I am going to Chengdu from Beijing to see the Pandas and then on to Yangshou . How long do I need in Chengdu?
I suppose that you will not all the way there just to see pandas, so two days would be best.
1 night is reasonable for only the city plus pandas.
I am not sure about your whole itinerary, if it is your first time to China with very limited time, you should consider whether Chengdu for panda is worth the airfare and the time in flight. You can put up with panda house in Beijing zoo.
However, panda in Chengdu is in a form of close to wild, with which panda house is not even close to match. If you are really facinating with Panda, and have the time and money, then Chendu would be better choice. To make the airfare and travel worth, you might want to visit a little bit more in Chengdu surrounding area.
If its your first time to China, you may not want to skip Xi'an the terro-cotta warrior...but never mind...
The most interesting thing of Chengdu is its casual atmosphere. You can see people playing Majiang, drinking teas every where, and find snacks, foods even in the midnight. Besides, the natural scenery is wonderful nearby chengdu city, like Emei moutain, Dujiang Dam.
If you just wan to see the pandas, you can just go to beijing zoo (there are also some pandas there). Then go to yangshuo directly. That will save your money and time.
Sunnymokey9, can you give us some directions on how to get to Dujiang Dam by local bus? We will be there in May.
Also, do I have to book a taxi ahead of time to go to Leshan and Emei Mountain with the plan of going to stay overnight in Emei? Appreicate your advice.
Chengdu is just like all the other big cities in China now unfortunately, if you like shopping then stay longer otherwise get out! Along the river is quite nice and you have to go to a local hotpot place but thats about all!
We helped out at a panda sanctuary last year and it was fantastic! You can see them in the place just outside Chengdu but I'd recommend travelling to Ya'an and doing a volunteer place if you have time. I can't remember who we went through but google it...it cost about £150 and you cleaned out their poop and fed them....a great experience!
Gillian A, I'm thinking of to join this optional tour (Day#8) gate1travel.com/china-japan-travel/china-tou…
Does it look like the one that you joined in Panda Center?
Did you get a chance to hold a panda and take a picture with it?
Nils H - you have to travel to Ya'an if you want to volunteer to work at a Panda centre :-)
If you want to see & hold a Panda then the Panda Breding Research Center in Chengdu is excellent. And because they breed the Pandas there are always little one. You can hold a baby Panda there & get a picture taken. http://www.panda.org.cn/english/
If you only come to meet panda, just one day is enough. But Chengdu is a so attractive place. I suggest you to stay in Chengdu for one day, you can visit Qingyang palace, Du Fu Cottage, Wenshu Buddhist Templem. The second day, you may want to transferred to Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center, there,you can have so much fun, in that time, I have been a <a href="http://windhorsetour.com/sichuan/panda.html?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign= target="_blank"> Panda Volunteer</a>, it's so interesting to play with the panda, you may want a try.If you have enough time, you can also go on a <a href="http://windhorsetour.com/sichuan/Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong-tours.html?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=Ella target="_blank">Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong Travel</a>, the scenery there is amazing.