It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… okay well, maybe you guys have your own lives and I’m the only person who has been eagerly anticipating this event for months and months. I understand, it’s cool. In any case…
I finally got to see the pandas! Up close and personal. And they were AWESOME.
Contrary to what you may beleive/hope, pandas don’t just run around China like big squirrels. They are a pretty elusive bunch, so the best bet for seeing them is to visit the Chengdu Panda Base in the Sichuan city of Chengdu, about 14 hours from Xi’an by train. Here over 80 pandas frolic in a spacious zoo sancutary. It’s the largest concentration of pandas anywhere in the world.
It’s not that I’ve never seen pandas before. The pandas at the National Zoo in DC are practically the city’s mascots. Unlike those spoiled divas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the pandas in Chengdu were actually out and about, frolicking and munching on their midday bamboo snacks. Also, unlike the DC zoo, here you can get up CLOSE to the bears- maybe 10 feet away with no glass or fence in between. Despite all the attention the bears are healthy, well cared for and appear pretty unfazed by their fame.
It was pretty neat, and it made me realize something very important. Being a travel blogger is great and all, I like seeing the world and trying new things, but ultimatly, it’s just not ENOUGH. I don’t feel completely fulfilled, and now I know why:
I want to be a panda.
Seriously. They may be highly endangered and evolutionary failure and all that jazz, but the pandas at the Chengdu Panda Base are living the sweet life. They act like rockstars, photographed and adored by thousands of fans everyday, yet their only responsibility in life is to consume as much bamboo as physically possible. Maybe some bananas too if they are feeling adventurous.
They just sit and eat, ALL day long. And when they get sick of eating, they move on to their second favorite activity: napping.
Eating and sleeping with a minor in being adorable. That’s pretty much it. Sigh.
Maybe in my next life, or maybe tomorrow, I’m not so picky. I just know that panda life is the one for me.
34 thoughts on “I Wanna be a Panda”
Just got here looking for ideas on how to dye my hair and beard, to look like a red panda…
Hello Steph! I am going to China in Feb with a friend and we’re goin to come to Chengdu to see the lazy and happy pandas! ^_^
I have a question regarding the Panda Base: I have found two different sites to see these animals, one close to the city of Chengdu, the other one quite far away from the city…. I’ve found some names such as WOLONG, BUFENGXIA…
Could you give me the name of the place you visited? It’s quite confusing!
Nice! did you get to hold a panda bear in your lap? I heard that you can actually do that in chengdu for a fee? I love panda bears! i’d adopt one if it was legal 🙂
It cost a bit more than I wanted to pay, but now I kind of regret not doing it!
Steph, I LOVE this haha!
Also, I HOPE YOU BOUGHT THAT PANDA HAT/GLOVE COMBO! I’ll be bitterly disappointed in you otherwise. And I’ll have to go to Chengdu to buy it for myself!
I didn’t! but I WAS a panda once for halloween so I’ve got the ears at home already. I think that’s okay.
So cute! I can definitely understand why you may return as a panda in your next life…
I wanna see Pandas, too! I can’t believe you were allowed to get that close to them!
I was watching a show on TV and they said that pandas don’t get enough sustenance from bamboos so they HAVE to eat them ALL DAY! Kinda funny, but definitely interesting!
Pandas are so cute! This was a great post. I must find a zoo with pandas to visit one day.
THIS POST MADE MY NIGHT…. You know I love panadas and hope to one day hug one. Oh man they are just too fucking cute.
PS the last photo of you is beautiful.
I knew you’d love this one!
extremely cute pictures. especially the 6th one down. he/she is clearly tuckered out from their extremely challenging day of eating and napping!
Ahah nice pics. I want to be a panda too! I think earth would be a way more peaceful place if we all woke up as pandas all of sudden 😉