There is nothing quite like seeing gentle and solitary pandas in Chengdu. Although Chengdu Panda Base is well-known by travelers, Dujiangyan Panda Base is more beautiful and less crowded to visit during busy seasons. Get there early in the morning because this is when they are most active. No matter how old you are, you’ll be amused by these cute pandas. In this article, we’ll tell you what to expect and give you travel tips for visiting Dujiangyan Panda Base.
- Chinese: 都江堰熊猫基地, Dūjiāngyàn Xióngmāo Jīdì
- Pandas: 30 giant pandas and five red pandas
- Area:4 square kilometers
- Famous pandas: Pan Pan and Tai Shan
- Reasons for founding Dujiangyan Panda Base: to focus on disease control and to rehabilitate giant pandas to be released back into the wild
- Less crowded during the peak season. Dujiangyan Panda Base is over 70 kilometers further away than Chengdu Panda Base, so it’s no wonder that it’s quieter during peak seasons.
Dujiangyan Panda Base was completed in 2013, having been built to control disease, train pandas to be released back into the wild, and help raise giant pandas who lacked the skills to live on their own after surviving the “5.12” earthquake in 2008.
The sprawling 1.4-square-kilometer base is divided into seven individual zones for researching or caring for giant pandas, including a disease control area, a quarantine and isolation zone, a rehabilitation training area, a public education area, a natural landscape area, and an office.
There are five panda breeding stations in Dujiangyan Panda Base and Shuangnan Garden, Diequan Garden, Panpan Garden, and Linze Garden are open to the public.
Panda Stars in Dujiangyan Panda Base
Giant pandas are loved throughout the world for their charmingly naive nature. Dujiangyan Panda Base has established research cooperation with nine countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Belgium.
Pandas are possibly the most popular ambassadors of China and some healthy pandas have been transferred to these countries for research purposes. According to the agreement though, all panda babies born abroad must be sent back to China when they are 2 years old. Pan Pan and Tai Shan are on the list of these “panda stars”.
Pan Pan — This Panda Star Caused a Great Sensation in Santiago
Born in Baoxing County, Sichuan Province, in 1980, Pan Pan was a renowned panda star and was the mascot for 11 Asian Games. When he was 4 years old, Pan Pan was cornered by a river named the Basi Ditch when searching for food. A local villager rescued him. Pan Pan’s athletic talent was discovered then and he learned to shoot, lift weights, and even ride a bike.
In 1987, Pan Pan visited Santiago for 6 months, which attracted 2.5 million visitors and caused a sensation on the United States’ West Coast. Many viewers waited in line for hours to see the 3-minute performance. Foreign media called Pan Pan a “stunt panda” and a “friendship angel”. Pan Pan was also a great panda who fathered more than 10 panda babies in his lifetime. Dujiangyan Panda Base created a garden named Panpan Garden.
Tai Shan — a Panda Born in Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Tai Shan is a popular panda who has had many fans since he was born. According to the agreement signed between China and the United States, as a panda baby born abroad, he should be transferred back to China when he was 2 years old.
From 2007 to 2010, Tai Shan’s fans campaigned over and over to keep him for longer. The Chinese government had to postpone his move again and again. Finally, Tai Shan returned to China in 2010 and now lives in Dujiangyan Panda Base.
Travel Tips for Visiting Dujiangyan Panda Base
- Location: Shiqiao Village, Qingchengshan Town, Dujiangyan, Chengdu; 90 kilometers away from Chengdu’s city center
- Opening hours: 8am to 5pm
- Recommended visiting duration: half a day
- Tickets: 58 yuan
- The most convenient way: Take a high-speed train from Chengdu North Railway Station to Qingchengshan Railway Station (about 50 minutes) and then take a taxi to Dujiangyan Panda Base.
- The cheapest way: Travel for about 2 hours from Chadianzi Bus Station to Dujiangyan Bus Station and then take bus 102. Get off at the stop for Dujiangyan Panda Base.
Dujiangyan Panda Base is about 19 kilometers from Dujiangyan. You can take bus 102 or take a taxi ride for about half an hour.
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