Philosophy of Black and White
---a discovery of panda and Taoism
In the dramatic high mountains of western China, in the secluded high altitude riverine valleys, and among the dense woods and verdant bamboo forests, live the most fascinating and mysterious creatures of the world ---giant pandas. No other animals have fascinated so many people as pandas. People are easily overwhelmed by their mystery and natural beauty. The credit, it is said, is partially given to their black and white markings, two prime colors of the universe, are vivid and natural, symmetric and harmonious, and mysteriously distributed. The pattern and composition, resembling the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang and coinciding with the Tai Chi diagram of Chinese Taoism. They are in sharp contrast, while naturally connected, simple but profound bring people a sense of natural ease, a pleasure both to the eye and mind.
In this education program, with a core topic of “wildlife, people & environment”, we aim to learn the importance of maintaining a harmonious relationship between human and environment through panda conservation and the philosophy of Taoism. You will have an absolute panda experience through visiting panda bases, helping giant panda as a panda volunteer, providing valuable solutions for panda conservation, discovering giant panda trace in the panda habitat, interacting with the local people in the same habitat etc. The essence of Taoism hides in the harmony of human and nature. You will understand the idea of Taoism by practicing Tai Chi with a Tai Chi master in the cradle of Taoism. Some outdoor activities and interesting environmental games will bring more fun to your nature adventure. It will be a very knowledgeable and meaningful education journey to no matter kids or adults, a special experience exclusively offered from the Panda hometown.
• Face-to-face panda interaction
Being a panda volunteer is the best way to observe and serve this amazing creature. As a panda volunteer, you will clean the giant panda enclosure and feed giant panda by your own hand. You can never have such experience anywhere else.
Make panda cake and feed panda as a panda volunteer
• Practice Tai Chi with master on Mt.Qingcheng
Mt.Qingcheng is the cradle of Taoism, the oldest Chinese philosophy denoting the wisdom of China. You will follow Tai Chi master practicing Tai Chi to learn about Yin Yang and Chi and feel the harmony of Yin and Yang.
Practicing Tai Chi with master
• Workshop with panda experts in the best known panda research center
Our professional nature guide will take you to panda’s habitat, the global research center of giant panda conservation in Wolong, learning about giant panda, their habitat and human in the same habitat with our panda expert Dr.Zhang and other researchers. We will have a workshop together with NGO and other stakeholders in the panda habitat, discussing on the topic of “how to bring most benefit to all the stakeholders in the panda habitat through co-design”.
• Unveil the life of wild panda by exploring panda habitat
As a UNESCO site, the hometown of Giant panda---Wolong National Natural Reserve is the earliest, largest and best-known panda reserve in China. It houses more than 150 highly endangered giant pandas and many other endangered species including: red pandas, golden monkeys, takin and many precious plants. We are hiking and camping in the habitat to learn about the environment where giant pandas live, its habit and find traces of giant panda. We have chance to see some companion animals near our camp sites. Balang mountain, known as the top of the Giant panda kingdom is an ideal place for birding and flora safari. We will have many interesting environmental games and activities customized for school or family groups to learn how to identify various beautiful birds, flowers and trees.
Giant panda traces with its hair on the branch
• Interact with local people
We will visit local school and interact with local students. You could talk with students in English, sing songs together or play some sports. You will also visit some villages and local families to learn about the life of the locals and think about how it would impact the environment.
• Mount climbing in Mt.Siguniang
An absolute experience in giant panda sanctuaries can never skip Mt. Siguniang.Our professional mountain guide Fugui will take you to see the most beautiful scenery in this well known “Oriental Alps”.
Fugui was born in Wolong Nature Reserve---the hometown of giant panda. He speaks good English and Mandarin. Fugui loves his hometown and his people. He used to work for the Conservation and Community development projects in Wolong. He wants to dedicate himself to the conservation work through eco- tourism to find a harmonious way to help the local and protect the nature. Read more>>
Tracy loves travel and spent six years studying tourism management in China, United States and Europe, and earned a master degree especially in sustainable tourism development. She has a strong believe in developing tourism sustainably and she thinks education is the essential element in the process. Sustainability will be never realized without the awareness and willingness of people to achieve. Read more>>
What make AbsolutePanda’s education program excellent?
• Focus on your overall experience. We care about your learning experience and guarantee your pleasure as well. We try our best to balance your experience by arranging appropriate educational activities with combination of leisure time.
• Accomplished nature guide. AbsolutePanda have qualified guides in varies of fields ranging from photography, birding, flower-watching to outdoor activities. We will also invite local representatives who work for environmental NGOs to give speech about local ecosystem and culture on site.
• Elaborately designed activities. We design many interesting and inspiring games & activities along the way, such as wildlife trace discovery, recycle challenge, eliminate carbon footprint, star gazing etc. in order to help participants to learn about wildlife, how to protect our environment and to obtain wisdom from nature etc.
• Fully equipped. Except for premium accommodation, vehicle and meals, we also have whole set of outdoor gears ranging from luxury camping tent, shower tent and dinning tent to sleeping bags so as to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.
Golden snub-nosed monkey's favorite food
Our camp site---Yusidong grassland
Arriving in Chengdu, our tour leader will welcome you in the airport and drive to hotel for check-in. We will start a city tour in Chengdu by visiting Wangjiang (bamboo) Park, Kuanzhai alley (like hutong in southern China) and some historical sites in the city. After the welcome dinner, we will enjoy the peal of Sichuan opera---the face changing show.
Getting up early in the morning, we are driving to Dujiangyan panda base and start the volunteering program. You will start with cleaning the panda enclosure and feed panda with bamboo. After lunch in the cafeteria, we are making panda cake and feed panda with the cake you make. Then, we are heading to Qingcheng mountain and learn about Taoism and Tai Chi from the master.
Day 3-4 Panda habitat adventure in Wolong
Today we heading to Wolong National Natural Reserve and explore panda habitat in the hometown of Giant panda. We will visit the giant panda research center and have a workshop with researchers. In the afternoon, we are getting ready for the intense hiking in search of giant panda and other wildlife.
After 20 minutes’ drive from Wolong town to Yusidong village, we will visit some local and then climb up the mountain while discovering wildlife on the way. The grassland at the top will be a great place for camping. We will make dinner by ourselves and do star gazing in the evening if the weather permits.
The next day we will go hiking bit deep in the forest to bamboo forest to collect panda traces and discover other companion animals. We will hike back to the village and drive back to the town. We will visit a school and have some interaction with locals to learn about the life of local people.
Day 5 Birding and flora safari on Mt. Balang & discussion
In the morning, we will get up very early to meet our bird friends on the top of giant panda kingdom. You will learn some basic skill of birding. If there is any birder in the group. it will be a chance to upgrade your birding level. The alpine flowers in Balang mountain are famous for its number of species and their beauty. We will have a small competition about flower identification. In the afternoon, we are driving to Rilong town. Tonight, we will have a discussion about the topic of this trip “wildlife, people and environment”.
Day 6 Mount climbing in Mt. Siguniang
Today we will do a light hiking at the beautiful Mt. Siguniang and search for wildlife as well. You will be led by professional mountain leader, the only professional learder in Wolong, to explore the beauty of Siguniang. Mt. Siguniang also called as "Four sisters Mountain" has many tales. Our local leader will show you many interesting stories behind the name and share many knowledge about geographic feature of this area.
Day 7 Drive back to Chengdu and fly back home
Depending on the international flight connection, we could arrange a day tour in Chengdu before you depart home.
We can customize this trip so as to better meet your timing, budget and interests or arrange a private extension to explore China as you wish. Please contact us for more information.
July 1-7, 2017, 2018
July 11-17, 2017, 2018
Date & Price notes1. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and are given in US Dollars. Fees may be different due to different seasons.
2. The hotel and vehicle could be customized.
3. Dates may change and could also be customized.
1. How is the weather in destinations during summer?
Chengdu & Dujiangyan: are located in the Chengdu plain in the subtropical humid monsoon climate zone. Summer in Chengdu is hot and humid, average 30℃. However, it will be very cool in the mountain.
Wolong & Mt.Balang & Mt.Siguniang : summer in the mountainous area is very comfortable, average 19℃. The temperature difference from day and night is however quite big. So prepare your layers, sunglasses and sunscreen with you cause the sun is also very strong in the sunny days, especially when we are outdoor.
2. What type of vehicle will be used in the trip?
We will choose different type of vehicle according to the group size. We will use 30-seats tourism mini bus for 10-16 people. We will use big toursim bus for people more than 30.
3. What kind of food will be provided?
One of the principle of AbsolutePanda is dine at local and stay with local. We want to share the benefit with local people and enjoy the authentic local gourmet. We will choose popular local restaurant and try as much as different flavor as you want. We will prepare western breakfast for you or you can certainly choose to try the Chinese style. All we desire is that you can enjoy the food along the trip. However, we have to prepare our own food when we camp outdoor.
4. What kind of lodging will we stay at?
We will choose featured local guest houses or four-star hotels run by local people. It is a great chance to experience local hospitality and their culture by staying with the lovely people.
New itinerary, feedback coming soon