Where to See Pandas in China

Where to See Pandas in China - Top 10 Best Places to Encounter Giant Pandas

Wonder where to have an intimate contact with the White and Black creature in China? Want to see the adorable giant pandas as many as possible during your China trip? Consider to join in the short panda volunteer program but have trouble with how to book?

China Discovery, based in the hometown of giant pandas, has carefully selected top 10 best places to see giant pandas in China, including Chengdu, Dujiangyan, Ya’an, Wolong, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and more. No matter it is your first time to China with limited destinations, or your in-depth trip to do meaningful volunteering work, you can find fresh, latest and detailed panda information and ideas here!

To see the giant pandas, it is divided into two types, one is visiting the panda base with more pandas and also offering panda volunteer program; the other is visiting city zoos where have limited pandas close to the city downtown area.

Our suggestion is if you have enough time, you can come to the panda bases in Chengdu and around where your panda dream will fulfill to the most satisfaction. If your time is tight, just paying a short visit to the city zoos in different cities all around China will be great to encounter with the lovely pandas. Check the following types, pandas bases and zoos with detailed introduction and get your own idea to plan a China panda tour!

China Panda Location Map

Type 1: Very Natural Panda Bases to See Giant Pandas

Travel to China and want to record real life of Giant Pandas in true natural environment? Sichuan, the Land of Abundance, is not only for many amazing natural and historical wonders, but also the real hometown of Giant Pandas. Here, transfer within 1 to 3 hours, you’ll reach the panda bases where you can get up close to the lovely creatures which are much closer than any zoo, but also involve in the interesting panda volunteer program for a full day! Choose the panda bases you are going to visit based on your time, interests and likes!

1. Chengdu Panda Base - Up Close to Giant Pandas & Red Pandas in Natural Environment Near Chengdu

Chengdu Panda Base

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, simply called Chengdu Panda Base, situated in the northeast of Chengdu suburb about 16 kilometers away, is the closest pandas base in Chengdu with 30 minutes’ drive.

Currently, Chengdu Panda Base is a great open park full of nature with the largest amount of CAPTIVE pandas in China. Till the end of 2018, there are nearly 120 giant pandas (including baby pandas) and 76 red pandas in the base, providing you a rare opportunity to feast your eyes with so many adorable “black and white animal” in one trip. Hence, Chengdu Panda Base is marked as the must-see tourist attraction when come to Chengdu, giving you experience of a lifetime!

Best Time to Visit

March to May is the “falling in love period” that the pandas are very active to play with each other, climb tree, crawl and roll on the ground outside...If you visit during autumn or winter, you may see tiny newborns in the nursery!

Try to visit in the morning when the pandas are most active. Feeding takes place around opening time around 08:00am. Pandas spend most of their afternoons sleeping especially during the height of midsummer. That’s to say, Spring, Autumn and Winter are very suitable to visit Pandas. And if you come in summer, try to see them in the early morning!

What Can You Do at Chengdu Panda Base

  • Have a closer look at giant pandas at different ages from the new born to the aged by visiting several enclosures. You’ll get a very clear and vivid understanding about pandas’ life cycle.
  • View the “baby pandas” being taken care in the Delivery House of Giant Pandas and be amazed how incredible the tiny creatures are as they just born at 100g, with huge weight difference with their “mom”.
  • Go into Giant Panda Museum as well as Giant Panda Story Cinema to enrich your mind with more information about history, why giant pandas are endangered and how to protect them.
  • Wander leisurely in the open green park full of lush vegetation and encounter with red pandas, swans, peacocks and have some fun with them.
  • Take photos of giant pandas at any time, leaving the best memory in your camera and catch the time to take pictures together.

Recommended Visiting Length & Route

The recommended visiting lasts about 1.5 hours to 3 hours. Usually, there are two routes for travelers.

  • Route 1 (about 1.5 hours’ visiting): Entrance -> Swan Lake -> Sub-Adult Giant Panda Enclosure -> Adult Giant Panda Enclosure -> Giant Panda Cub Enclosure -> Sunshine Delivery House -> No.2 Red Panda Enclosure -> Red Panda Delivery House -> No.1 Red Panda Enclosure -> Giant Panda Story Cinema -> No.14 Giant Panda Enclosure -> Scientific Discovery Museum for Pandas -> Giant Panda Museum -> Entrance.
  • Route 2 (about 3 hours’ visiting): Entrance -> Swan Lake -> Adult Giant Panda Enclosure -> Giant Panda Cub Enclosure -> Sunshine Delievery House for Giant Pandas -> No.2 House for Giant Pandas -> Moonlight Delivery House for Giant Pandas -> No.1 House for Giant Pandas -> Giant Panda Kitchen -> Veterinary Hospital -> Scientific Discovery Museum for Pandas -> Giant Panda Museum -> Entrance.

Location

No.1375 Xiongmao Avenue the Outside Northern Third Ring Road, Chenghua District, Chengdu

How to Get There

If by taxi, you can reach to Chengdu Panda Base within 30~40 minutes from your hotel which costs around 50 Yuan. Also, travelers can take metro Line 3 to “Xiongmao Avenue” Station and then hop on the bus “198a/198” to arrive at the entrance of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. It takes about 50 minutes to 1 hour by metro.

Recommended Trips:

>> 1 Day Relaxing Chengdu Panda Tour

>> 2 Days Chengdu City Break with Panda Visiting

2. Dujiangyan Panda Base - Best Place to See & Do Panda Volunteer Program

Dujiangyan Panda Base

China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda Dujiangyan Base, short for Dujiangyan Panda Base or Dujiangyan Panda Ark, located 62 kilometers away from Chengdu downtown area with 1~1.5 hours’ transfer. It is the nearest panda base from Chengdu which can see giant pandas as well as do panda volunteer program, offering you a much more relaxing, intimate and educational panda experience with less crowds!

Compared with Chengdu Panda Base, this one is even more natural situated close to Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries surrounded by verdant bamboo forest, green mountain, fresh air, providing a favorable scenic environment for giant pandas. Currently, there are over 40 giant pandas and 5 red pandas living here. China Discovery suggests you take volunteer program for a full day if you have time and your panda dream will come true in this Dujiangyan Panda Base!

Best Time to Visit

With pleasant climate and suitable environment, travelers can visit Dujiangyan Panda Base all year round, particularly in spring, autumn and winter! To catch the most active scene of pandas in different ages, you’d better arrive at the base in the morning around 08:00. If you take part in volunteer program, you’ll have 2-3 hours free time to get along with pandas. You won’t miss the best time and highlights.

What Can You Do at Dujiangyan Panda Base

  • The most highlighting experience definitely should be “panda volunteering program” with amazing work - cleaning the cages and enclosures, scooping the poop, breaking bamboos for food, feeding one of the assigned panda. It offers the rare opportunity to let you get up close with the pandas. The program lasts for 7 hours from 08:30 to 15:30.
  • Be a special panda nutritionist and enjoy the fun of making “panda cake” and after you can feed pandas with your hand-made cakes and observe how pandas eat and know details about their diets and eating habits.
  • Share the secrets, story, pictures and funny moment with other volunteer partners. Meanwhile, volunteers can receive the panda volunteer certificate assigned by China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
  • Take photos and videos with your camera as many as possible and get a bunch of nice shots. (Note: pictures taken with panda is unavailable at present.)

Recommended Visiting Length & Route

Usually, it takes about half to one full day visiting Dujiangyan Panda Base. Travelers can either see pandas in Dujiangyan Panda Base only or participate in full-day volunteer program.

Suggested Route: Entrance -> Panpan Garden -> Shuangnan Garden -> Linze Garden (red pandas) -> Diequan Garden. Tourist buses are available passing through all the gardens. If your time and energy permits, enjoy a trip to the Panda Tea Gardens which are located surrounded by Diequan Garden and Linze Garden.

For travelers who only see giant pandas, it is a good idea to explore Dujiangyan Panda Base in the morning and transfer to nearby sites - Mount Qingcheng (one of the birthplace of Taoism to appreciate lots of featured temples) or Dujiangyan Irrigation System (the oldest large-scale water project in the world with a history over 2000 years) in the afternoon. Most of the travelers choose to do one full day volunteer program and spend another day to visit Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Mount Qingcheng or Jiezi Old Town.

Location

Shiqiao Village, Qingchengshan Town, Dujiangyan city, Chengdu

How to Get There

For the transportation is a little bit complicated, you’d better take a private car for the transfer. If you go independently, you can first take high speed train from Chengdu Xipu Station to Qingchengshan Station. Then, hop on a bus No.102 to arrive at the entrance of Dujiangyan Panda Base. It needs about 1.5-2 hours in total.

Recommended Trips:

>> 1 Day Dujiangyan Panda Volunteer Tour

>> 1 Day Kung Fu Tour with Mount Qingcheng

>> 2 Days Dujiangyan Panda Tour

3. Ya’an Bifengxia Panda Base - Awesome Site to Do Panda Volunteer Program for 3 Days and More

Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya'an, Sichuan

China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda Bifengxia Base, simply Bifengxia Panda Base, is about 155 kilometers from Chengdu downtown area which needs 2.5-3 hours’ drive. Located in the “Lung of Sichuan” - Bifengxia Valley in Ya’an City at an altitude over 1000 meters, this panda base is the best combination of nature and animals.

Bifengxia Panda Base has more than 40 giant pandas including 8 one-year-old pandas (Note: the number of pandas will change based on the real time). Reputed as “the Hometown of Panda Stars”, Bifengxia Base has sent “Tuan Tuan”, “Yuan Yuan” to Taiwan, welcomed “Tai Shan” back from America as well as provided prototype of “Beijing Olympic Panda” and “Shanghai Expo Panda”. Bifengxia Panda Base is worth 1-3 days doing a longer panda volunteer program. If you want to do a long-term volunteering work, this base is a nice choice.

What Can You Do at Bifengxia Panda Base & Bifengxia Gorge

  • Travelers can choose to join in the 1-3 days even weeks long (many panda lovers do 2-week) panda volunteer programs to see, study and take care of giant pandas with no crowds of people.
  • Pay an in-depth visit to three scenic spots - White Bear Ground, Panda Kindergarten, Overseas-born Giant Panda Paradise, where you can see lots of pandas ranging from the new-born to the old in different enclosures. Of course, you won’t miss overseas-born giant pandas.
  • Don’t miss the beautiful 1.5-2 hours hike in Bifengxia Gorge with lots of water, waterfalls, hanging coffins and green vegetation. You’d better do it on your way back from the panda base to the visitor center, since it is downhill to save energy.
  • Besides the giant pandas, if your time permits, you can extend to Bifengxia Wild Animal Park to encounter other precious animals which has over 400 kinds of species.

Location

Bifeng Gorges Scenic Resort, Yucheng District, Ya'an (155 kilometers from Chengdu)

How to Get There

Travelers can take direct sightseeing bus at Chengdu International Financial Center Square / Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station to Bifengxia Gorge. It needs about 2.5-3 hours’ drive if by car.

Recommended Trips:

>> 2 Days Inspiring Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Volunteer Experience

>> 5 Days Panda Volunteer Tour at Bifengxia Panda Base

4. Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base - the World’s Largest Breeding Center for Giant Pandas

Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base

Shenshuping Panda Base or Gengda Wolong Panda Center, is the largest breeding center for giant pandas in the world with over 30 captive pandas at present. It is about 100 kilometers from Chengdu downtown area with 2 hours’ transfer. Standing about 1700 meters above the sea, with the total area of covering 150 hectares, Wolong Panda Base offers the most harmonious, dynamic and self-sustaining base for giant pandas around the whole globe.

If you are travelers who like to see giant pandas in wild nature, do 1-day panda volunteer program or even hug a “Red Panda” in your arms, you are highly recommended to come to Shenshuping Panda Base.

What Can You Do at Shenshuping Panda Base

  • Take part in panda volunteer program lasts during 08:45 - 15:20 that you will dump the poop of giant pandas, flush the enclosures, prepare bamboo for food, visiting different feeding areas of giant pandas under the guidance of the staff, make panda cakes and feed pandas personally.
  • You can choose to “Red Panda Volunteer Program” which you have the rare opportunity to take photos with one of them. The program lasts from 09:30 to 16:00.

Recommended Visiting Length & Route

You are recommended to do 1-day volunteering work at Shenshuping Panda Base. If you just want to have a close look at the pandas, you can visit the base either by waling or taking sightseeing bus.

  • By walking: Entrance -> Sub-adult Panda Garden -> Adult Panda Garden -> Panda Kindergarten ->Botanical Garden ->Exit. It needs around 2-2.5 hours.
  • By sightseeing bus: Entrance & Check In (get on the shuttle bus) -> Jiang’s House -> Adult Panda Garden (get off the bus) -> Sub-adult Panda Garden -> Panda Kindergarten ->Botanical Garden ->Exit. It needs around 1.5-2 hours.

Location

Genda Town, Wolong Nature Reserve, Wenchuan County, Sichuan

How to Get There

There is no public vehicle from Chengdu to Shenshuping Base right now. You’d better book our private tour package which include private car transfer, sightseeing, dining in one go. Our guide and driver will escort you to Wolong Panda Base with speed and convenience and take care of all the details.

Recommended Trips:

>> 2 Days Wolong Panda Volunteer at Shenshuping Base

>> 2 Days Wolong Panda Volunteer Tour with Chengdu Highlights

Type 2: City Zoos to Visit Pandas

1. Beijing Zoo (8 Giant Pandas in Its Panda Garden)

Pandas in Beijing Zoo

If you visit China for the first time (like Beijing - Xian - Shanghai) and have no time to Chengdu, you can seize the chance to see the adorable “national treasure” - Giant Pandas in Beijing.

Built in 1906, Beijing Zoo is one of the oldest and largest zoos in China. The zoo and its aquarium have over 450 species of land animals and over 500 species of marine animals and it is home to 14500 animals. Particularity, there are 8 pandas living in the Panda Garden with three enclosures designed for adult pandas, sub-adult pandas and “mom and baby” pandas. The lovely creatures will give you fun, laughter and happiness during your visiting, making your trip more memorable.

Location & How to Get There

Address: No.137 Xizhimen Wai Dajie in Xicheng District, just west of the northwest corner of the 2nd Ring Road. It is about 10 kilometers from Forbidden City.

Outside the zoo is a local public transit hub with Beijing Zoo Station on Line 4 of the Beijing subway and terminals for Beijing bus routes 27, 87, 105, 107, 111, 332, 347, 360, 534, 563, 632 also stop at the zoo.

2. Chongqing Zoo (about 15 Giant Pandas in Its Panda Garden)

Pandas in Chongqing Zoo

For Yangtze cruisers with no visit to Chengdu, it is a nice choice to see giant pandas in Chongqing before or after your Chongqing - Yichang cruise. Chongqing Zoo is about 14 kilometers from Chaotianmen Port and 10 kilometers from downtown area.

Chongqing Zoo has 15 pandas in its panda garden and it is the zoo with the largest number of giant pandas. Travelers can either watch the cute pandas outdoor or in the enclosures. Besides giant pandas, you can have great time with red pandas, South China Tiger, White Tiger, African Elephant and more. It is worth your time for 1-2 hours’ visiting.

Location & How to Get There

Address: No.1 Xijiao Road, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing City.

Buses are available outside of the zoo with routes 275, 229, 428, 482, 413, 471, 420, 416, 822 and 341 making a stop. For travelers who want to take metro, please head to Yangjiaping Station for Line 2. It needs to walk around 700 meters.

Recommended Trips:

>> 4 Days Chongqing Essence Tour with Yangtze Cruise

>> 1 Day Chongqing Short Stay Tour

3.Shanghai Zoo (2 Pandas) & Shanghai Wild Animal Park (9 Pandas)

Pandas in Shanghai Wild Animal Park

In the modern metropolis Shanghai, you’ll not only explore stunning sites with west-meets-east culture, but also have the opportunity to see “Chinese Treasure” - Giant Pandas. There are two places to visit pandas in Shanghai, one is called Shanghai Zoo and the other is called Shanghai Wild Animal Park.

Located very close to Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai Zoo is the main zoological garden with 2 giant pandas inside. Visitors can interact with other rare animals, like golden snub-nosed monkeys, South China tigers, lions, black bulbuls and animals from other parts of the world. While, Shanghai Wild Animal Park, located near Shanghai Pudong International Airport, is the first safari park in China and rated as National AAAAA Tourist Spot. There are 9 giant pandas living happily in this safari park.

Location & How to Get There

Shanghai Zoo Address: No. 2381 Hongqiao Road, Changning District, Shanghai. Metro line 10 can take you to Shanghai Zoo Station. Buses No.37, 71, 57 are available here.

Shanghai Wild Animal Park Address: No.178 Nanliu Road, Xuanqiao Town, Pudong New District, Shanghai. Xinnan shuttle bus, Huinan 6bus can reach here.

4. Hong Kong Ocean Park (3 Giant Pandas)

Pandas in Hong Kong Ocean Park

If you don’t visit mainland China, you can make a trip to Hong Kong Ocean Park, the second largest theme park in Hong Kong to see giant pandas and other species. Ocean Park Hong Kong is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park.

Three pandas called “”An An”, “Le Le” and “Ying Ying” are living in the “Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures” area. For family with kids, you can have an unforgettable encounter with giant pandas and the keepers will take you to visit where the pandas live and you will learn how to prepare food for them.

Location & How to Get There

Address: No.180 Huangzhukeng Road, Hong Kong

Metro and bus are available to Hong Kong Ocean Park. Travelers can take Line Nangangdao and make a stop at Ocean Park Station. Also, bus route 15R, 48, and 629 can reach Hong Kong Ocean Park.

5. Guangzhou Chimelong Safari Park (14 Giant Pandas)

Pandas in Guangzhou Chinelong Safari Park

Chinelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, rated as National AAAAA Tourist Spot, is the safari themed park with the largest species in the world. It contains an amazing selection of beautiful and exotic animals including the World’s largest collection of white tigers, China giant pandas, koala from Australia, black rhinoceros from Africa, Asia elephant from Thailand...over 500 species and 20000 animals.

There are 14 giant pandas living in the panda village. Maybe the main reason to Chimelong Safari Park is not only for giant pandas, but the lovely pandas will make your life happier. The opening time is during 09:30~18:00. To watch active pandas, you’d better come in the morning.

Location & How to Get There

No.593 Xiangjiang Road, Fanyu District, Guangzhou.

Travelers can take metro or bus to reach Chimelong Safari Park. Take metro Line 3 / Line 7 to Hanxi Changlong Station and take the arranged shuttle bus to the safari park. Bus No.304 or 562 can take travelers to this safari park.

Recommended Trips:

>> 4 Days Guangzhou Family with Kids Tour

6. Guilin Seven Star Zoo (2 Giant Pandas)

Pandas in Guilin Seven Star Zoo

Guilin Seven Star Zoo, located in the downtown area, is the only zoo in Guilin City where you can have an intimate contact with giant pandas. The main reason to Guilin Seven Star Zoo should be “pandas”. There are two adorable giant pandas called “Yue Yue”, “Mei Xin” and several red pandas living here. If you have free time in Guilin, make a short trip to the zoo will kill your time.

Location & How to Get There

Address: No.1 Qixing Road, Qixing District, Guilin

Travelers can take direct bus No.10, 11, 14, 18, 21, 24, 25, 30, 97, 204 and 206 to reach Guilin Seven Star Zoo.

Recommended Trips:

>> 4 Days Guilin Highlights Tour (Li River, Yangshuo & Longji Terrace)

Plan your Panda Trip & Travel with China Discovery

There are many other zoos in China with limited giant pandas, if you are interested, you can feel free to tell us your ideas and we can tailor make a unique panda tour based on your likes.

China Discovery is the local travel agency headquartered in Chengdu, the hometown of giant pandas, trying our best to provide you a once in lifetime panda tour no matter you just want to see giant pandas up close or eager to engage in the meaningful panda volunteer program. With China Discovery, you are guaranteed with “reasonable low price”, “super brilliant panda experience”, and “high quality service”. Come with us!

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Tiananmen Square Family Tour
10 Days Classic China Family Tour with Panda Fun

Beijing / Xian / Chengdu / Shanghai

Close Contact with Pandas during Volunteering
4 Days Dujiangyan Panda Tour with Chengdu

Chengdu / Dujiangyan / Chengdu

Dujiangyan Panda Volunteer Experience
6 Days Leshan, Mount Emei & Panda Volunteer Tour

Chengdu / Leshan / Emei / Chengdu / Dujiangyan / Chengdu

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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