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Trip details

1 Day Panda Volunteer & Exploring Tour

1 Day Panda Volunteer & Exploring Tour

Date: All Year Round

Price: From 185USD/pax

Trip Focus: Volunteer + Tour

Status: Open to Booking

Route: Chengdu- Panda Base-Optional Tour-Chengdu

Trip Code: P004

Overview


Sichuan is a panda lovers dream. With 80% of all pandas living in this Chinese province, it is no wonder why the city of Chengdu is endearingly nicknamed “the homeland of the panda”. For those looking to learn more about these delightful animals and the conservation efforts behind their continued survival, coming to Chengdu is a must. In particular, travelers can make a positive impact by participating in a panda volunteer program at one of Sichuan’s many panda bases. With this tour from AbsolutePanda, we are more than capable of helping you get involved in an exciting day of activities where you will get up close and personal with these captivating animals. The program is available in three panda bases under CCRCGP (China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda), namely Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base, Dujiangyan Panda Ark and Bifengxia Panda Base upon reservation in advance and providing necessary required documents.
In this program, we will take volunteers to the panda base of their choice. They will work side by side with a panda keeper in a certain enclosure to take daily routine works for a panda. By doing this, they can gain in-depth knowledge about panda’s daily life, prepare food and hand feed captive pandas. To recognize the hard work of volunteers, CCRCGP will grant the volunteer a certificate to thank their hard work and contributions. The volunteering normally start at around 9:00 p.m. It can be a half-day program or multiple days of continuous work. To ensure the full enjoyment of our clients, AbsolutePanda provide flexible volunteering program which can combine nearby attractions and arrange guide excelled in different fields so as to make good use of your travel time and meet your personal taste and travel style best. 

 

Trip Highlights:

     Experiencing routine work of a panda keeper by working in one designated panda enclosure.

    Gaining in-depth understanding of daily lives of captive pandas.

     Unique experiences of accessing to areas not open to general public.

    Flexible length of volunteer work ranging from half a day to multiple days.

     
Option to visit some exciting tour attractions near the panda base where you volunteer.

    Be recognized for your hard work with a volunteer certificate commemorating your contributions to the giant panda conservation.

     Come to face to face with pandas and other captive animals available in the respective base.



How Can We Make This Trip Special?

a. A Team of Passionate Guides Specializing in Different Fields.



b. Different Price Options to Better Meet Your Travel Style.

AbsolutePanda offer different price choice for certain short-term tours. Please see details in Date&Price page of this tour.



Important Things to Know About Panda Volunteering

Reservation and Guarantee


Clients need to make reservation of panda volunteer in advance. A health certificate signed by your own family doctor or a liability guarantee provided by a local cooperative travel agency of CCRCGP is needed for volunteering. The CCRCGP volunteering policies may be changed without prior notice by following the latest relative laws and regulations of China.

Note: Please note that the number of volunteers every day at each base is limited. If you have an on-going plan for volunteering at panda base, please contact AbsolutePanda team at your earliest convenience so we can reserve a spot for you. The number of volunteers is largely dependent on the number of panda enclosures available on that day and those who reserve early are given first priority. For the CCRCGP (China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda), the welfare of their captive pandas always comes first. The center reserves the right to temporarily stop volunteering at any given enclosure in the event they think the panda is becoming stressed or is in poor health. On rare occasion, the volunteering program may be stopped entirely for a day in a certain panda base. AbsolutePanda cares deeply about the satisfaction of our clients. In the event that your unable to participate in the schedule panda volunteer activity, our team will plan other activities together with our clients and refund the remaining part of charges for volunteering by CCRCGP. However, please note that charges for the services of hired cars and our guide services cannot be refunded in the event of unforeseen circumstances.





Brief Introduction of CCRCGP and its Volunteer Sites

China Conservation and Protection Center of Giant PandaCCRCGP

The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Pandas (CCRCGP) is the largest research institute in the world in terms of number of captive pandas and panda bases with over 300 captive pandas. The goal of CCRCGP is to release as many captive giant pandas as possible into the wild and expand the wild giant panda population by increasing the genetic diversity of the giant panda so that this endangered species can continue to survive.  


Dujiangyan Panda Ark

Dujiangyan Panda ark is located at the mountain foot of Qingcheng Taoism Mountain, with main focus on panda rescue ,cure and disease control. It takes about 1.5~2 hours driving from Downtown Chengdu. The base has a number of pandas rescued from the wild and many returned pandas from overseas, like the famous Taishan who is born in Washington D.C.. The base is very close to the UNESCO cultural heritage sites, 2200-year old Dujiangyan Irrigation System and Qingcheng Mountain. 


Bifengxia Panda BaseBifengxia Panda Base in Ya’an

Bifengxia Panda Base is located within Bifengxia Scenic Spots in Ya’an city, which is the starting point for one of the Tea and Horse Trade Route between Tibetans and Han Chinese. Thanks to the humid climate conditions in this area, the Bifengxia Panda Base has the most natural surroundings compared with other panda bases. The beautiful scenic Bifengxia Gorge is located just beside the Panda Base. If you like hiking, it is a perfect place for a half-day nature hike after volunteering.


Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base

Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base is a new panda base built with investment from Hong Kong SAR government after 2008 earthquake when the old Wolong Panda Base was damaged by the earthquake. It takes about 2 hours driving from Chengdu City Proper to the base. Due to its special location, this base has the best natural temperature for the pandas and is an excellent place for people who want to see active panda cubs with less crowds. Wolong Giant Panda Habitat Reserve around this area is one of the most important giant panda habitats.




Dates & Price


1. Date Availability

This trip is available all year round. 

2. About Different Price Options

The AbsolutePanda team works hard to provide the highest 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 style, 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, we have created a variety of different price options for our trips. These options vary in the guides they use, quality of transportation vehicles, accommodations and restaurants. Our trip price has the following options, please read the explanations about includes and excludes for each price option below:

These standard prices are made on the basis of minimum two travelers. The trip size is 2~10.

Price Categories

Basic Panda

Copper Panda

Silver Panda    

Gold Panda   

Dujiangyan Panda Ark

185USD/pax

255USD/pax

298USD/Pax

390USD/pax

Bifengxia Panda Base

198USD/pax

273USD/pax

310USD/pax

399USD/pax

Wolong  Panda Base

198USD/pax

273USD/pax

310USD/pax

390USD/pax

Includes & Excludes

See  below

See  below

See  below

See  below


  

a. Basic Panda Price 
For travelers who only need a driver and a car to take them to the place designated in the itinerary; basic panda options are perfect. This price range is only available for trips we think our clients can handle without the supervision of our team. This option only includes the volunteer charge and cost for the private car (driver, fuel, toll and parking) to take you to the volunteer site and back to your hotel. The CCRCGP panda base provide free lunch in their cafeteria based on their current policy. The price does not include your discretionary tips to the driver and other entrance tickets.
 
b. Copper Panda Option 
For travelers who are looking for a skilled guide who speaks English and show them around. You can choose this price option.

The Copper Panda Price includes the charge for the volunteer program, a english-speaking guide, and a private car with a driver to take you to the volunteer site and back to your hotel. The price does not include your discretionary tips to the serving crew (driver and guide) and any other entrance tickets.

Example Guides:

1) Claude: A Sichuan local who is fluent in English, passionate, and is well-versed in general knowledge about popular tour destinations. Can work as driver and guide for small groups.
2) Melinda: A detail oriented guide who is fluent in English. Melinda is a knowledgeable on general information pertaining to our popular tour locations. 
3) Michael: An American living in Chengdu, Michael is a passionate guide and is adept at interpreting Chengdu from the perspective of a westerner.

c. Silver Panda Option
For travelers who hope to have a guide who know certain specialized field very well and can share the knowledge in-depth in a certain field like birding, flower-watching, Buddhism, food, photography, etc. so that they can make the best use of their travel time and meet their personal taste best.

The Silver Panda Price includes your volunteer program admission charge, an English-speaking guide who has excellent knowledge pertaining to a certain field, and a private car with a driver who will take you to the volunteer site and back to your hotel. The price does not include your discretionary tips to the serving crew (driver and guide) and any other entrance tickets.

Example Guides:

Shay: One of AbsolutePanda’s resident birding experts, Shay speaks English and is a detail-driven guide.
Cory: A botany expert and photographer who speaks English, Cory is a passionate guide who excels at leading clients.
Lily:   An English speaking guide, Lily is especially skilled at leading clients on tours that involve yoga and taiji.

d. Gold Panda Option
For travelers who want to travel in luxury, the gold panda option is the right choice for you. With this level of service, your group will enjoy the best restaurant, hotel and transportation options available. We will provide the details concerning your trip. Please feel free to ask us any questions concerning this package option.

The Gold Panda Price includes volunteer charge, a knowledgeable guide who speaks fluent English, lunch at a popular local restaurant, and a nice private car (a popular international brand) with ample space and a driver who take you to the volunteer site and back to your hotel. The price does not include your discretionary tips to the serving crew (driver and guide) and any other entrance tickets.

Example Guides:
Bella: A fluent English speaker, Bella is a knowledgeable birding expert and is well versed in Chinese food and local culture.
Philip: A local guide with fluency in English and basic Japanese, Philip is an exceptional photographer and birding guide who has keen interests in Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Chinese cuisine. 

 
For travelers who hope to tailor-make the day programs with their specific travel preferences in mind (transportation, hotels, special 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 make an itinerary based on your expectations. Once you confirm, we work out the cost and send it to you. Please feel free to ask any questions to learn more.
 
Please note that 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.
 
You just give us your trust, we will do our utmost to make your best travel memory!



Itinerary

 


Day Itineraries for Volunteering at Different Panda Bases

For you conveniences, we made the following hour-by-hour itineraries to give you a rough idea about volunteering time frame based on our running volunteering programs for many years. Please note that they may be slightly different from what actually happens. Please also note the afternoon program is largely a repeat of what you have done in the morning, if you prefer to use the afternoon time to visit some other places. You can just have half-day volunteering and use the rest of the day to explore more. Please feel free to contact us and tell us your needs, we will help you plan your own volunteer day itinerary.

1) Day Itinerary starting from Chengdu for Volunteering at Dujiangyan Panda Ark

07:00 a.m-08:30 a.m Meet your guide and driver at your hotel, then drive directly to Dujiangyan Panda Base                                  
08:30 a.m-09:00 a.m Volunteer check-in, presenting document, briefing, signing papers, and changing clothes.   
09:00 a.m-10:00 a.m Cleaning the enclosure and preparing bamboo
10:00 a.m-11:00 a.m Free time to visit other enclosures for giant pandas, red pandas and Asiatic Black Bear
11:00 a.m-12:00 a.m  Feeding time.
12:00 a.m-01:00 p.m  Lunch time
01:00 p.m-03:00 p.m  Watch panda documentary movie and second feeding
03:00 p.m-04:00 p.m  Repeat of morning work, much less work compared with morning.
04:00 p.m-05:30 p.m  Drive back to your hotel and AbsolutePanda service end.
 


After lunch, you can tour some sites nearby if you do not want to continue your volunteer work. 


You can consider one of the following programs if you just want to do half a day volunteering after lunch.

• Visiting Dujiangyan Irrigation System.

• Touring Jiezi Old Town.


• Returning to Chengdu and spending a couple of hours exploring Chengdu.








2) Day Itinerary starting from Chengdu for Volunteering at Wolong Panda Base    

06:30 a.m-08:30 a.m Meet your guide and driver at your hotel, then drive directly to Wolong Panda Base.         
08:30
 a.m-09:00 a.m Volunteer check-in, presenting document, briefing, signing papers, and changing clothes.
09:00 a.m-10:00 a.m Cleaning the enclosure and preparing bamboo
10:00
 a.m-11:00 a.m Free time to visit enclosures for other giant pandas.
11:00
 a.m-11:30 a.m Feeding time.
11:30
 a.m-12:00 a.m Free time to explore.
12:00 a.m-13:00 p.m Lunch time
01:00
 p.m-03:00 p.m Second feeding
03:00
 p.m-04:00 p.m Repeat of morning work
04:00
 p.m-05:30 p.m Drive back to your hotel and AbsolutePanda service end




You can consider one of the following programs  if you just want to do half a day volunteering at Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base after lunch. 



• Visiting Dujiangyan Irrigation System.

• Visiting Shuimo Ancient Village.

• Returning to Chengdu and spending a couple of hours exploring Chengdu.









3) Day Itinerary starting from Chengdu for Volunteering at Bifengxia Panda Base                                              

6:30 a.m-08:30 a.m  Meet your guide and driver at your hotel, then drive directly to Bifengxia Panda Base.
08:30 a.m-09:00 
a.m Volunteer check-in, presenting document, briefing, signing papers, and changing clothes.
09:00 a.m-10:00 a.m Cleaning the enclosure and preparing bamboo
10:00
 a.m-11:00 a.m Free time to visit other enclosures to see more pandas.
11:00
 a.m-11:30 a.m Feeding time
11:30
 a.m-01:00 p.m Lunch time and have a free rest time
01:00
 p.m-03:00 p.m Second feeding
03:00
 p.m-04:00 p.m Repeat of morning work
04:00
 p.m-05:30 p.m Drive back to your hotel and AbsolutePanda service end.



You can consider one of the following programs if you just want to do half a day volunteering at Wolong Bifengxia Panda Base after lunch.  



• Hiking in scenic Bifengxia Gorge.

• Visiting a tea plantation on the way back to Chengdu.

• Touring Shangli Ancient Village.

• Returning to Chengdu and spending a couple of hours exploring Chengdu  





Map

Map of three panda volunteer sites




 
    Three Panda Volunteer Sites Map

Accommodation


AbsolutePanda firmly believe travel is an art. To ensure every trip travelling with us is a great travel art for our client, AbsolutePanda team do all we can to consider every possible details. The choice of hotels is definitely an essential part to make a great trip. After many years of running 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 hope to use some specific hotels, please feel free to let us know, we are very happy to book it for you at competitive price so as to make the hotel choice better meet your personal 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. Please feel free to contact us and tell us your requests, we will do our best to create the best travel itinerary for your private use.
Following are a list of hotels at different styles and luxury level we often use for our trips. Please feel free to let us know what we can do for you to facilitate your travel planning. 

1. Three International-brand Hotels in Chengdu.

• Shangrila Hotel Chengdu
• The Temple House
• The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu

2.Three Local Brand Hotels

• Tibet Hotel 
• Buddha Zen Hotel
• Chengdu Hongtai Hotel

3. Three Economic Hotels

• The Hotel Zen Urban Resort
• Minshan Hotel
• Tianfu Sunshine Hotel

If you prefer to have multiple days of volunteering and stay in a hotel near the Panda Base where you volunteer, please tell us, we can book a hotel at a walking distance from volunteering site and make the arrangement for your volunteering days so that you can enjoy a great time in your own hassle-free way.

Whenever you need any help for hotel booking , you are welcome to email us via info@absolutepanda.com 

FAQ

FAQ for Panda Volunteers

1.Do we need to do medical check-up or health certificate for volunteering program?
According to the current rules of CCRCGP, you can either provide a health certificate signed by your family doctor or a liability guarantee by a local cooperative travel agency of CCRCGP like AbsolutePanda. The CCRCGP may suspend the volunteering and require further check if their doctor find any volunteer suspicious of carrying contagious disease. (Usually you should send your recent medical form to us if you are convenient to do so.)  


2.Is there a minimum age limit for my children to do volunteering work?
The youngest age for panda volunteer in principle is 9. But CCRCGP understand people's love about pandas. They may allow child younger than 9 to do volunteer if we explain the situation earlier. Please contact us and tell us the information about your child, we will try our best to convince CCRCGP staff to give your child a chance to work as panda volunteer.



3.Can you please confirm if you are able to to take photo with Panda up close? 
Panda hugging  photo program was suspended and not likely to restart again in near future. You can take photo with panda up close when you are feeding the panda.



4.How we choose our accommodations if we do panda volunteering
Please go the the accommodation page of this trip. We can easily book an hotel for you. If you plan to have multiple days of volunteering and hope to stay in a hotel at walking distance from your volunteering base, please feel free to let us know, we will help you have a hassle-free multiple-day volunteering experiences.

 



5. Are there other panda interactive programs available?
CCRCGP provide some special and seasonal interactive programs, these programs normally are only available when panda cubs suitable for that program are available. Please contact us, we will update you these information. 

 



6. What is the donation charged by the Panda breeding center for volunteering?
Volunteer program is rolled out at beginning as way of expressing thanks for those people who have made generous donation to the conservation of Giant Panda. So the charge for volunteering is still called a donation. The current donation for volunteering is 133USD/pax/day (or 900RMB/pax/day). A volunteer can enjoy a free lunch provided by CCRCGP at its staff canteen. 


 

7.We have a 3-day holiday, can we come to Chengdu for panda volunteer work without a visa?
Yes, if you travel to Chengdu stay in Chengdu no more than 72 hours, you do not need visa to come to Chengdu. 

 


8. What exactly can volunteers help in the volunteering program?

After check-in, document-reviewing, staff briefing and changing clothes, the volunteers for the day will be divided into several groups and each group will be led by a CCRCGP staff to the designated work site. There, volunteers will work under the guidance of a panda keeper to do the daily routine works for a panda including cleaning the panda enclosures, preparing bamboos and feeding the pandas. After the volunteering program, you will get a volunteer certificate. The money charged for volunteering will go directly to the panda conservation programs. 


9. How long does this volunteer program last?
The morning volunteering work only last for a little more than one hour, then you can enjoy about  1 hour visiting other panda enclosures on your own and come back to the volunteering site before 10 p.m to feed pandas. After feeding pandas, you get another hour to walk around freely in the public area. If you also take the afternoon, session, there will be a shorter version of what you have done in the morning, plus some other activities such as watching panda movie and making panda bread. If you just want to work for the morning, you can use the afternoon to explore nearby area or come back to Chengdu to enjoy a couple hour of city tour.
 


10. Is there a chance to get a close encounter with giant panda?
Yes, two ways you can really get close to pandas. First is the feeding time, there is only one wall of iron bars between you can a panda. You can even feel the breathing of a panda and have close eyeball contact with the panda. Second is the time when you watch panda from outside the enclosure, there only one artificial wall between you and panda, you can see a panda eating his bamboo in various posture,strolling around with an curious eye on you. You can panda can be only two meters away from each other.


We have been asked many interesting questions, here we only selected some of them, you can email us and send us your own panda questions, we are very happy to answer any of your panda questions.
 

Testimonial

    We believe travel is art and we also know there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people's eyes. Each client has different understanding of art. Our goal is to do our utmost to make the  travel of art that most suits you. Below are the testimonials come from the clients who chose the service of AbsolutePanda team.

Pandas!

Absolute Panda put together a custom tour for me and my boyfriend. I absolutely love pandas and knew I wanted to volunteer at the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Base. I heard you could organize it without a guide, but the logistics were more than I wanted to deal with - paperwork, transport, etc. I also wanted to hold a panda, which had just been suspend when I started looking. I hoped by booking a tour they would monitor the panda holding situation and take care of everything else. I came across AbsolutePanda after looking at several other groups and I'm glad I did. I worked with Melinda and she made an excellent recommendation to just volunteer in the morning (you basically do the same thing morning and afternoon which might have been more than my boyfriend could handle). Instead, she suggested we spend the afternoon at the irrigation ditch or Mount QingCheng. We decided on Mount QingCheng. It was a wonderful place to visit, but I don't recommend walking up unless you really like steps... Anyway, Melinda was great. She brought us gifts and snacks. She asked in advance about any dietary restrictions/preferences. She even helped us book a hotel in another part of China. I absolutely recommend working with AbsolutePanda.

                                                                                        By Katy Hoth
August,2019

Amazing way to experience the Pandas.

My family and I (3 kids 11, 9 and 7) got to have the experience of a lifetime in the Panda volunteer program. Bella was an amazing tour guide and what a treat to be able to not only get very very close to the pandas but to also help in their daily routines and upkeep so that the world can enjoy these beautiful bears. I never thought that my kids would be so happy to clean and prepare animal enclosures, but it was a blast that they will never forget. Aside from cleaning we got to prepare bamboo for the pandas, make panda cakes, and the highlight of the trip - feed the pandas directly and take videos and photos the entire time. We had a very nice lunch with the staff (option to go offsite but this made the trip 100% authentic and I highly recommend). We did not do the irrigation tour but opted to go to a local park/tea spot near a lake where locals hang out with Bella. Here we had tea and people watched (as they watched us also lol). In Chengdu you can see some interesting things like people getting ear massages by professional ear technicians using all sorts of wild brushes and instruments (you can even get one if you are adventurous enough). All in all I highly recommend this tour and again thank you so much Bella for a wonderful day with our family.

                                                                                            By Derik A
July,2019

 

Click the Testimonials of AbsolutePanda on TripAdvisor to read all reviews by our past clients on TripAdvisor .

Reviews of AbsolutePanda on TripAdvisor

In pictures

 

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Dujiangyan Panda Base Volunteer Program




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