Who doesn’t love pandas? With their big, over-sized heads and gentle faces, they look like they are just waiting to be picked up and hugged (although they will bite if provoked- see this amusing story about a Chinese student who broke into a panda cage and tried to hug one, only to discover he’d bitten off more than he could chew.)
There are some pandas in zoos in America, but for the full panda experience, you really have to go to the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries.The panda sanctuaries protect the largest stretch of habitat remaining for the giant panda, and contain the largest panda captive breeding program. The area is home to 30% of the world’s giant pandas and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2006.
In addition to housing giant pandas, the sanctuaries also protect other endangered and elusive creatures, including the red panda, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard. While the Woolong Nature Reserve used to be the top choice for viewing pandas because of the gorgeous views and natural scenery, it was heavily damaged in the China Earthquake, and is currently closed.
Until Woolong opens back up, the best place to see pandas is the Chengdu Panda Base, which has a healthy population of captive breeding pandas.
To visit China, you will need a Chinese tourist visa, also called an L visa. You need to apply before you leave, and you will need to submit the following documents:
- An application for a Chinese tourist visa.
- Your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months and have at least one blank page.
- You’ll also need a copy of the information page from your passport.
- One passport.
If you plan to leave within the next 7 days, you should also submit a copy of your travel itinerary to get expedited service.
RushMyTravelVisa can help you speed through the China application process, providing friendly advice, personal attention, easy-to-follow instructions, and the fastest possible service.