Pet a Panda in Chengdu, China

Petting a panda was the highlight of my business trip to China. But Chengdu has so much more to offer than just pandas though.


  • Book your tour as soon as possible if you would like to get your picture taken with a baby panda. There’s a limit to how many people can do this per day. I took this tour with the add on to hold the baby panda. The photo is more expensive, but worth it.
  • You only have 30 seconds with the panda. A staff member will take photos of you. I recommend that you ask one of the others in the group to take a video of you with a different device (camera, phone, tablet, etc).  Try to look in both directions!
  • I pet the top of the panda’s head. You can put your arm around its shoulders, which makes for a cuter photo.
  • Chengdu is a foodie’s dream…if you love spicy food. It is the home of the Sichuan pepper.  My stomach can’t handle spicy food. I was able to find food to eat though–there are a lot of western options.
  • Make sure to have all of your destinations written out in Chinese to show taxi drivers, including your hotel’s address.

Must Do’s:

  • Get your photo taken with a panda!
  • Spend the evening at the Sichuan Opera. The Shufeng Yayun Teahouse is the best place in Chengdu. I recommend getting the VIP tickets so you can sit up close and try on the costumes after the show.
  • Go to the Wuhou Temple and stroll along Jinli Street.

If I had more time:

  • There are a lot of day trips from Chengdu. I narrowed my choice down between Mount Qingcheng and Leshan Giant Buddha. I chose Mount Qingcheng. It’s incredibly beautiful with gorgeous temples and a scenic view at the top. But I wish I had had time to go to the Leshan Giant Buddha.

Recommended reading: 

  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms

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