'Panda' hotel set to open in China

4th Mar 2013

The chances of having a close encounter with a panda are normally few and far between but a hotel in China seemingly provides the next best experience.

The Haoduo Panda Hotel, in Sichuan province in southern China, is a panda enthusiast's dream come true, for its rooms are festooned with panda-themed decorations and its staff even dress up in panda costumes in order to give guests as near a real-life experience of being surrounded by the much-loved animals as possible.

The hotel, which opens in May at the foot of Emei Mountain near the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding facility, has walls painted with images of pandas, with one painting featuring two pandas reenacting the famous scene from the film Titanic in which Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio's characters stand at the front of the ill-fated ship.

Giant panda sanctuaries in Sichuan province are the heartbeat of the local tourism industry, with centres in Wolong, Mt Siguniang and the Jiajin Mountains accounting for 30% of the world's giant panda population.

The sanctuaries are also home to the endangered red panda, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard.

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