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Trip details

20 Days Experience the Wild Side of China

20 Days Experience the Wild Side of China

Date: Sept. 9 to Sept. 28, 2021, 2022

Price: From 5300USD/PAX

Trip Focus: Wildlife + Culture

Status: Open to Booking

Route: Beijing-Xi'an-Foping-Yangxian-Tangjiahe-Chengdu-Dujiangyan-Rilong-Wolong-Labahe-Yajiang-Shangri-La Town-Shangri-La City-Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve-Lijiang

Trip Code: W007

Overview



This is an ultimate wildlife trip focusing on wildlife living in three different kinds of habitats, namely, Qinling Mountains, which serve as the geographical demarcation line between southern and northern China, the panda habitats in Sichuan where the majority of wild pandas live in the depth of bamboo forests along with dozens of companion animals, and Hengduan Mountains, which have been listed by Conservation International (2020) as one of the 36 hot spots for biodiversity.
 
We start this trip from Beijing, the capital of China, where you can easily arrive and warm up with visits to some classical sites that are a must for travelers. After Beijing, we will pay a visit to Xi’an, the ancient capital of China in history, where we will visit the Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, and Xi’an City Wall. We will head to Qingling Mountains by bullet train to look for birds and mammals there such as Crested Ibis and Golden Snub-nosed Monkey. Then we will go to the panda habitats in Sichuan where we can search for wildlife including Red Panda, Sichuan Takin, Asiatic Black Bear, Golden Pheasant, Temminck's Tragopan, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, and other endemic wildlife who share the same habitats with giant pandas. After the panda habitats, we will drive on to the Shangri-La area in the Hengduan Mountains. The name Shangri-La refers to a big area covering part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province, and Yunnan Province. The name was given by James Hilton in his book Lost in Horizon to refer to the extremely beautiful area in Kham Tibetan area where wildlife lives side by side harmoniously with local Tibetan people. Besides stunning natural scenery and diverse indigenous Tibetan culture, we will have a good chance to see a variety of wildlife including White Eared Pheasant, Buff-throated Partridge, Black Snub-nosed Monkey, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Marmot, Tibetan Wolf, and Tibetan Partridge.
 
 
Highlights:


• Search for wildlife in three different types of habitats with a good chance to see some rare or precious animals in China such as Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, Sichuan Takin, Black Snub-nosed Monkey, and Blue Sheep.

• Watch pandas in two panda bases and experience the Panda Volunteer Program in Dujiangyan by cleaning the panda enclosure and feeding the panda.

• Visit five World Culture Heritage Sites located in the tourist cities of Beijing, Xi'an, and Lijiang.

• Visit some of the most important cultural sites such as the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and Terracotta Warriors in China.

• Experience a great diversity of ethnic cultures in China, such as the culture of Han Chinese, Hui people, Kham Tibetans in Sichuan and Yunnan, and Naxi ethnic minority in Lijiang.


Introduction to Trip Destinations:
 

Tangjiahe Nature Reserve
Tangjiahe Nature Reserve is a famous panda habitat located at the Minshan Mountains and it has more than pandas. In the depth of those rugged mountains, we can find world-class attractions, elusive endemic birds, and a great variety of mammals, insects, amphibians, and plants. Though it is not easy to spot a Giant Panda in the wild, the rewards from paying a visit to this panda habitat are extremely high. With the umbrella protection of Giant Panda, its companion animals like Asiatic Black Bear, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, Golden Pheasant, Chinese Goral, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, Reeve’s Muntjac, Tufted Deer, Hog Badger, Yellow-throated Martin, Tibetan Macaque, Eurasian Otter, Wild Boar, Red Panda, Temminck's Tragopan, and Leopard Cat also get lots of benefits. Spotting those lovely creatures in the wild can bring you lots of fun on your natural journey. A guided walk through this reserve will enable you to gain an understanding and appreciation of the panda habitat. Also, you might encounter some animals and plant species you have dreamed of for a long time. 
 

Labahe Nature Reserve
Labahe Nature Reserve is one of the best places in the world to see wild red pandas. In Labahe Nature Reserve, you can search for mammals like Sambar Deer, Tibetan Macaque, Chinese Goral, Leopard Cat, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, and Hog Badger. Labahe Nature Reserve is located at the Hengduan Mountains with an altitude ranging from 1,050m to 5,100m above the sea level. It is covered with mixed forests and dense bamboos with the cloud drifted in and out throughout the day. The vegetation and the altitude of the reserve make it a perfect habitat for the animals.

 
 

Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve
Black Snub-nosed Monkey lives in high-elevation evergreen conifer forests and mixed conifer and oak forests from 3,400m to 4,100m above sea level. It is endemic to China. There are only about 3,000 left according to the data of 2013, and most of the black snub-nosed monkeys live in Yunnan. When you pay a visit to the Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve, you will fall in love with this large monkey with a very long tail. You will be attracted by its bare facial skin which is pink with a black patch on the bluish nose. What is more, its lip is deep reddish-pink. What a beautiful lip color.

 
 

Dujiangyan Panda Base
The delightful city of Dujiangyan is the perfect merging of natural panoramic landscapes and comfortable urban settings. Our visit to Dujiangyan Panda Base will feature the exciting hands-on opportunity to assist the panda caretakers in their daily routine of cleaning panda enclosures and hand-feeding pandas. That means we will do the Panda Volunteer Program in Dujiangyan Panda Base and enjoy a face to face time with the panda.

 

 

Wolong Panda Base
Wolong Panda Base is a new panda base built with the charity donation from Hong Kong Government after the 2008 earthquake during which the old Wolong Panda Base was damaged. It takes about a 2.5-hour drive from Chengdu to the base. This base is located inside the panda habitat and has the best natural temperature for the pandas. It is an excellent place for people who want to see active panda cubs with fewer crowds. The Wolong Giant Panda Habitat Reserve around this area is one of the most important giant panda habitats in China.

 

Mount Siguniang National Park
Mount Siguniang is literally known as "Four Girls Mountain" or "Four Sisters Mountain" with its four peaks of Da Feng (5,025m), Er Feng (5,276m), San Feng (5,355m), and Yaomei Feng (6,250m). Mount Siguniang National Park was inscribed as a part of Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries on the heritage list by UNESCO in 2006. This national park covers an area of 2,000 square kilometers and is famous for the encompasses four peaks and the surrounding three valleys, namely Changping Valley, Haizi Valley, and Shuangqiao Valley. In our trip, we will pay a visit to Shuangqiao Valley.

 
 

Daocheng Yading National Park
Daocheng Yading National Park was first introduced to the western world by the famous American adventurer Joseph F. Rock in 1928. The renowned “last pure land” centers around three sacred snowcapped mountains named Chenresig (compassion), Chana Dorje (power), and Jampelyang (wisdom). This region is comprised of some extraordinary forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers, and glacier-fed lakes. Additionally, the unique culture of the local Tibetan communities is reflected in the numerous colorful prayer flags, stupas, and marnyi stones that are ubiquitous in the area.

 
 

World Culture Heritage Sites and Top Tourist Cities
This trip will cover five World Cultural Heritage Sites located in Beijing, Xi’an, and Lijiang. The World Cultural Heritage Sites we will visit are the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors, and Lijiang Ancient Town.

 
 
 



How Can We Make This Trip Special?


• A team of passionate guides specializing in photography and wildlife with rich experiences of guiding and solid knowledge about wildlife and local places.

• Can be customized to better meet your travel style.

• 20-plus years of working in the travel industry and serving travelers from all over the world enable us to know how to make great trip for travelers of different travel styles.




 

What makes AbsolutePanda excellent? 


• We are one of the premier travel companies focusing on wildlife in China.
Since 2003, our professional tour leaders and wildlife experts have helped thousands of travelers gain an in-depth understanding of Giant Panda and their companion animals, enjoy stunning sceneries all over China, and explore the authentic local cultures.

• Exclusive quality & value guarantee.
We define our quality by well-designed itineraries, stunning destinations, creative interactions, small groups, professional guides, and reasonable prices.

• Explore China with comfort and focuses.
Beyond selected accommodations, meals, and vehicles, we would like to show you the real China by an authentic experience with incredible wildlife and lovely locals.

• We care and share.
We believe the best way to help wildlife is through love and appreciation. By bringing nature lovers to enjoy the beauty of nature in China, we hope that local people can realize the beauty of wildlife and learn how to love and appreciate those beautiful creatures living near their villages.


 

Dates and Prices



1.Dates

Group A: Sept. 9 to Sept. 28, 2021
Group B: Sept. 9 to Sept. 28, 2022

Email us to tailor-make a tour that can meet your taste, budget, and schedule best.


2. Prices 

The AbsolutePanda team works hard to provide the highest-possible quality tour experiences at a fair price. However, after working in the travel industry for more than 20 years, our team knows that no two travelers are alike in terms of their travel styles, personal interests, choice of guides, and preferences in restaurants and hotels. For AbsolutePanda, our client’s satisfaction is a top priority. To meet the needs of different clients and ensure they enjoy a trip suited to their preferences, you are welcome to email us with specific requests ranging from trip themes, guides, the grade and brand of vehicles, accommodations, restaurants, etc. We will try our best. 

To ensure our guest the best trip, we set our minimum departure number at four and the maximum departure number at ten. That means the group size is 4 to 10 participants. 

The land cost for a group of 4 to 10 people:  
5300USD/PAX

Single supplement:
650USD/PAX

The land cost includes:
1. Well-chosen vehicles based on the size of the group for the trip with fuel, tolls, airport pick up and drop off included in the price;
2. An English-speaking wildlife guide for the whole trip;
3. A local ranger in Tangjiehe Nature Reserve;
4. Meals listed above as BLD;
5. Bottled water and snacks;
6. Entrance charges listed in the itinerary;
7. China Domestic Travel Insurance;
8. Hotels arranged during this trip;
9. Train tickets listed in the itinerary;
10. Panda Volunteer Program in Dujiangyan;
11. Hotpot dinner in Chengdu.

The land cost excludes:
1. Alcoholic drinks during the meal;
2. Extra charges due to change of itinerary from client-side or factors beyond the control of AbsolutePanda such as natural disaster and governmental policy change;
3. Discretionary tips to the guide and driver;
4. All personal expenses, such as laundry service or for personal shopping;
5. Train ticket or airfare to Beijing and out of Lijiang;
6. Any items not listed in the itinerary as included;
7. Entrance fee, car rental, or meals during your free time trip;
8. Single supplement.

Notes:
This trip price is based on two clients sharing one twin-bed room in 3-star standard hotels in big cities and local best guesthouses in a remote area. If you prefer to use a private room or we cannot find a roommate for you, then a single supplement will be added to your trip price.


3. Experienced Wildlife Guides


• Bella: Born in Dali of Yunnan Province, from Bai ethnic family, Bella was brought up in a small county famous for ethnic Bai culture, abundant natural resources, and rich tourism resources. After graduation from high school, she chose to study tourism at university so that her passion for nature and travel could continue. She started her career in tourism with AbsolutePanda after graduation from her university. After years of hard-working, now she has become an expert in multiple fields, including birding, photography, food, and ethnic culture. Bella is a big fan and great spotter of wildlife, a passionate bird guide, and an in-depth cultural interpreter. She loves sharing news and her pictures or videos of wildlife on social media. Though Bella is still very young, her passion, knowledge in nature and culture, fluent English, and guiding expertise will make your trip truly enjoyable.

• Philip: A local guide born in the Sichuan Tibetan area with fluent English and basic Japanese, Philip is an exceptional photographer, especially bird photography, and had guided many Snow Leopard safari trips since 2017. Besides being a wildlife guide, Philip also has great knowledge of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, birds, and culinary culture.

• Shay: Shay was born and brought up in the mountainous areas of Chongqing Municipality. Shay got his degree in ecotourism at the prestigious Sichuan University. Shay started serious birding from the beautiful campus of Sichuan University. With the help of academic background in the university, Shay soon became a successful English-speaking bird guide. He is among the first group of professional English-speaking bird guides with an academic background of ornithology. At AbsolutePanda, Shay is an expert guide of birds and mammals. By now, he has successfully guided many avid birders from different countries including Norway, Britain, the US, Sweden, Israel, and Thailand. With Shay as your guide, you will find your trip become incredibly smooth, informative, and enjoyable. 

• Cory: Cory is a plant expert and photo guide of AbsolutePanda. As a native of Chengdu, the place where he was born has beautiful mountains and abundant plant resources. Since his childhood, he has been deeply attracted by the beauty of nature and spent a lot of time exploring nature in the mountains surrounding his hometown. After many years of learning purely out of interests, Cory has accumulated rich knowledge about plants, mammals, and mountains. As a successful plant photographer, Cory has photographed more than two thousand species of wildflowers. His knowledge and passion for plants and photography will make your trip unique and enjoyable. With him as your plant and photography guide, you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the nature presented like a roll of traditional Chinese painting unveiled by Cory with his findings and stories behind those beautiful flowers.

Notes: 
To our AbsolutePanda team, our clients' overall satisfaction with their trip is the top priority. We can create a different option to make it easier for you to choose a tour that fits your style and budget. If you prefer to travel in a different style than the option we've provided here, please feel free to contact us. 

For travelers who hope to tailor-make the programs with their specific travel preferences in mind (transportations, hotels, exclusive privileges, and famous local experts), tailor-making a tour is the best way to ensure your desires are met. Please contact us with your specific needs and we will prepare an itinerary based on your expectations. Once you are satisfied, we will work out the cost and send it to you. Please feel free to ask any questions to learn more.

Please note that our guides with specialized knowledge are not always available, especially during our busy season from April to October. If you have an on-planning trip, please contact us as early as possible so that we will block the date of our expert guide for you.

 

When you put your trust in our team, we are certain to help you enjoy an unforgettable travel experience in China!

 

Itinerary



Outline:
 
Day 1. Arrive in Beijing. (D)
The airport pick up. Overnight: Beijing
 
Day 2. Beijing. (BLD)
Pay a visit to the Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall. Overnight: Beijing
 
Day 3. Beijing-Xi’an (By Train). (BLD)
Drive to the train station after visiting a Hutong and Temple of Heaven. Overnight: Xi’an

Day 4. Xi’an. (BLD)
Pay a visit to Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an City Wall, and Muslim Quarter. Overnight: Xi’an
 
Day 5. Xi’an-Foping-Yangxian (By Train). (BLD)
Transfer to Yangxian via Foping. Searching for Crested Ibis. Overnight: Yangxian (480m)
 
Day 6. Yangxian-Tangjiahe (By Train). (BLD)
Transfer to Tangjiahe Nature Reserve via Guangyuan. Overnight: Tangjiahe (1,400m)
 
Day 7-8. Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. (BLD)
Wildlife safari inside Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Overnight: Tangjiahe (1,400m)
 
Day 9. Tangjiahe-Chengdu. 360km 6h (BLD)
Drive to Chengdu and visit Jinli Street. Overnight: Chengdu (500m)

Day 10. Chengdu-Dujiangyan-Rilong. 230km 5.5h (BLD)
Drive to Dujiangyan Panda Base for the Panda Volunteer Program, then head to Rilong. Overnight: Rilong (3,200m)
 
Day 11. Rilong-Wolong. 100km 3h (BLD)
Drive to Visiting Mount Siguniang National Park. Overnight: Wolong (2,000m)
 
Day 12. Wolong-Labahe. 330km 6h (BLD)
Drive to Labahe after visiting Wolong Panda Base. Overnight: Labahe (1,900m)
 
Day 13. Labahe Nature Reserve. (BLD)
Searching for Red Panda inside Labahe Nature Reserve. Overnight: Labahe (1,900m)
 
Day 14. Labahe-Yajiang. 230km 6h (BLD)
Searching for Red Panda in the morning, then drive to Yajiang. Overnight: Yajiang (2,700m)
 
Day 15. Yajiang
Shangri-La Town. 350km 7h (BLD)
Drive to Shangri-La Town via Sangdui Monastery. Overnight: Shangri-La Town (3,000m)

Day 16. Shangri-La Town. (BLD)
Hiking inside Daocheng Yading National Park. Overnight: Shangri-La Town (3,000m)

Day 17. Shangri-La TownShangri-La City. 310km 7.5h (BLD)
Drive to Shangri-La City. Overnight: Shangri-La City (3,300m)

Day 18. Shangri-La City—Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve. 130km 2.5h (BLD)
Drive to Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve. Overnight: Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve (2,800m)

Day 19. Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve-Lijiang. 180km 4h (BLD)
Drive to Lijiang Ancient Town. Overnight: Lijiang (2,400m)

Day 20. Lijiang depart. (B)
The airport see off.
 

 
Details
 
Day 1. Arrive in Beijing. Meals: D
Arrive at the airport, meet our AbsolutePanda Beijing guide and transfer to your hotel. We will explore the city a bit if time permits. At the welcome dinner, we will have the first taste of Beijing cuisine.

Overnight: Beijing

Day 2. Beijing. Meals: BLD
In the morning, we will drive to the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty which is the last dynasty in Chinese history. It was originally built in 1406, for almost 500 years, it served as the seat-bed of the Emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasties as well as the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government. After lunch, we will drive to the Mutianyu Great Wall for a quiet, less-crowded afternoon visit. The Mutianyu Great Wall is the best-preserved and most complete section with the extremely beautiful natural landscape.

Overnight: Beijing

Day 3. Beijing-Xi’an (By Train). Meals: BLD
Visit one of Beijing's old Hutongs in the morning, explore the unique architecture and authentic Chinese street life. Then we will go to the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and masterpiece of architecture and landscape design. The complex was visited by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven for a plentiful harvest. After lunch, we will drive to the train station and it takes about 6 hours from Beijing to Xi’an by a bullet train.

Overnight: Xi’an

Day 4. Xi’an. Meals: BLD
Today we will depart early to visit Terracotta Warriors, the eighth wonder of the world which was created to guard the tomb of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor to unite ancient China. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Terracotta Warriors is one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries throughout history. In the afternoon, we will pay a visit to Xi’an City Wall (the Ancient City Wall of Xi’an). In the evening, we will pay a visit to the Muslim Quarter. The Muslim Quarter is regarded as the best place to experience the exotic foods brought in through Silk Road.

Overnight: Xi’an

Day 5. Xi’an-Foping-Yangxian (By Train). Meals: BLD
Today we will transfer to Yangxian via Foping by trains. Located in the south of the Qingling Mountain Range, the species boundary between the south and the north, Yangxian is a very unique birding spot where we can see the endangered Crested Ibis. It was considered as an extinct species until 7 Crested Ibises were found in Yangxian in the 1980s, while the population has gradually grown up to 3,000.

Overnight: Yangxian (470m)

Day 6. Yangxian-Tangjiahe (By Train). Meals: BLD
Searching for Crested Ibis in the morning and photograph them in the best light. Then we will board the bullet train again for Guangyuan, from where we drive to Tangjiahe Nature Reserve via Qingxi Ancient Village. With a history of 1700 years, Qingxi Ancient Village is a beautiful and peaceful ancient village surrounded by the Minshan Mountains.
Hidden deep in the Minshan Mountains, Tangjiahe Nature Reserve is one of the first reserves set up to protect giant pandas and their companion animals in China. It is also known as a premier biodiversity hotspot that consists of murmuring streams, lush mixed broadleaf-conifer forests, and cliffs.

Overnight: Tangjiahe (1,400m)

Day 7-8. Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Meals: BLD
Wildlife safari inside Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Thanks to years of protection efforts from the reserve staff, now Tangjiahe is one of the best reserves in China to see wildlife in their habitat. Mammals such as Sichuan Takin, Reeve’s Muntjac, Tibetan Macaque are relatively easy to find and sometimes they can be spotted from a very close distance. It needs some luck and patience to spot some species like Eurasian Otter, Tufted Deer, Asiatic Black Bear, Chinese Serow, Yellow-throated Martin, Hog Badger, and Golden Pheasant. To maximize our chances, we will spend two days searching for wildlife in different places of the reserve.

Overnight: Tangjiahe (1,400m)

Day 9. Tangjiahe-Chengdu. 360km 6h Meals: BLD
Today we will drive to Chengdu. Based on the time you arrive, we can plan some city tour programs such as visiting People’s Park to experience the typical laid-back lifestyles of Chengdu or visiting Jinli Street to feel the bustling shopping street with all types of shops selling unique local souvenirs and food stands offering delicious local take-away food. For dinner, we recommend you to try the famous Sichuan hotpot.

Overnight: Chengdu (500m)

Day 10. Chengdu-Dujiangyan-Rilong. 230km 5.5h Meals: BLD
Today, we will drive to Rilong after doing the Panda Volunteer Program in Dujiangyan Panda Base. Dujiangyan Panda Base is only 66km away from Chengdu downtown. This morning we will arrive at the panda base at 8:30 to prepare for the Panda Volunteer Program. We will do the panda volunteer work like cleaning the enclosure and preparing bamboo. Then, we will have some free time to visit giant pandas and red pandas inside the panda base. At 11:00 we will feed panda with bamboo shoot, apple, or panda cake. After lunch, we will head to Rilong.

Overnight: Rilong (3,200m)

Day 11. Rilong-Wolong. 100km 3h Meals: BLD
Today we will visit one of the most beautiful valleys in Sichuan, the Shuangqiao Valley of Mount Siguniang National Park. This area is renowned for its beauty. We will arrive at Shuangqiao Valley early, and if the weather is good, we can take photos of the sky’s beautiful reflection on the calm and clear surface of the alpine lakes. Taking a walk around the magnificent stupa decorated with colorful prayer flags will give us the chance to interact with Jiarong Tibetans. Inside this park, we can search for raptors such as Himalayan Vulture and Bearded Vulture. The winding stream inside the park is an ideal place to look for White-throated Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart, and Plumbeous Water Redstart. After touring this beautiful park, we will head to Wolong

Overnight: Wolong (2,000m)

Day 12. Wolong-Labahe. 330km 6h Meals: BLD
In the morning, we will drive to Wolong Panda Base (Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base) before we drive to Labahe. Wolong Panda Base is located within panda habitats and has the best natural temperature for the pandas. This panda base was relocated here after the 2008 Earthquake with donations from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Because it is relatively far away from Chengdu, there are fewer visitors here so it is an excellent place for people who want to see active panda cubs with fewer crowds and better backgrounds. Here we also have a good chance to see birds such as Red-billed Blue Magpie, Elliot’s Laughingthrush, Chinese Babax, etc. After lunch, we will drive to Labahe.

Overnight: Labahe (1,900m)

Day 13. Labahe Nature Reserve. Meals: BLD
Searching for Red Panda inside Labahe Nature Reserve. A full day’s exploration inside the reserve will increase our chances to see the elusive Red Panda. The mixed alpine forests and dense bamboo understory make an ideal habitat for Red Panda, though it will still require a good amount of hard work and patience to find one. We will walk on the paved road and search both sides and rugged mountains surrounded carefully. In Labahe Nature Reserve, we can also search for mammals like Sambar Deer, Tibetan Macaque, Chinese Goral, Leopard Cat, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, and Hog Badger.

Overnight: Labahe (1,900m)

Day 14. Labahe-Yajiang. 230km 6h Meals: BLD
Searching for red pandas in the morning, then we will start our scenic drive toward Yajiang. Once we get into the Tibetan plateau, we will have ample opportunities to photograph the beautiful scenery, unique Tibetan houses, and grazing yaks on the mountain slope close to the road. Today we will complete our exploration in the eastern Tibetan area of Kham after 6 hours’ drive from Labahe Nature Reserve.

Overnight: Yajiang (2,700m)

Day 15. YajiangShangri-La Town. 350km 7h Meals: BLD
Drive to Shangri-La Town via Sangdui Monastery. Today will be a relatively long driving day but we will be amazed by the beautiful scenery we see along the way as we drive across the core area of the eastern Tibetan region of Kham. The 7-hour drive is just like unrolling a gigantic Chinese landscape painting with the breath-taking scenery, beautiful Tibetan villages, glittering Tibetan monasteries, and flocks of yaks.

Overnight: Shangri-La Town (3,000m)

Day 16. Shangri-La Town. Meals: BLD
Hiking inside Daocheng Yading National Park. The Daocheng Yading National Park was first introduced to the western world by James Hilton’s novel Lost in Horizon which is based on the stories of American adventurer Joseph F. Rock in 1928. The renowned “last pure land” centers around three sacred snowcapped mountains named Chenresig (compassion), Chana Dorje (power), and Jampelyang (wisdom). This region is comprised of some extraordinary forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers, and glacier-fed lakes. Additionally, the unique culture of the local Tibetan communities is reflected in the numerous colorful prayer flags, stupas, and marnyi stones that are ubiquitous in the area. 
We will spend the whole day here, not just pacing ourselves for the high altitudes, but also giving ourselves enough time to enjoy the gorgeous view and search for wildlife such as Blue Sheep, Giant Laughingthrush, Robin Accentor, and Elliot’s Laughingthrush.

Overnight: Shangri-La Town (3,000m)

Day 17. Shangri-La TownShangri-La City. 310km 7.5h Meals: BLD
Today we will drive from Shangri-La Town of Sichuan Province to the Shangri-La City of Yunnan Province. Here we will enjoy the beautiful scenery and snow-capped mountains along the road. Besides, we will witness the change of architecture when we drive from Sichuan to Yunnan. We will have several stops to take scenery shots and photograph beautiful Tibetan villages, especially the unique white Tibetan houses in Xiangcheng.

Overnight: Shangri-La City (3,300m)

Day 18. Shangri-La City—Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve. 130km 2.5h Meals: BLD
In the morning, we will drive to Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve in search of Black Snub-nosed Monkey. This area is also home to some interesting bird species including Hume's Pheasant, Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Bar-winged Wren-Babbler, Giant Laughingthrush, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Black-headed Sibia, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Sharpe's Rosefinch, Godlewski's Bunting, and Yellow-throated Bunting.

Overnight: Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve (2,800m)

Day 19. Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve-Lijiang. 180km 4h Meals: BLD
We will go on searching for black snub-nosed monkeys in the morning. After finishing our search, we will drive to Lijiang Ancient Town in the afternoon. Lijiang Ancient Town was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. It is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities in China, along with Langzhong Ancient Town in Sichuan, Pingyao Ancient City in Shanxi, and Shexian Ancient Town in Anhui. Here you can also see another group of the ethnic minority in China called Naxi ethnic group.

Overnight: Lijiang (2,400m)

Day 20. Lijiang depart. Meals: B
The airport see off.
  
Notes:
1. If you need help in arranging a flight to Beijing from Shanghai, Guangzhou or other cities, or a flight out of Lijiang, please feel free to contact us, we are very happy to provide any assistance that can facilitate your trip planning.
2. This trip will venture into a remote area of high altitude. Please seek advice from your doctor on altitude sickness and bring necessary medications before you decide to join this trip. In some events, high elevation can cause severe health complications for those with cardiovascular diseases or other poor cardiopulmonary function diseases. 


Map

 


Experience the Wild Side of China Trip Map

 

Accommodations



AbsolutePanda firmly believes travel is an art. To ensure every trip traveling with us is a great travel art for our client, the AbsolutePanda team does all we can to consider every possible detail. The choice of hotels is an essential part of making a great trip. After many years of running a travel business, we have built up our network of cooperative hotels at different levels. We understand people are different in the choice of hotels when they travel. If you want to use some specific hotels, please feel free to let us know, we are delighted to book it for you at a competitive price to make the hotel choice better meet your taste, budget and travel style. We can either reserve a hotel with competitive price for you or simply include the hotel into your trip cost if possible. You are welcome to contact us and tell us your requests, we will do our best to create the best travel itinerary for your private use.

If you need help with hotel booking in other big cities of China at different styles and luxury levels (International-brand Hotels, Local Brand Hotels, Economical Hotels), please feel free to email our team at info@absolutepanda.com.


 

FAQs



1. What are the chances we will see wild Red Panda on this trip?
During our visit to the natural reserve in Labahe, we will have an especially good chance of spotting a red panda (depending on weather conditions). Labahe is considered one of the best places in the world to find these animals, our team of guides had conducted lots of trips to this area and have extensive knowledge about the wildlife there. In our past trips, our clients had taken very good photos of the wild red panda with us.

2. 
Will we see wild pandas during this tour?
While Sichuan is famed as a province accommodating the most substantial portion of the wild panda population (80%), it should be noted that spotting a wild panda is quite slim due to the small population and unique lifestyle of pandas mostly living inside the bamboo forest. While panda viewings in Tangjiahe Nature Reserve have been reported almost every year by visitors and rangers, it is really hard to predict for a particular trip. For us, we will do our best to show you all the possible attractions we see inside this panda habitat and make your trip full of wonderful memories. Pandas live in the place we are going to visit, and we just enjoy everything we have blessed to see there.

3. 
If I am particularly interested in finding birds, is there a way for me to request a specialist as a guide?
Our expert guide for this trip has very good knowledge of the places we are going to visit. As a nature guide, he knows very well about the mammals we possibly encounter in this trip and birds we have a good chance to see. We are going to visit many different habitats, landscapes, mammals, birds, plants, and architectures are very different.

4. 
What cultures will we interact with on this trip?
While we stay in Xi’an, we will visit the famous “Muslim street” in downtown Xi’an to experience the unique Muslim culture there. While in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, we will see numerous different Tibetan villages. Generally speaking, the Tibetan areas there are often referred to as “Kham”. Additionally, while we stay in Lijiang, we will have the chance to learn more culture from the Naxi ethnic group.

5. 
What is the likelihood of spotting the animals specified in the itinerary?
Southwestern China is comprised of a wide array of different habitats, teeming with a wide variety of different animal species. With animals ranging from the lumbering Sichuan Takin to the Black Snub-nosed Monkey, there is something for everyone. As is the truth with every animal safari, we cannot guarantee we will see any of the animals on the itinerary; however, we are confident that you will experience success in our search.

6. Will we use the assistance of local guides?
AbsolutePanda features a diverse team of guides from both the local region (Sichuan) as well as other parts of China. For instance, we will utilize the assistance of local experts during our stay in Beijing, Xi’an, and the Tangjiahe Natural Reserve.

7. 
Can you provide some more information on the high-speed bullet train?
China has one of the most effective high-speed railway systems in the world. These trains are not only comfortable but rival airfare in their ability to get passengers to their destination promptly. We enjoy utilizing the train system for this tour to minimize the overall price as well as providing you the spectacular opportunity to watch the landscape shift from the window of a train.

8. 
If I have dietary restrictions, will that be a problem for your team to accommodate?
Our team is experienced at making sure all of our client’s needs are met. If you or anyone in your group has specific requirements for food, we are happy to accommodate your needs.

Email us if you have any questions. Read our FAQ

 

Testimonials



The best travel company I have ever worked with.
Where to begin? I am an international tour leader. This team is our partner company, and for the last 5 years, they have proved time and time again to be by far the best, most meticulous, detail-oriented, experienced, and honest company I have ever encountered. These guys get it- travel is an art. They are focused on the experience, not the profit, and this is very rare in China. The founder, Philip, is one of the top birders and nature experts in Sichuan and is well respected throughout the province and beyond for all of his efforts to support local culture and conservation of wildlife. He is from a remote Tibetan region and understands how to operate in the wild, unexplored regions of China- the real China. He is an excellent teacher and judge of character and has built an amazing team of loyal guides who cannot be topped. If you travel with these guys, you have made a wise decision.

--Brad
Date of experience: May 2017

 
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Trip Photos




Temple of Heaven



Terracotta Warriors



Crested Ibis



Sichuan Takin


 


Tibetan Macaque



Golden Snub-nosed Monkey



Chengdu Anshun Bridge



Giant Panda



Panda Volunteer Program



Stupa in Shuangqiao Valley.



Lake in Mount Siguniang National Park.



Red Panda

 


Daocheng Yading National Park

 


Black Snub-nosed Monkey



Lijiang Ancient Town
 

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Videos



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