Watching panda videos on internet is one of the best stress busters. I wonder how unbearably cute and cuddly these creatures will be in reality. Here are some of the places where you can meet pandas and melt (coz who wouldn’t):
The Giant Panda Research & Breeding Center, Chengdu, China
Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province in the southwest of China and is commonly considered the panda capital of the world. It is famously home to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, one of the most popular destinations for panda lovers. As its name suggests, this research base focuses on giant panda breeding, part of the broader conservation effort that has been responsible for the increase in China’s panda population in recent years. Located in the northern suburbs of the city, the center is easily accessible and is home to dozens of giant pandas, including a baby panda house and a large panda museum. The center’s goal is to mimic the panda’s natural environment with the hopes of one day releasing its wards into the wild. For that reason, visiting the Chengdu Research Base is a great option if you want to see pandas in what’s close to their natural habitat.
Dujiangyan Panda Base, Dujiangyan, China
The Dujiangyan Panda Base is the newest of China’s research which opened in 2014, and is about 70km from Chengdu. The center is unique for its interactive Panda Keeper Program, which allows visitors to volunteer as a panda caretaker for a day. Volunteers assist staff in activities such as cleaning, feeding, and waking the pandas from their naps. This base is a good option for those who want to get up close to pandas. Where do I sign?
Bifengxia Giant Panda Base
This panda sanctuary is part of the Wolong Nature Reserve, a protected area that covers over 200,000 hectares of land.After the main Wolong Panda Breeding Center suffered severe damage as a result of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, many of its residents and operations were transferred to Bifengxia Panda Base, which now has a population of over 50 pandas. Bifengxia is the largest and most popular outpost of the Wolong Nature Reserve but less crowded than the Chengdu Research Base in the city itself. Within the grounds of the base over 20 areas have been designated for particular activities with a kindergarten for baby pandas, a breeding zone, various bamboo forests to provide ample food and a research centre with details on conservation efforts. Here, visitors can watch staff feed and care for cubs in the panda nursery, all within the idyllic setting of a waterfall-filled valley. Although visitors are not able to hold baby pandas at Bifengxia, the center still provides unique views of the animals in a beautiful locale.
River Safari, Singapore
For those looking at an option not too far away from India, Singapore is the perfect place to meet a panda or two. A pair of male and female pandas lies protected in the Giant Panda Forest at River Safari. This hideout one also has another rare species of panda, the red panda.
Ocean Park, Hong Kong
Yet another place closer to home that will give you an opportunity to meet this exotic, endangered species. Ocean Park has two couples of male and female pandas that are well-fed and taken care of. You can even take become a stand-in panda-keeper for some time and have an up-close and personal experience with them.
Click here to read about The Most Dangerous Crocodile Infested Rivers In The World!
Have you read Neeraj Narayanan’s book – This Guy’s On His Own Trip yet? It’s right now #1 bestseller in the travel books category on Amazon. Click here to buy your copy!