Base is a post-earthquake reconstruction project of China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (hereinafter referred to as CCRCGP). It is the only research center in the country that is focused on rescuing and re-introducing giant pandas to the wild. Most of giant pandas here are injured, old, sick or disabled, but they are well-cared for. Visitors can join in the Panda Volunteer Program and feed pandas face-to-face, learning how to take care of these adorable endangered creatures.

  • Location: Shiqiao Village, Qingchengshan Town, Dujiangyan City
  • Admission: RMB 58/person
  • Opening hours: 8:30-17:00
  • Getting there: take bus no. 102 from Dujiangyan downtown to the terminal station.
  • One-stop tour with us: 1-Day Dujiangyan Panda Keeper Program

3. Bifengxia Giant Panda Base: Stay with Pandas Longer

A panda sleepping on trees

A panda sleepping on trees

Bifenfxia Giant Panda Base, located in Bifeng Gorge Scenic Area, is the largest panda base and is blessed with a broad and beautiful landscape, providing an ideal natural environment for giant pandas to live. Sometimes it is hard to see pandas here since they live in mountain and jungle areas.

A panda keeper program is also available in Bifengxia Panda Base. But the program is less-busy and lasts longer, for maybe 2 days or more. People who want to do the volunteer work need to arrive one day in advance to join a training for the program.

  • Location: Shiqiao Village, Qingchengshan Town, Dujiangyan City
  • Admission: RMB 100/person for entry ticket of the scenic area
  • Opening hours: 9:00-11:30, 13:30-16:00 (closed from 11:30 to 13:30 for pandas’ lunch beak)
  • Getting there from Chengdu: take tourist bus from Chengdu Xinnanmen (新南门) bus station to Bifeng Gorge.
  • One-stop tour with us: 1-Day Chengdu Bifengxia Valley Panda Visit

4. Wolong Giant Panda Center: Real Hometown of Wild Pandas

A panda with her child

A panda with her child

Wolong National Nature Reserve is considered to be the native habitat of wild pandas. A catastrophic earthquake largely devastated Wolong Giant Panda Center in 2008 and many injured pandas were moved to Bifengxia. The new panda base of Wolong was relocated to Gengda (耿达) Town and open in 2016, where visitors can also be a panda keeper. For years the center has made efforts to reintroduce pandas to the wild after captive breeding and preparation for the wild.

  • Location: Wolong National Nature Reserve, Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province
  • Admission: RMB 15/person for entering the mountain, RMB 60/person for the Panda Garden
  • Opening hours: 8:00-18:00
  • Getting there from Chengdu: by bus from Chengdu Chadianzi (茶店子) Coach Center to Wolong
  • One-stop tour with us: 2-Day Panda Keeper Program at Wolong Nature Reserve

A Quick Summary of the Above Four Panda Bases

Place to see pandas Driving hours from Chengdu Access Activities Visit time Tourists
Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding Very easy Seeing baby pandas Half day Very crowded in holidays
Dujiangyan Panda Base Easy Volunteer program 1 day Less-busy
Bifengxia Giant Panda Base Hard Volunteer program 2 days Quiet
Wolong Giant Panda Center Hard Volunteer program 2 days or more Quiet

FAQs about Panda Base

1) Where can I hold a panda and take a picture?

Currently visitors can get a chance to hug a young panda and take photos in Wolong Panda Center and Bifengfxia Panda Base. However, this activity is not recommended not only because of the additional and sizable fee but also the uncertain government rules and environment, which means it can be shut down anytime.

2) Can my child be a panda keeper?

Anyone who is between 10 to 70 years old and passes the physical examination can take part in the Panda Keeper Program.

3) Can I visit giant pandas at night?

Panda Home Inn

Panda Home Inn

If you stay in the Panda Home Inn inside the Wolong Panda Base, yes, you can pay a night visit to the fluffy pandas under the guidance of a panda feeder and your tour guide. Don’t hesitate to contact us for an interesting panda base night tour!

4) Any tips on accommodation within the panda base?

  • Dujiangyan: It is possible to visit Dujiangyan Panda Base from Chengdu in one day. No need to stay overnight.
  • Wolong: If you want to visit pandas at night, stay in the Panda Home; if not, it is more affordable to stay in Immersing Hotel (Wenchuan Wolong Shoumoren).
  • Bifengxia: There are many inns/hostels in Bifengxia Scenic Area. Bifeng Renjia Panda Hotel and Junhao Yixin Hotel are two panda-themed inns right next to Bifengxia Panda Base.

Experience Chengdu Panda Tours Your Way

Fluffy pandas

Fluffy pandas

Travel to China would never be complete without visiting giant pandas. 80% of pandas living in China can be found around Chengdu. To help you plan a once-in-a-lifetime Chengdu panda tour, we have developed various itineraries based on customers’ reviews: