In love with Pandas!

After three months of Off the Beaten track travelling through Mongolia and Central Asia, Chengdu was the first big city planting us back in the modern world. We enjoyed a couple of days of good food, our nice warm room, hot showers and went to visit Chengdu’s most famous residents, the pandas!

A couple of city buses later we arrived at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, 18 km north of Chengdu city. The pandas are most active in the morning or late afternoon but we found out that mornings were quite busy so we decided to visit in the afternoon. We were glad we did this as the base was not busy and it was nice to stroll around the bamboo filled grounds before heading off to the panda enclosures.

And there he was, the first giant panda happily sleeping on a tree.  It was love at first sight. Where ever we went we saw pandas lazing around. As the hours past by, the pandas became more active and started to eat and play. The grounds of the base were very well kept and divided into lots of large enclosures for pandas filled with bamboo and lots of rocks and trees.

It’s a tough life, sleeping and eating

Lazing around

Munching away

We also visited the two nurseries where the newborns were looked after and fed. As our visit was in the Autumn we were lucky to see lots of baby pandas. Pandas have a very low birth rate and this breeding base is vital to keep the amounts of panda up. Giant pandas generally only mate once a year between March and May. The baby pandas come out of their nurseries for a couple of hours each day for cuddles and hugs from the breeding base volunteers.

Babbling and grunting, just like real babies

Only 2 months old

Next to the giant panda, the base also houses red pandas which were much more active (and feistier) than the giant pandas. These pandas with their beautiful reddish orange fur were rushing around climbing trees and looked more like foxes than pandas.

Feisty red panda

We were lucky to have seen more than 40 giant pandas and around 14 red pandas in our 3 hour visit to the breeding base. It was a really nice day and before long you are in love with these giant cuddly creatures.

2 comments on “In love with Pandas!

  1. Leuk om te lezen jongens, jullie houden het volgens mij aardig uit, het reizen. Heel gaaf om op de hoogte te blijven (ik dacht ik moet ook eens iets schrijven). Dankzij backpackgek weet ik inmiddels dat we qua muzieksmaak ook goed kunnen praten als jullie terug zijn ;). Geniet er van en keep the stories coming!


    • Hey! Ja wij houden het wel goed vol :). Zijn nu in Japan en genieten volop. Mooi land, lieve mensen en heerlijk eten. We gaan gauw de Japanse verhalen online zetten met bijbehorende (soms gekke) foto’s. Groetjes aan Marit.

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