The Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (or Chengdu Panda Base for short) specializes in baby pandas and their care.
It's one of the most popular destinations to see pandas. And it's a must-go place when you go to Chengdu.
- Chinese: 成都大熊猫繁育研究基地 Chéngdū Dàxióngmāo Fányù Yánjiū Jīdì /chnng-doo daa-sshyong-maoww fan-yoo yen-jyoh jee-dee/
- Location: About 10 km (6 mi) from downtown Chengdu
- Number of pandas: 50
- Time needed: half day
- Best time: Visit in the morning, or at least before 2pm, to see active giant pandas.
- Highlights: baby pandas, giant panda museum
Chengdu Panda Base not only takes care of breeding pandas, but also focuses on providing interactive activities that teach people about pandas and their protection.
Besides cute giant pandas, there are also red pandas, black swans, and peacocks in the base.
It’s a research center, so, unlike a zoo, it does not focus on displaying the animals.
Best Time to Visit
The panda base opens from 7:30am to 6:00pm. The best time to visit is in the morning, especially during feeding time between 8:30 and 10:00.
After that, it's likely that the pandas will be indulging in their favorite pastime: sleeping!
Giant pandas like cool weather. At cool times, giant pandas will play outside. But in summer time, pandas are likely to stay indoors to avoid the summer heat (over 26˚C or 79°F).
If you are visiting in hot summer time (June, July, August) and don’t see any pandas outside, you are suggested to go to the giant panda enclosures and delivery houses to see giant pandas indoors.
When to See Baby Pandas
Pandas usually give birth in August. Thus visitors can see new-born pandas or panda babies in August and September.
If you are visiting the base in this period, don’t forget to see the pink or fluffy panda babies in Moonlight Delivery House and Sunshine Nursery house.
If there are no new-born pandas to see, you can always go to the kindergarten to see young active pandas.
Click to learn Top 8 Surprising Things You Didn't Know about Baby Pandas.
The Giant Panda Museum
The Giant Panda Museum at the base is the world's only museum that focuses entirely on the giant panda. You can learn a lot about this at-risk animal in the museum.
See Giant Panda Fossils and Life-Like Displays
The Giant Panda Museum houses giant panda specimens, fossils, and dissected pandas.
Specimens of panda food are displayed, and the museum also houses many large true-to-life exhibits of giant pandas in their natural environment in ancient times and in their present wild habitats. These true-to-life exhibits cover an area of about 300 square meters.
Education About Panda Evolution, Habitat, and Protection
The museum educates visitors about giant pandas’ evolutionary history, their ancient and present distribution in the wild, and their current situation as a vulnerable species, as well as on the present purpose and focus of scientific research.
Giant Panda Post Office
There is a post office inside Chengdu Panda Base.
You can send a lovely panda postcard to friends or family …or yourself. The postcards will be stamped with a cute panda postmark.
- 1-Day Dujiangyan Panda Keeper Program Tour
- 1-Day Chengdu Panda and Sichuan Cuisine Tour
- 4-Day Wolong In-Depth Panda Tour
How to Get from Downtown to Chengdu Panda Base
Getting to this base from the downtown area may be a slight challenge. It takes about 1 hour to get there by metro and then by bus.
A more convenient way is to join our private tour, which includes direct transportation from your hotel to the base and an experienced guide who knows how to beat the crowds as well as the best place to take photos.
Tips for Visit Chengdu Panda Base
1. This base is huge but usually crowded. A private tour is the best way to get around the base to see the most pandas and get the best experience.
2. If you visit during the highest periods, such as summer holiday (July and August), May Day holiday (May 1st-3rd) and National Day holiday (Oct. 1st-7th), book your tour as early as possible, and get there as early as possible.
3. Tru to visit the base in cool weather because you are more likely to see giant pandas in the outdoor enclosures or giant pandas’ house’s backyards.
4. When you hear a sudden loud noise, don’t miss it. Go and see what has happened. Maybe it’s a naughty panda just fallen from a tree, or the "panda daddy" (panda keeper) is feeding them.
Panda Bases Around Chengdu with Volunteer Programs
There are four panda bases in and around Chengdu. Chengdu Panda Base is great if you want to see pandas only.
You will experience cleaning their enclosures, making their meals, etc. like panda base staff, while learning about panda preservation.