Asked by Mrs.Kung from USA | Mar. 04, 2009 17:22
About:Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

I'm interested in hearing more from people who have held the pandas. Did you just show up at the Center or did you make arrangements ahead of time? If you just showed up, is there a danger that you would get all the way there and then not be able to do it? If you made arrangements ahead of time, how did you do that? How much did it cost, and did you think it was worth it? What exactly did you get to do? Did you feel like it was bad for the pandas (were they scared or unhappy)? Anything you can tell me would be greatly appreciated. We're trying to decide whether to go do this (we would be going to Chengdu just for this). The trip (from Beijing or Shanghai) would be very expensive (to get there and then to hold the pandas) but it seems like a once in a lifetime chance. Also, we have an almost 2 year old girl -- would they let her touch the pandas, and would they charge the same amount for her?

Also, several people have mentioned arriving at feeding time (and others say all the time is feeding time). I'd appreciate any advice in terms of the best time to be there so that we could make the most of the experience (best time if we want to hold the pandas and best time if we're not going to do that).

Thanks in advance for any and all info -- we're trying to to make the tough decision of whether to go or not! (It would be my husband, me, our daughter, and my father-on-law, who grew up in Shanghai)

Answers (2)
Answered by Mr.Panda from China | Mar. 05, 2009 03:28
Well, Mrs. Kung, I think you love pandas so much, you can visit the official website of Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research, may be you will get some satisfactory answers.
Answered by Ms.Joan Carroll from USA | Mar. 18, 2009 10:01
We were there in August, and tourism was pretty slow post-earthquake. I don't know what it would be like if tourism was going full tilt! However, we just showed up. They told us it would be a 1 y.o. baby panda and in my mind I was thinking the size of a human 1 y.o. I was not thinking! A 1 y.o. panda is HUGE! maybe 50 or more lbs! I just burst into tears at the sight. Anyway, they dress you in a paper hospital gown over your clothes and have you wear gloves. They sit you on a bench, and bring the panda over and sit it in your lap. Your photo-buddy can snap as many pictures as they can, or do a video, in the allotted time. It was a couple of minutes for each person. The handlers keep the panda busy with some honey-dipped bamboo pieces so the panda is quite peaceful and content. I don't know what they do with children, there weren't any in our group. It is DEFINITELY WORTH THE MONEY IF YOU LOVE PANDAS. I would do it again. We have some awesome photos of the pandas at the center, and a video of me bawling my eyes out holding the panda! We arrived there around 9 in the morning, and the pandas had just been fed, and were quite active. There is a panda area just near where you hold the pandas, where they were playing on swings, climbing trees, playing on some platforms, sliding down hillsides, etc. We could hardly tear ourselves away. It was the MOST AWESOME EXPERIENCE! If you are an animal lover, I definitely recommend it.
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