Panda Sanctuary ChengDu
I woke up even earlier today and grabbed a coffee to shock me out of my zombie trance. We took the metro to Shengxian Lake and met up with Eric’s parents. The six of us took two separate taxi’s from there for 24 RMB (8 RMB per person) to the Panda Sanctuary. If you are going by yourself, I have provided a picture of the sanctuary below that you can just show the taxi driver. It took about 20 minutes to a half hour to reach the Panda Sanctuary, but we arrived early, on a weekday, on a groggy day, so less tourists flocked here.
A full admission ticket costs 58 RMB, but if you have a student ID it’s only 29 RMB. This gives you access to the full park. Get there early to make sure you get a chance to see the Panda’s eat bamboo. They are fed every two hours, but they sleep most of the day, so you don’t want to miss them being lazy 🙂
We walked around the park and much of it felt like a zoo, which I did not like, since I hate zoo’s. The panda’s did have more space to roam around than most zoo’s I visited in the past, but it still felt wrong. Anyway, we spent much of the day watching giant Panda’s grab bamboo with their furry paws and chow down on it for hours. Some of them played with each other like they entered a sumo wrestling match. Others just lounged and rolled around on their backs and tummies. For the most part, all of them maintained their lazy stereotype, but one took his acrobatic skills to another level by swinging from the monkey bars, climbing trees and slapping his mother’s paw to wake her from her slumber.
I learned from the Panda Sanctuary Cinema center that only 2000 panda’s remain in the world. They can eat over 20 kilograms of bamboo per day and only absorb about 20% of the nutrients from all that they intake. They give birth anywhere from 3 to 5 months after being pregnant and the baby panda’s are so small that normally humans take care of them until they reach a size when the mother can handle them.
Aside from visiting the giant panda’s and baby panda’s we hiked over to see the Red Panda’s. They almost look like a breed of fox and raccoon. Their bright fire tails and reddish, orange coats of fur make them stand out from the other panda bears. The zookeeper kept a lot of them indoors due to being pregnant, so we only glimpsed at a few of them between the shoots of bamboo and brush.
We ventured over to Rose Garden where obviously no roses blossomed due to it being December. We did, however, see for the first time, black swans and a really huge, white duck who looked like he might attack us for food at any second. A wild peacock also followed us around for a while when the rest of the group ate lunch on benches. He roamed around begging for food from random strangers. I found out they eat potato chips among other delicacies haha.
One word of advice, when you leave, do not grab a taxi right out front by any means. The driver’s try to negotiate a price without putting the meter on and normally rip off tourists. Walk a few miles down the road and grab one from there to avoid this, or negotiate a price with one of the group vans if you have a big group like ours. We got a group van rate back to Shengxian Lake for 50 RMB for six people.