Finally, it’s time to write this blogpost! I have been waiting to do this for so long Guys! It definitely was one of my favourite days in China, and after looking at the pictures, you will understand why :)
Before showing you the pictures, let me explain how our morning started and give you some advice what to do and what not to do.
We booked the trip to the Panda Research Center at our hostel and they organized a driver who took us and a couple who were also staying at the same hostel to the Center. We had to wake up pretty early in the morning, met at 8am in the lobby and arrived at the park at around 9am. I think we were the very first ones to enter the park. We wanted to see the panda babies, so that’s why we went there so early in the morning.
Do: You should go there as early as possible as well to see the panda babies and some grown pandas before the crowds. You can organize a driver from your hotel/hostel as well, but you should ask them some questions and you definitely shouldn’t do the following…
Don’t: Stick to your guide/driver! If we did that, we would have left the park at around 12 or 1pm. We talked to the driver and told him to leave us here. We would find a way to return. That was no problem in our case, but it was a little bit of a work because he didn’t understand english so we tried to tell him with our broken chinese that we wanted to stay. If possible, try to explain this to the receptionist who can usually speak english very well.
Do: If you don’t want to hire a guide or a driver or if you plan to stay longer in the park, make sure to get information about how to get back to your hostel/hotel or the city centre. There are a lot of taxi drivers at the exit of the park, but they will try to rip you off. If your chinese only consists of Ni Hao and Jiao Zi, you should definitely try to take a bus or ask a local.
Don’t: Please, don’t be too loud and aggressive. Don’t litter and don’t offer food to the animals there. Just try not to disturb the animals in any way. It is a good news that the Pandas are no longer endangered, but they are still peaceful animals who deserve to be left alone.
Do: Take a lot of snacks with you. If you want to spend the whole day there, as we did, you should be prepared. We weren’t and we regretted it. We had to look for cafes and restaurants all the time, because we were starving twice. It is really hard to find a good place that is open, not too expensive and sells the kind of food you need.
I hope these Do’s and Don’ts will help you on your Panda Day. Now, enjoy the pictures!