Day 139: Country #15.2
Chengdu is known for it’s Pandas. From giant panda hedges in front of Tainfu Square to pandas hanging off the side of the IFS mall and other decorations, you can see signs indicating the city’s identity tied to the cute creature. On the outskirts of the city are a few Panda parks and research facilities where they breed, raise, protect and study pandas.
I took the local buses to the Giant Panda Research Base on the north east of the city. It’s fairly accessible, but will likely require one transfer. Here are directions: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/sichuan/chengdu/panda-breeding-and-research-center.htm
It’s a pretty large park with various stations, each containing something a little different. You can see adult pandas eating, red pandas, baby pandas and kung fu pandas.
After walking all the way to the Moonlight Nursery at the far end of the park where I got a good view of the city, I hiked back to the entrance where I got some watermelon then bought a direct one way tour bus ticket to Wu Hou temple, saving the inconvenience of taking three buses, while also saving money because the cost of Wu Hou to Panda Base and vice versa were quite different (due to supply/demand).
Wu Hou temple looked small from the map, but contained a large variety of unique displays and architectural designs which I found really eloquent.
Conveniently, Wu Hou transitions into the adjacent Jinli street, a famous traditional style street filled with street food, shops and tea houses. It’s a little smaller, but more compact compared to Kuan Zhai Xiangzi street.
If you have the choice between a more expensive option with direct service, or a cheaper option with two or more transfers, I advise taking the direct route because transfers can take a lot of time. Unless you have a lot or time or the transfers involve subways and buses which runs frequently (i.e. every 15 minutes), there is a good chance that missing one transfer will ruin the rest of the day.