The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base is worth the 45-minute drive (from the center of Chengdu) to walk the peaceful bamboo groves, snap pictures of the lolling pandas, and catch a glimpse of the tiny baby pandas that are born with startling regularity. Crews of scientists help pandas breed and care for the young in a safe, controlled environment. Guests can also briefly hold a baby or juvenile giant panda for a donation to the center of Y2,000. Visit early in the morning,
when the pandas are most active. To get here, book a driver through your hotel for Y300 to Y400 round-trip. A taxi will cost about Y80 each way depending how well you bargain.
26 Jiefang Rd., Chengdu, China