I want to visit the panda sanctuary in Chengdu. I will be staying in Guangzhou and noticed that it's a bit of a trip. What is the best way to get there? Is there a tour with a direct bus? Or is there a closer place to have a similar experience?
Assume you mean the Panda Research Base there?
You can take Bus 902 to the end of the route from the city, or take a taxi from downtown for ¥30.
The best time to visit is in the morning, when pandas are most active. Feeding time is 9:30am. And if you're feeling touristy, you can take a photo holding a baby/young panda for ¥1000.
"a bit of a trip" is an understatement! It's over 1400 miles and 30 hours on a train to get to Chengdu from Guangzhou. The time by bus will be much longer [I don't know if there is a direct bus]. The train is reasonably comfortable if you go soft sleeper, but for that price you will be in the same price range as a flight.
If you are in Chengdu, and don't feel like travelling independently, any hotel will organize a "tour" for you (private mini bus) to the panda station.