Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is considered a Chinese national treasure. Opened in 1987 to care for rescued wild pandas, the 165-acre (67-hectare), open-air sanctuary is now one of southern China’s most popular destinations due to its focus on breeding, conservation, and introducing new pandas into wild populations.
As one of the world’s most successful giant panda breeding centers—credited with more than 100 panda births—Chengdu Research Base provides visitors the opportunity to observe and learn about this threatened species. Inside, you can walk through the forested landscape; watch as giant pandas play, nap, and munch native bamboo; visit the panda nursery, subadult enclosure, and adult compound; and watch informational videos on panda behavior and the challenges of working with and breeding captive pandas.
Many full-day sightseeing tours of Chengdu include a visit to the breeding center, while some combo tours also visit popular Sichuan Province attractions such as the Leshan Grand Buddha or Jinsha Site Museum. For a personalized experience, opt for a private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The breeding center is a must-see for families with kids and animal lovers.
- Photography is allowed within the compound, but flash is prohibited.
- It takes about three hours to walk the entire campus, so remember to wear comfortable shoes.
- Steep inclines and other obstacles may be difficult to navigate for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The research base is located roughly 17 miles (27 kilometers) outside Chengdu’s city center. As such, the easiest way to visit is by taxi or through an organized tour. It’s also possible to take buses 87 or 198 from downtown Chengdu to the Panda Base bus stop.
When to Get There
The base is open year-round and is most crowded on weekends and Chinese national holidays. Opt for an early morning visit to avoid crowds. Most pandas are born in summer; for a chance to see baby pandas, visit in July or August.
Other Animals at the Chengdu Panda Base
Giant pandas aren’t the only wild animal residents of the panda base. You can also observe red pandas, lesser pandas, golden monkeys, black-necked cranes, black swans, and other rare animals in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats.