Chengdu is the capital of China’s Sichuan Province, located in the southwest of the country, and it is known internationally as the home of the adorable giant pandas. The city’s breeding centre is one-of-a-kind in terms of the number of pandas that call it home, so if you are a fan of these lovable creatures there is really no better place to be!
If you are flying into China to visit the pandas, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located 20km from the city center. It is one of the largest airports in China and offers many direct flights to and from cities throughout the world including London, San Francisco, and Melbourne. From the airport, it is easy to find a taxi or take a bus into the city. If travelling by train, Chengdu Station (North Railway Station) is the main railway station in the city. Most long-distance trains go through here and it offers connections to all of China’s major cities.
When to go
Chengdu is mild and humid year-round, but it is generally said that the best time of the year to visit is between March and June during the enjoyable spring weather. The rainy seasons tend to come between July and August, and with it many storms, so it is best to avoid those months for a peak panda experience.
The panda paradise
Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is what makes Chengdu the panda capital of the world. It is by far the largest panda facility of its kind. The research base is home to around 60 giant pandas. Due to habitat destruction and other environmental factors, the giant panda has become an endangered species, but the Chengdu Panda base is doing its part to help ensure the giant panda lives on. The base offers close views of the pandas, much better than is possible in many western zoos, allowing you to appreciate all the lovable antics of these creatures in style. There is also a museum and a cinema, both geared toward educating visitors on the giant panda and the issues the species is currently facing. The best time to visit is early in the morning to avoid the crowds and tours that take place in the afternoon.
Chengdu has so much to offer beyond just Pandas, too. It is a beautiful city full of history and culture that is a fine place to go on an Asian adventure.