A New National Park Dedicated to Giant Pandas Is Opening in China

Jun 28, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Pandas are arguably some of the cutest creatures alive. And you might soon be able to visit China’s first national park dedicated to the endangered, black-and-white bears.


When it opens, Giant Panda National Park will connect 67 giant panda reserves spread across the southwestern province of Sichuan, which is home to over 80% of all wild pandas.

The Giant Panda National Park will span over 10,476 square miles — about three times the size of Yellowstone National Park — according to China Daily. On Thursday, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said the park would be open soon, before the end of the year. (Other sources have pointed to early 2020.)

TOPSHOT - One-year-old female giant panda cub Nuan Nuan reacts inside her enclosure during joint birthday celebrations for the panda and its ten-year-old mother Liang Liang at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur on August 23, 2016.Giant pandas Liang Liang, aged 10, and her Malaysian-born cub Nuan Nuan, 1, were born on August 23, 2006 and August 18, 2015 respectivetly. / AFP / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo by MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images

The park will form a corridor connecting dozens of existing panda reserves, helping wild panda groups to breed and shielding the region’s panda populations from further human interference. In addition to Sichuan, the Great Panda National Park will extend into northwestern Shaanxi and Gansu. There are currently 1,864 bears in six mountain ranges and 30 groups across western China, making them a vulnerable species, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The Giant Panda National Park is by no means a zoo, and tourism will be limited in certain areas to protect the pandas. But there will also be general control zones for tourism and other activities. Another development proposal includes a connecting railway through the park, but this, along with other initiatives, will only be approved if it benefits the conservation of pandas.

Of course, even when the park opens, pandas are known for being extremely elusive. So travelers may have a better shot observing these incredible bears at research bases and breeding facilities.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

There are four panda reserves in Chengdu, the seventh-largest city in China and capital of the Sichuan province, that visitors can access. Beyond these, there are smaller panda reserves across China.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, for example, is located just six miles from downtown Chengdu and is open to all visitors. Here, guests can see pandas up close, and there are even various tours that allow tourists to volunteer for the day by cleaning cages and feeding the pandas.

The Bifengxia Panda Center covers 988 acres of land, but it’s 93 miles from downtown Chengdu. Visitors here are welcome to explore the area and observe the wildlife. After the Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008, pandas from the Wolong National Nature Reserve (considered the foremost panda research and tourism center in the country) were saved and moved to the Bifengxia Center.

Spread across six acres of land and just 40 miles from downtown, the Dujiangyan Panda Base offers visitors a more interactive encounter. The base offers a one-day panda keeper program, during which people learn to care for the pandas, clean their cages and see the creatures.

The aforementioned Wolong Panda Research Center was reopened in 2016 after the Wenchuan Earthquake, and has taken important steps to reclaim its reputation. The center is located 75 miles from downtown and offers multiday panda keeper programs. Visitors can also explore the panda bear’s natural habitat.

Featured Photo by Theodor Lundqvist/Unsplash

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.