We’re in Chengdu, our favourite big city in China to date. Friendly and temperate at least while we’re here, there’s Sichuan food to sweat for and home of the Panda Research Centre and the Giant Pandas.
There are less than 1,000 Giant Panda’s left in the world – very few in the wild, yet who doesn’t love them. The Panda Research Centre made the news only this last week, as it’s been reported that Ai Hin a female Panda from the centre, had faked a pregnancy in order to gain extra food and better digs. It turns out that once female Pandas in the centre exhibit signs of pregnancy, they start to get extra rations and they’re also moved to a different enclosure.
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED AND AFFILIATE LINKS MORE INFORMATION IN OUR DISCLAIMER
It’s an amazing experience to wander round in the early morning and watch as the Panda’s begin to wake (or continue to sleep in our case – we were a little early). To go into the delivery units and see the tiniest Panda’s just a few weeks old, to see the twins playing together and to watch the older mother feeding as her baby plays with the bamboo.
Their gestures are so human like, you can’t help feeling that these are humans sitting there in Panda suits. The mother sitting, legs splayed, belly protruding, surrounded by a pile of bamboo, mechanically chewing, and chewing and reaching for stalk after stalk could also be human sat in front of a TV gazing sightless at the screen, chewing her way to obesity.
The red panda’s are a different story. Much, much smaller. More racoon than panda, we came literally face to face with one, who’d decided the boardwalk was more interesting than the enclosure. Conflicting signage declares the red panda both sensitive and aggressive, so we tried to watch from a distance.
Quiet, say the signs, all around the park, which appears to give over more space to humans than Pandas. Hey, hey hey, hello, say the hordes of tourists, whistling and stamping their feet. The Panda’s continue chewing their way through the bamboo, clearly having seen it all before.
I can’t help wondering if they look so sad all the time, or just when we’re behaving like we are the ones that should be in an enclosure.
- Where we stayed in Chengdu – Holiday Inn Express
- Read our Common Sense Guide to VPNs – and why you need one, especially in China
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China
If you like visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, then our guides to these Chinese World Heritage sites will be useful
- How to Visit Huanglong National Park [the Yellowstone of China]
- Discover Xian’s Terracotta Army
- How to Visit Kunming, Shilin and Dali
- How to Visit The Great Wall of China – [Independent Public Transit Route]
- The Forbidden City of Beijing
- The Historic Center of Macau
- Jiuzhaigou National Park
- Huangshan National Park and Sacred Mountain
- Wulingyuan and the Zhangjiajie National Park
- The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries
- Tiger Leaping Gorge
Travel Tips for Exploring China
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
- Download and install a VPN BEFORE you travel to China > discount coupon here
- Book Transport and Airport Transfers in China here
- Book the best China tours and guides on Trip
- Save money in China with a Wise debit card
- Book Trains in China with Trip
- Book accommodation in China with Trip
We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using our affiliate links. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
ASocialNomad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.