Chengdu is home to some pretty cool stuff. The city has tons of museums, great restaurants anywhere you look, lovely and friendly locals, and of course… Pandas!!
Everywhere you go in Chengdu, you will see Panda plushies, panda posters & other panda paraphernalia (see what I did there?). There are enormous panda statues and panda souvenirs to last you a life time. The city holds its identity in two things: chili peppers and pandas. And this is all for very good reason…
Until very recently, Pandas were considered critically endangered. Chengdu is home to one of the research and breeding centers that has turned the panda’s plight around. We were lucky enough to visit, and we had a great time.
It was pretty rainy during our visit, so my photos weren’t what they could have been, but still, we made the most of it and saw nearly everything the park had to offer!
The grounds at the base are beautiful and well maintained. The enclosures are huge and each panda is given plenty of space. I felt good about visiting the center, which is not something I can say about most zoos in the country.
There was a lot of information on the behaviors of pandas and how the breeding and research programs are helping these gentle creatures. We learned a lot there, including one interesting fact: Pandas prefer to fall out of trees than to climb down. Climbing takes more energy, and their diet is actually quite low in nutritional value, so they need to save every calorie they can!
We saw lots of Red Pandas too, and they put on quite a show for us, playing in the rain and running around like the cutest little creatures to ever walk the earth!!!
If you’re heading to Chengdu, I think it goes without saying that you should visit at least one of the Panda centers! Bring your running shoes (the park is huge!) And your camera, and you’ll be sure to have a great day!!!