This 4-day tour is the ultimate panda tour specially designed for panda fans with the best combination to see and do panda volunteer program in one trip!!! It means you’ll have twice opportunities to get up close to giant pandas both in Chengdu Panda Base and Dujiangyan Panda Base. You may wonder why cover two panda bases in one go, right? To see as many pandas as possible ranging from different ages - from the newborn tiny panda babies, sub-adult pandas, adult pandas to the elders, Chengdu Panda Base is the ideal one to go! But the panda base in Chengdu cannot provide a volunteer program yet. To have plenty time to volunteer with giant pandas, it is a better choice to head to Dujiangyan Panda Base, the nearest one outside of Chengdu. Here, travelers can join the one-full day program to do the volunteer work to fulfill your panda dream!
Day 1 Chengdu ArrivalFlight / Train to Chengdu
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Ni Hao! Welcome to Chengdu, the hometown of Giant Pandas. Upon arrival, your guide will meet and escort you to your hotel in Chengdu downtown in a private vehicle. The rest of today is free to explore the leisure city on your own.
Optional Activity: In the evening, you can enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine at a local restaurant.
- The Typical Sichuan Cuisine - Chengdu Hotpot
Day 2 Chengdu (B, L)Chengdu Panda Base - Wenshu Temple - Renmin Park - Jinli Old Street
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This morning you will make a memorable visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This facility is not only the most important panda scientific research center in the world, but also the home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. You will walk at leisure through the bamboo-framed paths and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, and climbing trees. Be sure to not miss the chance to watch female pandas nursing their cubs in the nursery rooms! There is also a very informative Panda Museum where you can learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas. Next, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in hustling downtown Chengdu, Wenshu Temple, where you will marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the temple’s peaceful paths.
Chengdu is famous throughout China for its relaxing and leisurely pace and lifestyle, which will be demonstrated by a visit to the City’s Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, have a casual chat with your friends and watch locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment - napping, playing mahjong, disco dancing, and giving neck massages! Next will be an impressive visit to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time will steal away as you quietly walk on the lively streets full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, and other activities.
Optional activity: In the evening, watch a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment (usually performs at 20:00~21:30).
- Mama and Baby of Panda
- Buddhist Monk at Wenshu Monastery
- Enjoy A Cup of Tea at Renming Park
Day 3 Chengdu - Dujiangyan Panda Volunteer - Chengdu (B, L)Round Trip to Dujiangyan Panda Base for Full Day Volunteer Program
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In the early morning, our guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel in Chengdu around 07:00 am and drive 1.5 hours to Dujiangyan Panda Base to fulfill your once-in-lifetime panda volunteer work.
Arrive at Dujiangyan Panda Base around 08:30 am. Learn the safety announcement and sign the security agreement. Put on work clothes and gloves, wear volunteer pass card before go the work place. You will be led by experienced keepers and told matters needed attention.
09:00am-10:00am Honorable Panda Keeper
Volunteers involve in panda volunteer work, including carrying out old bamboos, picking up droppings, cleaning up panda enclosures, carrying in fresh bamboos leaves and shoots, etc.
10:00am-11:00am Wonderful Panda Tour
Take a visit to other panda enclosures, walk around the panda base for more giant pandas and red pandas. You may see them sitting on the grass, climbing trees, playing together and even fighting. Bring out your camera to take awesome photos and videos about them.
11:00am-11:30am Regardful Panda Feeding
Feed the giant pandas with panda cake or other food, like carrot, bamboo shoot and apple. Know their eating behavior and diet and have very close interaction with the cute bears.
11:30am-13:00pm Lunch & Break Time
Have lunch with the staff and other volunteers in the restaurant and take a short break.
13:00pm-14:00 Watch Panda Documentary
Watch a panda documentary that shows the scientific facts about the endangered species, to understand how humans protect them and how we may live in harmony with them.
14:00pm-14:50pm Panda Feeding
Clean the panda enclosure and feed the panda again.
14:50pm-15:30 Panda Nutritionist
Volunteers can personally prepare food for the pandas and also make the panda cake.
15:30pm-16:00 Finish Volunteer Work
After the full day’s panda volunteer experience, you’ll get the panda volunteer certificate and souvenirs. Before you leave, catch the last moment to say goodbye to the lovely creatures. Later, your guide and driver will escort you to your hotel in Chengdu.
- Clean panda enclosures & carry bamboos
- Clean panda enclosures & observe pandas
Day 4 Chengdu Departure (B)Flight / Train off Chengdu
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After breakfast, seize the last moment to explore this leisure city on your own. After that, you'll be driven to Chengdu airport / train stations for your next destination. Service ends.
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1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2020.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
We had a wonderful time on our President 8 Yangzi River Cruise! Our guide, Nina, was very helpful. I think we were the only English-only speakers on the cruise.
We got busses from FengDu to Chongqing.
Thank you for your help arranging the train rides, this cruise and the Chongqing visit with Portia.
At the end of our cruise, with guide Nina
Here is my review. I will likely post it on TripAdvisor to help other tourists out so they know what to expect. Let me know if you would like anything edited (such as the Wire Transfer vs PayPal part) if you find it harmful for your business. My intent is to describe my experience to other Western travellers that may have similar fears about booking a trip like this.
Thanks for all you did. The trip was both flawless and amazing.
I took a 2 week personalized vacation with Chendu Bamboo tours through China. I wanted to put some thoughts down to the TripAdvisor community as I had a lot of reservations going into it, and I hope my review will help clarify some of the items that I was uncertain of.
First, while I researching, I determined that I wanted to do a custom tour as none of the packages that I saw had everything I wanted. The towns I chose were Beijing, Xian, Dunhuang, Chengdu, Guilin and Shanghai. I submitted inquiries to multiple companies and ChinaDiscovery came back to me promptly with a very comprehensive tour that was detailed and in line with my expectations. The scary part of communicating my requirements was that it had to be done mostly through email, although the company was also quick to Skype call me to handle some of my more advanced questions.
If you decide to book a tour like this (and you are firmly in the middle class) this is and expensive endeavor. For you to pull the trigger, you can expect 4 big expenditures. First, you will need to put 1/3 balance down on the trip to reserve the reservation. That 1/3 was placed through PayPay, and the Paypal account that I placed it to did not look anything like the business I was dealing with. It was scary sending the money to such a strange account, but in the end, the transaction was fine. One point of confusion...you may research and book through ChinaDiscovery, however the invoice then turned into (in my case) Chengdu Bamboo International Tours Co, Ltd. I don't fully understand the relationship, but it was legitimate, although a little confusing of why the website said one thing, but the actual contractor that was doing the work said another. Another scary thing came later when I was asked to pay the remaining 2/3 balance, I was requested to do so via wire transfer. Again, a scary endeavor which I felt I would have no protection if the company was not legitimate. So fearing loss of funds, I reached a win/win compromise to use the Paypal account again (with Visa) to submit the funds. Once I received confirmation, the company executed the hotel, train and plane tickets flawlessly, communicating the reservations about 1 week later.
In short, my fears were unfounded.
You will also have to handle 3 other expenses. First, and not surprising are your international plane tickets, which I handled shortly after the deposit. But the 3rd and 4th were not known. As a US citizen, I needed to get Visas for myself and the family. A Chinese Visa costs about $160 per person, and to get it, you must carefully submit a form to the Chinese consulate in a designated region of the country. Because I delayed doing this, I needed to do expedited service. And because the form is brutal and requires you to send your passports to the Chinese consulate, I enlisted a visa expert (CIBT.com) in order to get in processed. Long story short, about $1K later, I received the last of the passports back from the consulate with about 2 days to spare.
The other warning, since all the trips have drivers and tour guides that take you around, you are advised (not mandated) to give them tips. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines given or direction of how much to give. I spent time researching on the internet what were fair tips for always outstanding service. Now, 1 week after the trip, I still have no idea if I tipped fairly, generously or cheaply. But, calculate 2 weeks and 2 persons a day, you can calculate that it will cost you hundreds of dollars or thousands of Yuan.
Last warning to give about going to China...you'll need cash. Only some (not most) banks and stores are hooked up to the Visa and Mastercard system. This means, (1) you may need to search for the right bank to get cash in China in order to withdraw funds and (2) the vendors that you'll see only will take your cash. This caused some stress the first couple of days as I had trouble finding a bank that worked.
Now...for the good stuff. Once prepping for all that, the trip that was designed by Chinadiscovery (or Chengdu Bamboo Tour Company) was pretty spectacular. The guides were beyond great, and did a truly amazing, amazing job of being everything you would want as a tour guide. Prompt, flexible, funny, sometimes motherly, sometimes brotherly, open, honest, kind, insightful, human, knowledgeable and ...simply great. Each one in each town was different...but each of them took such pride in their cities/country that you are given a great gift.
The hotels were as good as it gets as well. Breakfast was included in all hotels...some food good, and other food great. The hotels were within walking distance to all the good things. For Beijing, 15 min walk to the Forbidden City. Shanghai? 5 minute walk to the River and 20 minutes to The Bund. I could go on, but the accommodations were really good. Combine that with flawless execution of all travel arrangements, it made for a stress free trip. The lunches were all Chinese and again, and food ranged from good to great. They always gave our family of 3 too much food for one sitting, and I felt embarrassed about leaving so much food behind.
In Beijing, our guide took us through Tienanmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, The Great Wall, and Temple of Heaven (among other places). When she took us to the train station, she insisted in walking us down to our seat on the High Speed railway car. When I asked if that is the company policy, she said 'that MY policy' (to ensure her clients get to where they are going). Amazing. We reached Xian for a day and Zoe gave us great insights of the growing city, the crowds, and life in China. Then onto Dunjuang, where Lily and her driver rearranged the schedule to ensure that we saw all the Silk Road sites. The schedule changes included her and the driver starting at 6AM (after we were picked up at the airport 10PM the night before) in order to ensure we saw everything. Then in Chengdu, Cherry helped so patiently with my wife's shopping at the Panda sanctuary. And in Guilin, Kennedy was awesome describing the land and China's ethnic minority. The insight for the rice fields and rivers were wonderful. We ate probably the best Chinese food of the trip in the fresh country air. Then finally, to Shanghai, where Zack was truly a joy, and one of the friendliest and enjoyable people I have ever met in my life. The city of Shanghai was amazing, and my son enjoyed it tremendously.
Two things I would do over if I could. First, I would plan to take it in June, not late July. We had to compete with the rest of China, which has summer break at this time. As a result, the places were packed with China tourist going to the same sites, which made the crowds a bit much. Second, I would have also altered the trip to spend 1 less day in Guilin and 1 more day in Shanghai. Other than that, I would not have changed anything.
Our Customized China Trip
The Suzhou has been wonderful experience. Both guide and driver were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They have made the trip extremely enjoyable. And thank you very much for helping to arrange Suzhou trip in such short notice. Your customer service and attitude is fantastic!!
I’m sorry it took me so long to reply to you. We really appreciated your help in arranging our trip with such short notice. Usually when we travel we don’t use a travel agent and we spend many weeks planning. Because China is so large and we had only 10 days including flights we needed help in making decisions and you provided that. We had very good guides which made getting around easy. It would have been difficult to figure out getting around the airports and train stations by ourselves. The guides’ English ranged from good to excellent. We especially loved Carol in Zhangjiajie. She was fun and recommended really good restaurants! Johnny took us to a museum in Xian that was not on our itinerary and we enjoyed that. He also recommended a new market with many food vendors that was very fun to go for dinner in Xian. Our favorite places were Zhangjiajie, the Terra-cotta Warriors and the Great Wall. Our least favorite were the Jade Factory and the tea house. We felt they was some pressure to buy things and that is not something that interests us. We liked our hotels and their locations. We were able to walk to interesting places for dinner, especially the Hutong near our hotel in Beijing.
Zoe, you did a very good job for us. You always responded to my emails quickly, answered all my questions and gave us good advice. I think we must have kept you very busy. And you seem very friendly! I enjoyed working with you and I will write a review on Trip Advisor.
Thank you so much,
We arrived in Beijing today and received the tickets when we checked in. We’re all set for the trip. Thank you for all your help getting this taken care of.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
The above arrangements will be adjusted according to the specific situations and the volunteer program may be delayed or inaccessible by inevitable requirements, control, and Force Majeure like earthquakes, epidemic...
Being a volunteer, you should apply it at least a week (usually 10 days) in advance with your Application Form and Health Examination Form.
(a) Health Examination Form: To do the panda volunteer program at Dujiangyan Panda Base, you need to have a valid Health Examination Form (valid medical certificate and signature which could be applied in your country or in China). Feel free to contact our travel consultant for more information or let them register for you. (This form is to ensure that you are not carrying the infectious diseases or other illnesses which endanger the health of pandas.)
(b) Age & Number Limitations: The center can accept up to 30 volunteers (aged between 12 and 65) at any one time.
(c) Avoid Using Strong Smell: For pandas have keen sense of smell, volunteers should avoid using perfume or other odorous articles like mosquito repellent liquid, nail polish, skin care products, makeups, etc. on the volunteer work day.
(d) Dressing Code: During the panda volunteer program, you are required to wear comfortable shoes, like sports shoes, that are suitable for the work. Try to avoid sandals, slippers, high-heels, and so on. Besides, wear trousers, avoid shorts and skirts, etc. (during the program, the panda base will provide working jumpsuits in spring and winter, and T-shirts in summer and autumn for you.)
(e) Healthy Bodies: To well protect giant pandas, volunteers are required to be healthy, and people who are suffering from illness, like a cold, fever, influenza, and other infectious diseases are not suitable to do the panda volunteer programs.
Essentially Speaking, the panda volunteer program belongs to panda conservation project designed with different kinds of activities to take care of giant pandas. During the full day volunteering, travelers need to involve in some physical work, like clean up the dirty enclosures, sweep panda droppings, break bamboo to prepare food for pandas, use your hands to make panda cakes...It will be physical demanding and somewhat tiring.
|Panda Base||Volunteer Length||Distance from Chengdu||Features|
|Dujiangyan Panda Base||1 day||62 kilometers (1-1.5 hours)||the closest panda base from Chengdu; over 40 pandas live here.|
|Bifengxia Panda Base||1 day / 3 days or longer||155 kilometers (2.5-3 hours)||awesome site to do volunteer program for 3 days or more; over 40 pandas live here.|
|Shenshuping Panda Base||1 day||100 kilometers (2 hours)||located in Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries in primitive environment; the largest breeding center for giant pandas; over 30 pandas live here.|
|Hetaoping Panda Base||1 day||120 kilometers (2.5 hours)||the only base to attend Red Panda volunteer program.|
(a) For panda lovers who have very limited time in Chengdu, it is recommended to visit Chengdu Panda Base which is located in the northeast of Chengdu suburb with 30 minutes’ drive. Travelers can see nearly 120 giant pandas & baby pandas, as well as 76 red pandas. (PS: No panda volunteer program is provided in this base.)
(b) To experience the one-day volunteering work, you’d better go to Dujiangyan Panda Base which is chosen by 80% - 90% volunteers.
(c) If you want to experience something different in a relatively primitive environment, Shenshuping Panda Base or Bifengxia Panda Base is a good choice to do the volunteer program.
Every year during March to May, the pandas would seek for other pandas to mate by climbing the trees and fighting. In the late summer and autumn, they give birth to baby pandas and travelers can see the little cute being taken care in the Sunshine Nursery. If you want to see the active scene of giant pandas, come in spring. While to see the newborn pink baby pandas, it is recommended to visit Chengdu during August to September.
Keep in mind for traveling: In the panda bases, the keepers will feed the giant pandas twice a day - in the morning and in the afternoon. During the feeding time, pandas will be very active - eating, crawling, climbing trees, playing with partners…It is recommended to arrive early in the morning around 08:00 AM to catch the best time to observe the pandas eating and playing outdoors.
Besides the pandas bases in Sichuan Province, travelers can pay visits to see the adorable giant pandas in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Guilin, Guangzhou, and more cities of China. No matter is your first-trip to China with a few destinations, or your in-depth visit to see giant pandas, just feel free to tell us your ideas and likes, our professional travel experts will customize the China PANDA tour for you!
Dujiangyang Panda Base, Mount Qingcheng, Dujiangyan Irrigation System
Chengdu / Bifengxia Panda Base / Chengdu
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