A panda rests in a tree at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Huang Zhiling/chinadaily.com.cn)
Zhou Mengqi, a veteran photographer in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province, is a great fan of pandas, having taken pictures of the cuddly bears for about three decades.
But he admits he hates the panda bases during any major holiday, say, New Year's Day, Tomb Sweeping Day, Labor Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.
"You see people instead of pandas," he complains.
The photographer is pleased that the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding issued a circular on Sunday to try to mitigate the expected madding crowd.
Visitors will have to book tickets online during the National Day holiday from Oct 1 to 7. Tickets will not be sold at the ticket office or ticket-selling machines during the period.
As many as 60,000 tickets will be sold online for a single day over the period, 36,000 tickets for the morning and 24,000 for the afternoon.
The maximum number of visitors allowed at one time will be 22,000. If this number is reached, the base will stop admitting visitors and will operate on a one-out, one-in basis, the circular said.
The move is aimed at preventing the base from overcrowding, which has been commonplace during previous holidays.