24 Feb 2011
Panda Bear Tours: China Wolong Panda Tours
Chengdu, capital of southwestern Sichuan province, is endowed with plentiful natural resources and sites of historic interest. The city of Chengdu is home to China’s living treasure, the Giant Panda, as well as many other endangered species. With a history of over 2,400 years, Chengdu is home to many amazing historical sites and archaeological wonders. Chengdu’s local cuisine is world renowned for its delicious spiciness. The life pace in Chengdu is slow. Many Chengdu citizens idle the afternoons away drinking tea and playing cards in the open air.
China’s giant pandas are considered a living national treasure and are loved by not only Chinese people, but people around the world. The giant panda’s natural habitat is in China’s Sichuan, Shanxi, and Gansu Provinces, and due to habitat loss, the giant panda’s population has dwindled to less than 1,000, 80% of which are located in Sichuan Province. Chengdu’s Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has been working hard to ensure a future for these beloved creatures.
Located 10 kilometers (6 miles) from downtown Chengdu, the Breeding Center opened in 1993 for the sole purpose of breeding, researching and educating the public about China’s giant pandas. The Breeding Center covers an area of over 92 acres, and is home to several species of rare and endangered animals. The Breeding Center’s research center has three floors dedicated to research, and one floor used to educate the public on the research to promote China’s endangered species. Their highly trained staff of 46 has collaborated with researchers from 8 different countries and currently has 15 guest experts from other countries currently working with them in the Breeding Center. The panda nursery is home to the center’s infant panda population.
Another can’t miss sight in Chengdu is the Leshan Giant Buddha. Leshan is 162 kilometers (about 100 miles) from Chengdu. East of Leshan City, is home to the Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Spot, which was named after the giant statue of Buddha. It is actually a statue of Maitreya, a fat laughing Bodhisattva who symbolizes brightness and happiness. It was included on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1996. Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Spot is full of beautiful natural and historical sites, with the Giant Buddha being the most distinguished one. The best place to view the Leshan Giant Buddha is from Mt. Lingyun, so the giant carving is often called the Lingyun Giant Buddha.
In addition to the Leshan Giant Buddha, there are numerous famous sites located in the scenic spot in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located including: Mt. Lingyun, Wuyou Hill, Guicheng Hill, Moruo Hall, Qianfeng Cave, and the sleeping Giant Buddha. There are many Han Dynasty cliff tombs, where many mortuary artifacts have been found making this area particularily important for archaeologists.