From middle August the weather in Chengdu is very hot and no rain. These two weeks are the hottest time of the year in Chengdu.
So if you are traveling to Chengdu at this time of the year, expect to walk and tour in the heat.
Also if you are going to visit the pandas, please do go there early in the morning while some pandas are still chilling outside of their rooms enjoying the cool morning and not lying on a big ice cube in their rooms. An early visit can also avoid you walking in a lot of people and fighting your way while visiting. There are a lot of visitors here at the panda base during summer.
Wolong Panda Base, or Wolong Panda Nature Reserve, was closed years ago after the earthquake in 2008. Being the ever first panda base in China that dedicated to protect the lovely pandas, it is now a mainly wild training center that is unavailable to visitors at this moment.
Many visitors/ animal lovers want to see pandas in the wild more than in a zoo, or something similar to a zoo will want to see pandas in Wolong. So where do you go now? There is actually a place near Wolong where you have a chance to see pandas in the wild but it will take you up to a week’s time. It is called Huangcaoping in Wenchuan. For any animal observers or animal photographers who want to take photos of these wild pandas and have a trip there, please contact our expert from Sichuan Travel Guide.
Mount Zhaogong, or Zhaogongshan is a good place in Chengdu to do a day hike. Zhaogongshan is one of the mountains located west to Dujiangyan and one of the Taoist mountains around this place. It is 70km’s drive from Chengdu, you can arrive there by only 1.5 hours’ of driving.
The hiking is quite difficult in one day due to it is very steep. Elevation gain is about 1200 meters and will descend the same distance and elevation. Considering this and the steep trails, the walking is quite strenuous. It will normally need about 3-4 hours walking up and about 3 hours walking down. Time to do the hiking is from April to October for it is warmer and without snow on the trial. When there is snow, it is much more difficult to walk. Because it is quite strenuous, this day hike may not be a perfect place to spend one day there walking, but if you are well trained or want to be trained, this is the perfect place for you.
Also this place is one of the natural habitats of wild pandas. On the trial you can see many bamboos growing everywhere. One needs to be really lucky to see a panda in the wild here.
There are a few ways of getting to Chengdu Panda Base from the city.
Bus routes 87, 198, 198a will pass Chengdu Panda Base.
Route 87 goes between Chengdu Zhaojusi Bus Station between Longtansi Gongyeyuan. Both terminals are a little far from the city center. So you need to transfer to Zhaojuesi Bus Station(the one terminal that is closer to the city center, easier to get to) first.
Route 198 and 198a departs from Chengdu Zoo Bus Station, it is also a little far from the city center. You also need to get to Chengdu Zoo first and transit to route 198 or 198a.
There are Tourist sites shuttle buses you can consider. This way is easier as they are running between major tourist sites in Chengdu. You can find more information of this here. The cost is usually below 15 depends on where you start.
Taxi costs about 30 to 40 yuan from the center of the city to Chengdu Panda Base.
So what is the best time to visit Chengdu Panda Base in a year?
The best time to visit the pandas at Chengdu Panda Base is from September to the next June when weather is not hot. Because pandas don’t like hot weather, if visiting in summer time, they will usually stay in the air-conditioned rooms sleeping instead of playing or eating outside in their yards. Traveling in other time of the year, you have more options on choosing when to visit the panda base during a day.
During the whole year visitors will be able to see baby pandas. The babies usually born between August and October, so traveling before summer you will see half year babies and traveling after summer you will see one-year old baby pandas and the newly born pandas as well.
And what is the best time to visit Chengdu Panda Base in a day?
The best time to visit pandas at Chengdu Panda Base are in the early mornings when it is with less visitors and cooler weather especially in summer. If it is inevitable to travel to Chengdu in summer, then you are suggested to visit the base in the early morning by 7:30 or even earlier. In the morning the weather is cool and the pandas are not in the rooms. Besides, summer vacation will expect lots of families to this base, so an early visit of the day is a better idea. Even if you are not traveling to Chengdu in summer, it is still better to arrive at Chengdu Panda Base at an earlier time to avoid the probable crowd of visitors.
Where is this panda park that I can cuddle a panda?
Dujiangyan Panda Park is located in Dujiangyan, near Qingchenshan by the small town of Daguan. It is about 50 km west to the city of Chengdu. You can use the fast train from Chengdu north railway station and arrive at Qingchengshan Railway Station. And use a local taxi to drive there.
How much does it cost if I want to hold a panda?
It costs 1800 Chinese Yuan (about USD300) to cuddle the panda. Usually you pay the money before you are led to the panda house to cuddle a 2-year old panda.
When do they do this? And what time can you do it? How long can I hold a panda?
Everyday. And normally in the morning it begins by 10:00 to 11:00 and in the afternoon by around 3:00 to 4:00. Your 1800 yuan gives you 20 seconds time with the panda. You can cuddle the panda and you are allowed to touch most parts of the panda except the head.
How does it work? Do I need to reserve?
Yes, you will need to reserve a space before hand. When you arrive they sometimes take you directly to the house to do the cuddling and taking pictures, sometimes you will have to wait for a while to join the others to go to the panda cuddle houses. After you pay the money, you will be guided by the English-speaking workers there to the houses and to cuddle the panda by turns. It is usually done outside and the panda that is cuddled is a 2-year female panda at present (2015).
A suggested plan to do this project is: drive there in the morning and arrive before 10:00 and do the cuddling and a little tour inside the panda park before leave. You can have lunch nearby and tour the Dujiangyan Irrigation system or visit the Taoist Shrine Mount Qingcheng in the afternoon before drive back to Chengdu.
To reserve a space you can contact Mr. Li hai to make reservations for you: firstname.lastname@example.org. And he can also arrange transportations for you as well.
Dujiangyan Panda Park provides panda works for volunteer workers. Its mission is to raise money for panda protection and to give people knowledge about giant pandas to raise the awareness of protecting wild lives and nature. And it also provides opportunities for visitors/workers to have close experience with the lovely pandas.
Where is the Dujiangyan Panda Park?
Dujiang Panda Park is the only panda base in China that has Panda Volunteer project open to the public at present. Dujiangyan is in Sichuan Province 50km west to the capital city Chengdu. The panda park is located 20km south to the town of Dujiang yan near Daguan Village.
Who can do this project? What are the requirements?
Everyone who is able to travel to China can do this volunteer work. There are so far no specific requirements on doing this work.
How much is the volunteer work?
It is actually a project rather than volunteer works. One needs to pay 700 Chinese yuan per person per day to do the work. If you only want to do a half-day work, a full day’s charge is required.
What is the process of this project? Are there any details to be provided?
After you pay, one volunteer worker’s tag and working T-shirt will be given to you. And you need to sigh a contract of this volunteer work you are doing. You will be led by an English-speaking worker in the park to guide you through one day’s work. You are suggested to arrive at the park by 8:30 to 9:00.
The working includes:
A) Feed the panda three times each day at 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00, each feeding takes about 20 minutes. It is very exciting.
B) Clean the panda enclosure one or two times before the feeding, each time takes about 40 minutes. This is very interesting.
How long can I do the volunteer work?
You can basically choose from half day to 4 days. Every day is charged 700 yuan per person.
Other activities you can do in the park between your volunteer work:
Visiting the red panda enclosure, hiking to the tea farm in the park, watching panda documentaries, if there is child involved, you can consider making panda bread or attending a panda lecture.
To join in a Panda Volunteer Work in Dujiangyan Panda Base, you can email us at email@example.com or call us at 86-13689094250.