Bifengxia Panda Base (Ya'an, China)

Bifengxia Panda Base (碧峰峽), a breeding and research center outside of Ya’an (雅安), in the Sichuan province of China, is home to about 80 captive pandas, more than anywhere in the world. A few of its pandas were born abroad, including Austria and the United States, before being relocated to Ya’an. They were relocated in 2008 after the Sichuan earthquake that killed nearly 90,000 people badly damaged what was then China’s primary Giant Panda breeding and research center, the Wolong National Nature Reserve.

From Chengdu, it takes about three hours to reach Bifengxia, via four or five different buses, depending on whether or not you want to take the bus within the base, or walk the last few kilometers. Bifengxia is more of an effort to reach, and more spread out, than the Chengdu Panda Base, but I was able to see Giant Pandas without the giant crowds.

Ya’an is located immediately below the Tibetan Plateau.

Giant panda, feeding at Bifengxia Panda Base; Ya’an, Sichuan province, China.

Giant panda, feeding at Bifengxia Panda Base; Ya’an, Sichuan province, China.

Giant panda sculpture at Bifengxia Panda Base; Ya’an, Sichuan province, China.

Giant panda eyes a treat at Bifengxia Panda Base; Ya’an, Sichuan province, China.

Giant Panda escapes the heat at Bifengxia Panda Base; Ya’an, Sichuan province, China.