Meeting Panda Bear for the First Time – Chengdu, Sichuan, China



“Have I ever seen the panda bear?”


I think the answer would be no. No, I’ve never seen a panda bear in person before, I believe. But feel like I know them really well, like my pet dog. Must be because of their worldwide fame. Panda bears are one of the cutest animals, no doubt. Babies are cute, no matter what: kittens, puppies, piglets, chicks… but fully-grown pandas are still pretty adorable as much as the baby ones.

Panda bear, literally meaning the big bear cat 大熊猫 in Chinese, is such an interesting creature. The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. But sadly, you can guess why when you are watching their behavior. They don’t care about reproduce; people have to force them to mate, and they don’t have much energy to do anything. All day long, pretty much all they do is eating bamboo. Pandas need to eat 16 hours a day since bamboo has such a low calories. So they sleep in-between meal times, and they eat some more.

After spending most of the time in small villages in China, Chengdu is too big city for me to handle. Though, I got through it because of one reason: to see panda bears.


Finally, I met the panda bears in person. At Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. How did I feel when I first saw them? It was almost surreal. After watching them moving, I’ve realized that the animated movie Kungpu Panda described panda bear really well. And you know what? Even the panda bears’ back is cute. They move their paw like a cat, they sleep a lot and eat a lot. They were the most active around dinner time: after 6pm. The park officially closes at 6pm but I just couldn’t leave. The panda bears were getting more and more active around the time. I saw some great panda bear movements right before I left. Anyhow, everything about them is just too darn adorable. So forgive to took so many photos and attach so many photos in the post. But I’m sure you’ll like all of those!


If you go: Tourist bus 902 (2 CNY) runs to Panda Breeding Center. And most of the guesthouses/hostels run their own tour programs including transportation. It’s more expensive but you can get to the base earlier and easier. If you can’t find any transportation, taxi can be another option. (40 CNY)

Entrance Fee: 58 CNY



Panda with Bamboo


Cub Panda Eating Apple


Cub Panda Sleeping on the Tree


Giant Panda Sleeping with Dangling Feet


Happy Face Panda


Panda Sleeping on the Ground


Panda Poo: Just a Chunk of Bamboo


Drinking Water or Looking at her Reflection


Even Their Back is Cute


Panda Sitting on Bamboo


Cub Pandas are Energetic!

Giant Panda Eating

Look at Their Cute Face!


Cub Panda Sleeping


Panda Sleeping on the Tree


Mmm... Bamboo!


Eating Bamboo for 16 hours a day


Eating Bamboo using their thumb


Red Panda Sleeping


Red Panda just Woke Up!


Laid Back Panda eating Bamboo

Cup Panda Hanging out

Panda Hanging Out


Red Panda Eating Bamboo


Red Panda Likes Bamboo Too


Lady Panda: Our Favourite


Cub Panda


Sleeping Pandas are Everywhere


At Panda Kindergarten


Me, with a lady Panda


By Juno Kim on March 30, 2012 · Posted in Runaway Media, Runaway Photos, Runaway to

35 Comments | Post Comment

Giulia says:

I am in total awe! Panda bear is such a beautiful animal. Nature was so kind to him :)
I had no idea that “panda” means “big bear cat” but it totally makes sense! I hope I’ll meet the panda too one day…
And I am impressed with your photos!
A great reportage hun :)

Posted on March 30th, 2012

Juno says:

Thanks Giulia! It was a great time. I just couldn’t leave the place… They are so cute. All I wanted to was just hug them. Baby pandas are just adorable…… Though nature is not to kind to them (since they are endanger) hope they will survive!!

Posted on March 30th, 2012

Giulia says:

Yup, right, in that sense nature wasn’t kind with them at all… :(
Fingers crossed for pandas!

Posted on March 30th, 2012

Andrea says:

Awwwww – they are SO cute!! Their eyes always look so human to me

Posted on March 31st, 2012

caren says:

They are so cute I want to see a panda in person..I’ll visit these place if I have time and companion.

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Juno says:

Really! Sometimes they just stop moving and looking at the people around them, it felt like they are communicating with us!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Juno says:

Hope you do! They are really, the cutest.

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush says:

AWWWWWW!!! I don’t think I’ve Awwwed so much in one post! They’re adorable!!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Lauren says:

I can’t believe I was going to go to Chengdu next in China but got fed up and left before! I SO wish I’d gone to see them now. So cute!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Kieu says:

Awwwww.. Such a rare experience. I’m super jealous. I keep seeing Kungfu Panda in my head. Lol. They’re so playful looking. Super adorable post!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Juno says:

Glad to hear that! My eyes were *.* the whole time I was looking at the panda bears. I don’t blame you! :) They are just too cute animal.

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Tash says:

So, so so cute! What a great visit!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Adrienne says:

I have never seen a panda personally and this looks really cute…I only have a panda stuff toy at home…I might need to go to China to see them…LOL…

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Meaghan says:

cup panda? huh? cub? as in baby panda? or as it’s a panda who drinks from a cup?

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Alison says:

Aww they’re gorgeous! I recently saw a very sleepy panda at Edinburgh Zoo, these ones look a lot more active and playful. Guess this is because it was food time. Love your pics :-)

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Juno says:

Thanks Tash! Yeah, I have to find the other pandas around the world now!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Juno says:

I bought a stuffed toy too. :) Really, Pandas totally made all the trouble in China worth it!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Juno says:

Cub as a youth, I believe. This is not a baby panda season. Thought kindergarten ones were pretty adorable!

Posted on March 31st, 2012

Ross says:

I got to see pandas in London many years ago. It was just two pandas in a caged area. Looks like seeing them in China is a much better experience. Thanks for sharing the great photos.

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Michael says:

Sssoooo cutteee!! I’ve been there TWICE and both times loved it! I really wish it wasn’t so expensive to hold a panda. It was something like $100USD!

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Gray says:

Wow, great photos! They’re so cute, like living teddy bears.

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Aiden says:

Thanks for sharing. That is just too cute! Fantastic camera-work! Interesting Panda :)

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Noel says:

They are so cute! I can’t decide if Panda or Koala is cuter….

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Juno says:

Thanks Ross! It was great, and most of all they looked happy. Sometimes I don’t like Zoo because the animals don’t look happy. But I believe they are. It was a great experience.

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Juno says:

Ohhh… I’m so temping to go there again, but it’s too expensive. Yeah, holding a baby panda is 1000 CNY I believe. I’m sure they are adorable but too expensive! All I wanted to do was just hug them behind. So cute.

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Juno says:

Living teddy bears, totally. :)

Posted on April 1st, 2012

Updates and Links for March 2012 says:

[...] position in Xi’an, I thought it was going to be near downtown. It was 30 minutes away.Meeting Panda Bear for the First Time – Chengdu, Sichuan, China on Runaway Juno: I’ve been to the Panda Research Center twice and loved it both times. The [...]

Posted on April 2nd, 2012

Dani says:

Adorable! They are so cute… They look like the perfect cuddle bear :)

Posted on April 2nd, 2012

Waegook Tom says:

Ahhhhhhhhh so cute!!!!! I can barely handle all the adorableness! Gil Dong & I are considering going to China for about 9 days in late September / early October (around Chuseok) and Chengdu is number one on my list – solely for the pandas. The photos are fantastic. I want to hug the screen!

Posted on April 3rd, 2012

Adhriene says:

Hi Juno…I have never been to Chine and I have the opporunity, I will have to visit this Panda too and get a stuff toy as well as you did…Great photos!

Posted on April 3rd, 2012

Micamyx|Senyorita says:

Your photos are really cute! I want a panda! :D

I finally saw three of them in Chiang Mai last February. So adorable <3

Posted on April 10th, 2012

Ashley says:

Ah, I had no idea that they had red pandas there – RED PANDAS!! On the unbearable cuteness level, they’re just below sloths :-) Looks like an amazing visit!

Posted on April 17th, 2012

Mark says:

Charming images. I love the kindergarten shot.

Posted on April 23rd, 2012

Michael Hoyt says:

They should rename it Panda Zoo. When I went there I though they would be out in the wild and we would wonder around hoping to see one. Much to my surprise, the zoo is in the middle of Chendu! I thought this is a strange place for a nature reserve. I had a hard time leaving, because I was waiting for the Pandas to do something lol. I thought Pandas being lazy was a myth. Great pictures they brought back memories of my amazing trip to China.

Posted on October 11th, 2012

The Year 2012 in Photos - What a Wonderful World says:

[...] clothes, hats and shoes, I didn’t even realize that I haven’t seen them before. Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center is the best place in the world to observe panda bears. They are well-taken care of, and protected. [...]

Posted on December 26th, 2012