While there is plenty to keep visitors to Chéngdū interested, most come for one reason only; to catch a glimpse of giant pandas.

The city is famous for its Giant Panda Breeding Research Base just north of the city which cares for more than 100 giant pandas, with the aim of ultimately reintroducing them back to the wild. The city itself is filled with reminders of the animals, from souvenirs to panda statues that tourists flock to before their visit.

Chéngdū will be just one stop on China's panda route, when improved infrastructure will make it easier than ever for tourists to get a glimpe of the country's most iconic animal.

All photos by  Wang He/Getty Images

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CHENGDE, HEBEI PROVINCE, CHINA - 2015/04/23: Seven-story octagonal Liuli-Wanshou pagoda (Glazed Tile Pagoda of Longevity).  The Xumi Fushou Temple (Temple of  Sumeru Happiness and Longevity) is one of the Eight Outer Temples in Chengde,  which are listed as the World cultural sites along with Chengde Mountain Resort.  The temple was first designed in 1780 to celebrate the 70th Birthday of Emperor Qianlong and built for Penchen Lama the VI. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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