As I’m sure you already know, China is famous for the cutest animal ever: pandas! In fact, Chengdu (which is where I’m living in China), is where the Panda Research Center is located. I’m sure you’ve read articles like this, or have watched videos like this, that feature the employees at the research center in Chengdu living the dream and playing with pandas all day long. (Ugh, what a life!)
“Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, or simply Chengdu Panda Base, is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other rare animals. It is located in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. Chengdu Panda Base was founded in 1987. It started with 6 giant pandas that were rescued from the wild. By 2008, it had 124 panda births, and the captive panda population has grown to 83. Its stated goal is to, ‘be a world-class research facility, conservation education center, and international educational tourism destination.'” (via wiki)
I’ve wanted to visit the panda center forever, so it’s fair to say I was pretty excited the morning we arrived. (My nickname growing up was, “Manda Panda” after all!) I’ve only seen one panda in real life before, and that was at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, DC. Seeing one up close was awesome, but to visit a place totally dedicated to pandas…?! Wowwwie!
Anna from Slightly Astray joined me and we walked and walked for hours, making sure to cover every square inch of the park. (OMG it was hot. China is so hot.)
In true tourist fashion, I took a lot of photos… Like, 354 to be exact. This doesn’t include the thirty or so videos I captured, either! It was just so exciting/fascinating to watch the pandas eat, walk around, and sleep. They’re so adorable! They don’t look real to me, haha. It almost looks like someone is wearing a panda costume, walking around pretending to be a panda. They’re too fluffy and cute!
It was hard to pick a favorite panda because they were all cute in their own way, but this one really made me laugh. Look at how he’s sitting! The internet is reaaaaally slow in China so I’m unable to embed any videos into this post, but here’s one I took of this guy.
This panda sat in his pile of bamboo and swiftly chomped, chomped, chomped away at all of it. I loved watching him eat. I also loved how his right arm was resting on that wood piece. I took a short video of him, too!
These baby pandas were playing up in the tree together and kept biting each other’s arms and slipping from branch to branch. There was a huge crowd here watching them and every time one of them moved, everyone would say, “awww!” or “ooooh!” all at once, haha.
There was a delivery house that had itty bitty newborn pandas as well as bigger, fluffy baby pandas. We were rushed through pretty quickly (a guy was yelling at us through a megaphone) because there was a large line, but I tried to take photos/videos the best I could!
Inside another building, we found more babies sleeping. There was a guy in there with these pandas video taping them. I discovered after the fact that there’s a 24hr webcam at the research center! Check it out!
The red pandas were super cute too, of course! They’re like little raccoon-fox-dogs. Their enclosure really confused me though because there didn’t seem to be appropriate fences keeping them inside. I think if they really wanted to, they could slip under the huge gaps in the fences and escape, but I guess they don’t care to? It was hard to tell how many red pandas there were in the area because they were scattered about, sometimes in trees, sometimes sleeping on logs. I’m so curious to know why they don’t try to get out! Here’s a video I took.
The souvenirs were pricey of course, so I only left with a little panda stuffed animal and a magnet, but this backpack caught my eye. It almost says Amanda! :-D
I’m so happy I got to see the pandas. It’s something that has been on my bucket list forever! <3 As always, thanks for reading! xo