How to Plan a Best Giant Panda Tour

No one can resist the charm of the black and white giant pandas. Have you ever wanted to visit some cute pandas and even cute baby pandas, or even thought about hugging one for a photo opportunity? Read our tips and suggestions below to plan your own giant tour. 

Where to See Giant Pandas

Sichuan is the hometown of giant pandas.  The best place to see giant pandas is, of course, in Sichuan. 

However, if you do not have enough time to visit Sichuan,  you only want to see pandas, you can visit some zoos, such as Beijing Zoo, Shanghai Zoo, and Hong Kong Ocean Park. 

But if you want to get close to pandas such as do the panda volunteer program or hold a panda, you need to go to Sichuan. 

Where can I See Baby Pandas?

You can see baby pandas in both Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center and Dujiangyan Panda Base.   Pandas only give birth to cubs in July and August, so there is a chance to see baby pandas when you visit Dujiangyan Giant Panda Base from August to December.

Baby Pandas
Baby Pandas

How to Choose a Place to See Pandas in Chengdu

As mentioned above, Chengdu is the best city to see pandas and there are many places within Chengdu to see them. The table below explains the differences and highlights of the three most popular places to see pandas, which can help you to decide which place to visit based on your interests.

Place Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda, Dujiangyan Base Bifengxia Giant Panda Base
Panda Population  50 20 20 (10 for display)
Baby Pandas Yes — between August and December All pandas are 2 years old and above   — in the future baby pandas may be seen No
Activities See adult and baby pandas Panda Keeper Program and holding a panda for photos See adult pandas
Environment  Like a zoo Natural and wild A simulated wild environment
Distance 40 minutes' drive from Chengdu 1½ hours' drive from Chengdu 2½ hours' drive from Chengdu
Timed Needed At least half a day One day Two days 
Visitors More visitors after 10 am Less Less
Giant Panda in Zoos and Breeding Centers in China

Best Time to Visit Giant Pandas

Giant pandas do not hibernate; therefore, you can visit them all year round. If you visit Dujiangyan Giant Panda Base from August to December, you may have a chance to see baby pandas.

Avoid the Pandas’ Sleeping Time

Many visitors to panda zoos may complain that giant pandas are always sleeping. Actually, pandas spend almost half of their time sleeping.

Usually, and in rotation, adult pandas spend three hours sleeping and three hours eating bamboo. Captive adult pandas usually eat twice a day at around 10 am and 2 pm.

Therefore, try to visit them at around 10 am. You can see them sitting upright to eat bamboo. When they wake up, they may also climb trees or walk around.

How to Join a Panda Keeper Program

If you are not content with just seeing a panda, you have the chance to have contact with pandas in Chengdu.

Note: Only Dujiangyan Panda Base allows visitors to have close contact with pandas. We can book you an activity to join a Panda Keeper Program, you will help clean the closure, feed the panda with bamboo, make cakes for them. You may not have the chance to book these activities on your own as there is only a quota of 20 to 30 volunteers daily.

The program of holding a panda and take photos is prohibited now!

What to Be Aware of When Visiting Pandas

Why Book with China Travel?

Take our Giant Panda Keeper Program to get close to giant pandas. 

If you want to spend more time with the pandas or want to taste the famous and delicious Chengdu hot pot, just contact us. We can help you tailor-make a tour to meet your requirements, interests, and budget.

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