What to Read Next

WATCH: I Cuddled a Baby Panda, And You Can Too!

Jo Piazza
Managing Editor
May 16, 2014

We here at Yahoo Travel like to get up close and personal with the locals. I’m not too proud to admit that my life completely changed the day I handed over about $113 to a man wearing a doctor’s uniform at the Giant Panda Research & Breeding Center in Chengdu, China. 

In turn, he murmured a few words in Chinese and proceeded to hand me a baby panda. MY VERY OWN BABY PANDA. 

The whole encounter lasted about 60 seconds. The baby panda was entirely un-phased. I was over-the-moon. He noshed on some bamboo, I giggled like a new mom. He was soft and cuddly and everything you expect a baby panda to be. 

There has been some debate from animal rights activists over whether holding the pandas is healthy for them. The doctors at the research center strictly monitor how often each panda interacts with customers and the proceeds are funneled back into breeding research to protect the endangered species.

As far as things you can spend $100 on in your life—this ranks way higher than a mani-pedi. 

To see men cuddling with tigers, check out story on the big trend in the Tinder world here