On the day following our arrival from Kangding, we got up very early to visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base on the outskirts of Chengdu. In stark contrast to the fresh and cold air in the mountains, the climate in the lowlands of central Sichuan was hot and extremely humid. A walk through the large complex with its many enclosures can leave you drenched in sweat. Still, the Chengdu Panda Base (as it is called in short) is definitely a must-see! Dedicated to the conservation of the iconic Giant Panda, there is no other place in the world where you can see as many of these gentle giants together. The pandas are kept in large, well-maintained enclosures in the midth of dense bamboo forests shielding off any traffic noise. They are most active in the early morning hours when they can be seen munching on their favourite food: bamboo. The rest of the day, they are sleeping either on the wooden platforms, in the trees, or in their air-conditioned rooms. One of the highlights of the complex is the nursery, where visitors can see the tiny newborns through thick glass windows. In addition to the Giant Pandas, the base also breeds a number of the smaller Red Pandas.
After spending the morning in the panda base, we returned to the city centre checking out further sights of Chengdu.