Do you think a Panda is cute? I believe you do. Now, what about a group of them?
Giant Panda is an indigenous species from China, and they inhabit in the Sichuan province, the western part of China. Their distinctive looks and gentle behavior have always won over the zoo viewers’ heart, and they are also served as a national symbol and ambassador. A pair of Giant Panda was presented as a gift (now as a “loan”) to countries as a friendly and diplomatic gesture.
Unfortunately, giant pandas are now endangered due to excessive deforestation and farming. The country has done a lot of work to preserve and protect the continuation of such unique and precious animals; and Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province, and the largest city in western China is the center about the conservation and breeding of Giant pandas. More, visitors have easy access to giant pandas by visiting Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The base is merely 15-20 minutes away from the Chengdu city center.
The research base is a clean, tranquil green space with facilities connected by bamboo trails. The entire area has a different exhibition about various aspects of the giant pandas and of course, it has space to showcase the creature itself ~
It is just an explosion of adorableness. Walking between the bamboo walls (which is the main diet for the pandas), we saw the giant pandas in different shapes and sizes, and this is precisely the highlight of the base. Since the China government ultimately controls the exportation of the giant panda, there is usually just a pair of pandas that can be seen in the zoo in any other location. Here, visitors could not only see a couple, but a group of them is hanging around and interact with each other within the same space. To the visitors, they could also see pandas at a different stage of their lives – the baby ones, the young ones, also the grown ones.
Personally, I love the young ones (2-3 years old) the most because they are energetic, they are curious, and they like to show off to the eager zoo-viewers. Their cutest moment would probably be when they are sitting on their giant bottom and chewing bamboo leaves. What’s funny is, the panda is freakishly adorable, but they can maul you if you cross them. (Just like me) 😛
Ticketing: RMB 40
How did I get there: The easiest and safest way is to take a taxi, request them to go on the meter – and usually it’s between RMB 50-70 to get around the city center What’s more about Sichuan? As the heart of western China – a few keywords also popped into my mind.
Yes, yes, yes – The bold, pungent, tongue-numbing spicy Sichuan food is now everywhere in the world, and Chengdu is the city of Sichuan gastronomy. While foreigners have heard a lot about Kung Pao Chicken, Sichuan food has a lot to offer – the most well known, Mopo Tofu and Sichuan hotpot. The use of Sichuan pepper is crucial while the right mix of soup base gives you the tingly numbing, full-body sweating experience without the “Burnie-heinie” experience the day after. I was first between angels and demons eating the hot pot in Sichuan, just because I have had evil experience in other cities. “Surprisingly,” it tasted superb, and I reckon the origin of the cuisine has mastered the art of mixing the ingredients, rather than just an oil and chili stew.
The History of the Three Kingdoms
The stories in the Three Kingdoms era is one of a fascinating period in the course of Chinese history. “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” written by Luo Guanzhong, is an important Chinese classical literature that includes legends, myths, and antidotes of this period. Chengdu has been the capital of the kingdom Shu – and Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, and Guan Yu have been the symbol of friendship and brotherhood, Zhuge Liang was an icon of loyalty and wisdom in sophisticated military strategies. Visit Wuhou district and revisit the history – if not, the classical Chinese architecture and garden. The Wuhou Temple is an area of monasteries, monuments, mausoleums, and gardens.
Outside it’s a tourist shopping area – Jinli (The Jin Lane). It was called the “first street of the kingdom Shu” and there you find a lot of traditional Chinese souvenirs and daring Chinese food like rabbit heads.
Open Hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Ticketing: RMB 60
How did I get there: Visitor could take some bus route 1, 57, 82, 334, and 335, but I would recommend venturing taxi.
The outskirt of Chengdu
Lastly, Chengdu is the center of the entire Sichuan province with the surrounding of nature and wonders. Many Sichuan famous locations are just 1-2 hours away. For example, the Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei, Mount Qincheng, the city of Chongqing, the city of Mianyang, Dujiangyan – a great hydraulic engineering project in ancient China. Not to mention the Jiuzhaigou natural reserve, which is merely an hour flight away :).