When is the best time to visit Chengdu?
Whatever the season, Chengdu is good for a vacation. However, the periods of March to June and September to November are especially favorable for visiting the area. During these months, the temperatures are usually pleasant with less rainfall. We recommend you avoid traveling during the Chinese National holiday in the first week of October as almost all sightseeing spots are always filled with domestic tourists and the traffic is heavy.
I see you arrange either the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding or Dujiangyan Panda Base in your Chengdu day tours. Can you tell me the major difference between the two?
The Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is of easy access as it is located just 9 miles (15 km) away from the downtown area. Here visitors can see a relatively large number of pandas of all ages. In addition, there are also lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white storks as well as over 20 species of rare animals being fed and bred in this base.
Dujiangyan Panda Base is about 43 miles (70 km) northwest of the city, which is about 1.5 hours' drive each way. There are fewer giant pandas there, but that is currently the only place for visitors to hold a lovely panda and attend the panda keeper's program as volunteers. We can arrange either of them to cater for your interest and make your Chengdu one day trip an unforgettable experience.
What will I do in the Panda Keeper Program and what should I prepare or pay attention to in advance?
In this volunteer program, you will clean the panda house and their activity area, prepare bamboos for the pandas, feed the pandas, watch a BBC documentary about the pandas and make a panda cake under the guidance of the staff. As there are some physical work, only the people between 12 - 65 years old are allowed to participate in this program and you need to prepare the Health Examination Certificate in advance. Besides, considering the health of pandas, please do not wear perfume and nail polish.
What are the best hours to see the lovely giant pandas? Also, am I able to see panda cubs?
The pandas are most active at around 09:00 am. At this time, they usually eat bamboos, climb trees or happily play with each other. Therefore, it's better to arrive at the panda base before 09:30 am to enjoy your visit.
If you are visiting the panda base in August, September or October, you'll have the chance to see the panda cubs. It is because the pandas' natural breeding season is during March to May and their pregnancy is about five months.
Can I visit both Leshan Giant Buddha and Mt. Emei within one day?
Sorry, this is not going to work as a day is required to visit each of them. For your information, it usually takes about 2 hours to drive from Chengdu to Leshan Giant Buddha. The recommended time for a visit there is around 3 hours. Then you will arrive at Mt. Emei in the late afternoon after driving for one hour from Leshan. Thus, the visit to Mt. Emei has to be scheduled for a second day. A regular Mt. Emei trip with lunch will last for about 5.5 hours, and then it will be the late afternoon when visitors are transferred back to Chengdu. The drive takes 2.5 hours.
How is the food in Chengdu?
Chengdu is the birthplace of Sichuan cuisine, which is famous for its richness, variety and spicy flavor. Typical dishes include Ma Po Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, Fish Flavored Shredded Pork, Twice Cooked Spicy Pork Slices, etc. There are also many snack bars selling traditional local delicacies such as Long Wontons, Lai Tang Yuan, Braised Beef, etc. Besides, the hotpot is also a must try dish. You may learn more of Sichuan cuisine in our Chengdu Day trip to Panda & Sichuan Cuisine Museum. Tasting the authentic Sichuan food is a big part of Chengdu travel experience to most visitors. For those who are not used to Chinese food, you can easily find good Western restaurants in the city.