To boost its tourism industry, the Sichuan Provincial Tourism Bureau has issued 20 million Panda Cards (熊猫卡) to allow tourists free or discounted entrance to 11 state-owned sites in the province, including Xiling Snow Mountain, the Giant Panda Research Base, Jinsha Museum, and Wuhou Temple.
The cards are categorized as "golden" (金) and "silver" (银). Golden cards are issued to non-Sichuanese (including foreign nationals) and allow card holders to enter the sites completely free of charge. Silver top-up cards are for Sichuanese and allow discounted entrance rates at the sites. Both cards are valid through December 31, 2009.
Each time the card is swiped, points will accumulate on the card, which will entitle the cardholder to further discounts at various member companies of the Chengdu Best Tourism groups.
Golden Panda Cards can be obtained at several locations within Chengdu as well as various travel-industry points in cities across China.
Those wishing to purchase a card must present a valid ID (passport for foreign nationals) and pay the RMB1 fee.
Once the card has been purchased, it must be activated prior to use. Chinese nationals can activate the Panda Card online. Foreigners must activate it by telephone or e-mail.
To activate the card by telephone, call the number on the back of the card (400-702-5888). You'll need to tell the call-center staff the card number listed on the front of the card, your first and last name as it appears on your passport, your passport number, your gender, and nationality. Our representative told us that the hotline has English-speaking service.
To activate it by e-mail, send an e-mail to 2008pandahome@ 163.com with the Panda Card number, your name, gender, passport number, nationality, phone number, and e-mail address. You should receive a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours.
In order to enter the sites with the card, a valid ID must be shown.
Sites Golden Panda Card holders can enter for free through December 31, 2009
Tiantai Shan 天台山
Qingcheng Shan 青城山
Liu's Manor 刘氏庄园
Xiling Snow Mountain 西岭雪山前山
Xiling Snow Mountain Ski Area 西岭雪山滑雪场
Giant Panda Research Base 熊猫基地
Wuhou Temple 武侯祠
Jinsha Museum 金沙遗址博物馆
Dufu's Cottage 杜甫草堂
Yong's Mausoleum 永陵博物馆
Panda Card purchasing points
(9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5:30 p.m.)
EDIT (8/17/09): Golden Panda Cards are now being issued at Dave's Oasis.
Panda Card Distribution Center at the Chengdu Industrial Civilization Museum
Chengdu High-Speed Bldg. Lobby, 1st Fl.
30 Ximianqiao Jie
Wenliu Marketing Company (Silver Cards only)
6 Jing Xiangzi, Weidian Snack City, Kuan Zhai Xiangzi Historic Preservation Area
Tiandi Jixiang Theater (Gold Cards only)
3 Renmin Bei Lu Sect. 2 (near the North Train Station)
Shuangliu Airport Travel Help Center (Gold Cards only)
(behind the first-floor baggage-claim port)
Select Hongqi Supermarkets (Gold Cards only)
See here for complete list of Hongqi locations (linked page is in Chinese)