In theory, we can see pandas throughout China, but zoos don't always put animal welfare in the foreground. In recent years, China has stepped up its efforts to protect the survival of Its beacon animal, and nowhere else as much as at the Chengdu research base on the breeding of giant pandas (known as Chengdu Panda Base).
We have done a lot of research on the most ethical options to see the pandas of China, and The research centre World class in Chengdu is, for us, the best place to go. It is easy to integrate a trip to Chengdu in your circuit, and it works particularly well for families visiting China.
WHY IS THE CHENGDU BASE FOR PANDAS EXPETHE MOST RESPONSIBLE RIENCE FOR THE PANDAS IN CHINA?
For several reasons. First, you see giant pandas 🐼 In a framework that reproduces their natural habitat (bamboo forest 🎋). And, unlike most zoos, they have a lot of space. You can see them (when they're not sleeping) sitting up in the trees or crawling on the trunks.
Unlike many other places in China, there are no cages or cabling for pandas, a policy that we fully support. Pandas are treated as much as possible as wild animals.
It is above all a research unit, the work place of the Chinese and international resident scientists, and you can watch a documentary about their breeding projects. Giant pandas have a notoriously low libidos, but the base has been very successful in bringing them to procreation.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of the base, giant pandas have been removed from the list of threatened species (they are now classified as "vulnerable").
The base also has an educational wing, which sensitizes school-aged children to deforestation and habitat loss.
HOW TO VISIT THE BASE OF CHENGDU?
From Xian (cradle of the Army of terracotta), you can make a four-hour journey by direct train to Chengdu (please note that you will stay in the city itself and will be driven to the base). From Chengdu, you can then take a short domestic flight to Yangshuo, where you will find some of the mountain karst landscapes of China.
You can also join Chengdu By a cruise on the Yangtze River-Chongqing (the point of embarkation) is 90 minutes by train.
What is the best time of year to visit the Chengdu base?
Plan your visit from late March to April or from October to November, when the wet province of Sichuan has a cooler time.
If you visit the base later in the year, you have a good chance of seeing young pandas, which are born in July and September and end their incubation period in October. They are brought to a special area, separated from the adults, where you will see them crawling, sleepy and fighting.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH CHENGING?
Chengdu is poised to become China's response to Silicon Valley, with more and more technology-based companies and luxury skyscrapers built there. At the same time, its green parks and tea culture give it a relaxed and airy atmosphere. It is a good place to explore, be it independently or with a guide. You can make a guided tour to taste the typical dish of Chengdu, the spicy hotpot.
A pleasant visit to the organic farm is one hour's drive from the city. Located in the same bamboo forest that constitutes the habitat of the pandas, it is run by an enterprising farmer whose mission is to promote sustainability.
By taking a tour of the farm with him and you can count the Sichuan peppercorns, citronella, herbs, radishes, Chinese pumpkins and garlic, as well as several Chinese vegetables that you have never seen before. Then go to the hotel for lunch, at the expense of fresh produce.
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