I’m sure that if you wanted to travel to China or if you want to a part of the reason is because you want to see real pandas! Everyone knows that China’s most popular animal is the giant panda bear. Dragons are their favorite animal from the mythology but pandas are the Chinese national’s emblem. When Chinese government wants to create deeper relations with a country they offer a panda to their friend. This tradition has begun in 608 during the Tang Dynasty. From now on, China prefers to lend their pandas to protect them instead of giving them. That’s how the United States of America received Ling a Giant Panda in 1972 and Japan has been entrusted some in 2008.

And I must say that over these last past years, pandas became kind of trendy. I mean, the World Wild Fund for Nature’s (WWF) logo is a Panda, one of the official mascot of the Olympic Games of 2008 representing Africa was a honoring Pandas, even Hollywood made a 3D motion movie called “Kung Fu Panda”, and thanks to the internet millions of people felt in love with those black and white bears watching funny videos or pictures. I must confess, I am one of them, I felt in love with pandas. Believe me or not but you can’t escape them, they are everywhere; in the zoos, on t-shirts, caps, shoes, clothes, notebooks, pens, fans, candies… And even in the Beijing’s 798 art district you can find a gallery dedicated to the giant bear. Making your own collection of panda-items wouldn’t be difficult after your China tours.

More seriously, if you want to see real pandas, it would be better to take a flight with China Southern Airlines and go on Panda research bases than going to parks and zoos in my opinion. Except from zoos or animal parks, there are two great places to see pandas in China: Sichuan province and Guangxi province.

- Sichuan province

Bifengxia Panda Base (Ya’an City)
After the earthquake in 2008, the pandas of Wolong National Nature Reserve were transferred to Bifengxia Panda Base, which was established at the end of 2003. It became the largest giant pandas base in China, there are 155 giant pandas in there.

the Giant Panda breeding and research base (north of Chengdu)
There are all the range of equipment of giant panda breeding, the panda house, feed room, health stations, giant panda museum and laboratory building in the base. Thousands of bundles of bamboo and bushes are planted there in order to approximate their natural environment.

- Guangxi province

Seven Star Park
This park is a zoo, but if you want to see panda super stars there, here you are. Indeed, Meimei the panda who lived the longest time used to live here until her death at 36. And you could see the 2 olympic pandas there too: Fenyi and Meixin.

Giant Pandas are an endangered species , associations like WWF are taking care of it, but if no one does anything they could disappear in the few decades. I know that the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base and the Giant Panda breeding and research base offers volunteer programs so, you can be closer to the black and white bears and do something for the environment stability. Bu the way if you are interested or concerned about this problem, help us to save panda by checking our Facebook page!

Jack Li
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