Chengdu Panda Base
The Chengdu Panda Base is the perfect destination to see China's symbol: pandas! Not only are the pandas huge, they are also very active inside the center. To see the pandas in their most active state, we had to wake up extra early. How early? You want to get there as soon as it is open, which is 7:30am. This means you cannot take the Panda express bus (熊猫快线) but instead rely on other means of transportation, e.g. bus route 655. From city center to the Panda Base takes about a little bit over and hour, but it's all worth it, as it's a lot less crowded (but still crowded).
If you make it into the Panda Base right when it opens, you will be rewarded with an amazing experience. As expected, the research center is big with a lot of trees and walkways. It is a perfect place for a stroll. You would feel like you are walking in a bamboo forest. Of course, you don't wake up this early for a morning stroll. Don't worry. In this relatively natural habitat, you can see panda playing with each other while enjoying their food. You can also see pandas up on the trees, which I have never seen before. If you had come an hour later, they would all be sleeping again. The centre also had a lot of information about how to breed the species. The walk inside the park was also very nice.