Antarctica & Arctic
Seek out China's pandas & golden snub-nosed monkeys in their natural habitats
a Destinations d > China > The Wild Side of China: A Nature Odyssey
11 nights accommodation, meals as indicated, sightseeing and travel as specified, most gratuities, return airport transfers, entrance fees, taxes, permits and service fees and services of a Natural Habitat Expedition Leader.
Selected Dates, Apr & Oct '19; Mar-Apr & Oct '20
This unique itinerary includes up-close encounters with pandas at China’s famous research bases, plus a visit to ancient Xi’an where the Terracotta Army has guarded the tomb of China’s first emperor for more than 2,200 years.
Back to China Tours
Enjoy close up encounters with Giant pandas
Explore the Terracotta Warriors
Discover Golden Snub-nosed monkeys in Golden Monkey Nature Reserve
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After checking into our sleek hotel in the centre of Chengdu, we’ll walk to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. (D)
We begin with Dujiangyan Panda Base, which focuses on rescue, disease control and rehabilitation of injured and ill wild pandas. Conditions permitting, we’ll have the chance to interact with pandas as we help keepers care for them. (B)(L)(D)
This morning we visit Chengdu’s renowned Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, home to approximately 100 pandas that live in a man-made environment built to reflect their natural habitat. We’ll learn about their diet and mating habits and how they have survived despite increasing threats. This afternoon, ride the high-speed train to the ancient city of Xi’an. (B)(L)(D)
Depart early this morning for Xi’an’s most famous sight, the Terracotta Warriors. Consisting of 8,000 life-size soldiers, 100 chariots and 600 horses, none of which is identical, the army was built to guard the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor. After lunch, we take the bullet train to Foping to reach the Golden Monkey Nature Reserve. (B)(L)(D)
Just beyond our secluded hotel is China’s best place to see golden snub-nosed monkeys up close. We’ll expect to get excellent views of endangered golden monkeys, which are unfazed by our presence. Later, we board the train to Guangyuan, then drive to the Wild Panda Nature Reserve. (B)(L)(D)
Our focus for two full days is a 100,000-acre forested reserve rated Grade 1 by the WWF and is home to healthy populations of some of the world’s most endangered wildlife, including at least 60 giant pandas. This is prime panda habitat, although sightings are extremely rare. We may also see Tibetan and rhesus macaques, golden and Sichuan takin, musk deer, muntjac, Chinese goral, and, more rarely, moon bears and red pandas. (B)(L)(D)
Please see day 6 for today's itinerary. (B)(L)(D)
Enjoy a scenic drive on the full-day journey south to Dujiangyan. We pass through Mianyang, with a 2,200-year history that spans the Qin and Han dynasties. Time permitting, we’ll stroll the elegant thousand year-old Jiezi Town. Reaching Dujiangyan, we spend the night at an elegant resort with natural mineral springs. (B)(L)(D)
Our destination is the Gengda Wolong Panda Center. We’ll have excellent chances for close-up views of giant pandas and if conditions permit, we may have a chance to take a photo with a panda for an additional fee. Later we reach Rilong, more than 3,000 metres above sea level and the centre of the Jiarong Tibetan culture. (B)(L)(D)
Spend the day exploring the dramatic scenery of Siguniangshan National Park. Snowcapped peaks are visible in every direction, with Four Sisters Mountain towering above. We follow boardwalk trails that weave among pagodas and prayer flags. (B)(L)(D)
Today is devoted to a scenic drive back to Chengdu. As we leave Rilong, we stop for a classic view of Four Sister Mountain. We will also stop at Balang Mountain to admire the scenery and birdlife. This evening celebrate our adventures at a farewell dinner. (B)(L)(D)
After breakfast at our luxury hotel, transfer to the airport. (B)
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