An exciting encounter… Pandas in China
Cox & Kings clients Phil and Christine Coley recently travelled to China, where they were delighted to encounter a number of pandas.
We travelled on China: The Grand Tour, which departed on the 6th May 2012. The tour is packed with the key sites to see in China: the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and more. It also covers other great sites we didn’t know about, such as the tomb of Hanyang Ling, which had only recently been opened to the public, as well as the Giant Buddha, and the Longsheng rice terraces. We hugely enjoyed seeing all these sites.
One of the sights we were looking forward to was the Giant Panda Research Base at Chengdu. Like most people, we have only seen a couple of pandas at a zoo. We had high expectations for this visit, but they were exceeded. It appears that giant pandas are sensitive to the temperature and to see them outside in the park it needs to be not too hot, nor too cold, but just right – and we arrived on that day.
We were excited when we saw our first adult panda in the distance quietly eating; but then we saw our second adult, our third and then our fourth. In the space of a few minutes, we had seen more pandas then we had ever seen before. Then it got more exciting. We were taken to see the adolescent pandas, where there was an adult and five youngsters all playing in the sunshine. As we looked around the enclosure, there were more resting in the trees and climbing the frames.
We moved on and reached the highlight – a mother panda looking after three energetic babies. Only one of these was hers, but she kept a watchful eye on the other two while she lounged in the small pool kicking her feet and trying to keep cool. The babies tried climbing trees, tumbled with each other, and generally ran around. It was great viewing.
Our tour manager, Judy, has been to this station many times, but this was the first time she had seen so many pandas outside and not in their air-conditioned rooms.
Overall, the China Grand Tour was great, but this rare opportunity to see pandas outside will always remain with us.
View Cox & Kings’ luxury holidays to China.