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Home >> China City Guide >> Sichuan Province >> Chengdu >> Mt. Qingcheng

Wolong Panda Reserve

Wolong Panda Reserve, Chengdu tour China travel tripWolong is a part of the Sichuan Province of China. From Chengdu, it is about four hours' drive. Further drive from Wolong through the Balang Shan (Balang Mountain) will take you to Jiusaigou. Wolong is a highland with almost one thousand meters above sea level. The altitude brings it high contrast of weather among the four seasons of a year.

The Giant Panda Reserve is not all of Wolong. There are many other sites along the way from the fields to the mountaintops worth visit.

Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Centre

Wolong Panda base, Chengdu travel China tour tripThe Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Centre was one of the earliest research bases established in the early 1980s by the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Until 1989, the Ministry of Forestry of PRC and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) formulated the long-term Giant Panda Management Plan.

Today, the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Centre has been turned into the Giant Panda Breeding Centre focusing on research works on breeding and bamboo ecology. Much other research works are being carried out at other Reserves such as the one in Qinling Mountains of Shaanxi Province.

The Centre basically takes care of giant pandas under three situations:

Wolong Panda Reserve, Chengdu trip China tour travel* when the giant pandas are brought up from captive breeding,
* when the giant pandas are somehow dispersed from the group, or are rescued from injury, and have lost the ability to survive if released back to the wild,
* when the giant panda are ready to be released back t to the wild.

The Centre has two types of 'accommodations' for giant pandas - the Captive Cages and the Semi-nature Enclosures.

Most of the giant pandas in the Centre stay individually in the captive cages, which are in fact large enclosures, each consists of an in-door room and an out-door courtyard.

The semi-nature enclosures are very large wild areas but protected by border fences. Those giant pandas that will soon be released back to the wild will be put in the semi-nature enclosures for a long enough period of time for them to adapt to the natural environment. Although food has to be provided, the giant pandas will sleep there, eat there and recover their natural survival skills there until they can be released back to the wild.

Lesser Panda Semi-nature Center

Lesser Panda, also called Red Panda or Small Panda (in Chinese languages), is another type of endangered bear. They look very much different from giant panda - they are much smaller, have brown and black fur, have a long tails, are more active, and are skilled clambers. But they are no less cute and lovely than the giant panda.

The Lesser Panda Semi-Nature Centre locates right next to the Giant Panda Breeding Centre. The purpose and setup of the facility is the same as that of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre. Except that it does not need as much of space as the Giant Panda Breeding Centre to hold the smaller size Lesser Pandas.


Wolong Panda Reserve base, Chengdu tours China travel tripTo go to Wuyipeng, a hiking of five hundred meters up hill is needed. Except when the trail is covered with melting ice during late winter, the walk is easy.

Wuyipeng was once a research facility of the Giant Panda Reserve Centre. It was intentionally located closer to the habitat of the Giant Panda for the researchers' more convenient access to the habitat. Owing to the relocating of many of the research works to other Giant Panda Reserves, Wuyipeng is no long fully functioning. However, weather statistics are still being recorded daily to provided limited information for the existing Giant Panda Breeding Centre.

Occasionally, local or overseas research students on related subjects will come to conduct academic researches and borrow the accommodation facilities.

Balang Shan (Balang Mountain)

Balang Shan runs three thousand meters further high towards the sky. The mountaintop is about four thousand meters above sea level. Going up the mountain, you will see different types of plants grow to adapt to the change in temperature, humidity, amount of sunlight and air pressure due to the change in altitude. The phenomenon is more obvious when the plants bloom during spring and summer.

For birdwatchers, Balang Shan caters different types of birds along the changing altitude. Far before reaching the mountaintop, you will be able to see birds of prey flying below your feet. I saw the backs of two flying Golden Eagles on my way up!

Other Sites

Other sites spread alongside the Min River within Wolong also have spectacular views and are good for taking photos and birdwatching. For instance, at Yingchanggou you can find stones with high mineral contents. An exhibition centre exhibits many information and specimen of the area. If you have got the time, energy and patient, you may even do a serious hiking to track for wild giant pandas' foot prints.

Chengdu Travel Attractions

Chengdu Panda Base
Bifengxia Panda Base
Jiu zhai Gou
Mt. Qingchengshan
Huanglong Scenic Area
Mt. Emeishan
Sanxingdui Relics Museum
Wolong Panda Reserve
Zigong Dinosaur Museum
Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Leshan Giant Buddha
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