Chengdu is the place to go if you love adorable pandas. The city is home to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, one of the last wild refuges for the cuddly bear, where conservation and research efforts are made to keep the panda population growing.
March to May is mating season, so time your visit for fall or winter, when you may see newborns in the nursery.
Try to visit in the morning, when the pandas are most active. Feeding takes place around opening time at 8 a.m., although you’ll see them eating in the late afternoon, too. They spend most of their afternoons sleeping, particularly during the height of midsummer, when they sometimes disappear into their air-conditioned living quarters.
There are also a number of temples, ancient sites and museums for history buffs, such as the Wenshu, Qingyang and Wuhou temples; the Tomb of Wang Jian, a ninth-century general; and the Jinsha Site Museum, home to a variety of objects unearthed from ruins of a 3,000-year-old kingdom in the province.
Foodies will enjoy wandering through the street food carts along Jinli Snack Street, a famous spot for sampling Chengdu's delicacies. Be sure to stop in the various hotpot establishments in the area as well as the numerous ancient teahouses that can be found on almost every corner.
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