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Trip Details

12 Days Photo Safari to Hidden Tibetan Land

12 Days Photo Safari to Hidden Tibetan Land

Date: Jun. 21 to Jul. 2, 2024, 2025

Price: From 3300USD/PAX

Trip Focus: Photo + Tibetan Area

Status: Open to Booking

Route: Chengdu-Taoping Qiang Village-Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong-Ruoergai-Langmusi-Xiahe-Xining-Qinghai Lake-Xining

Trip Code: PH001


More than half of the Tibetan population lives outside the Tibet Autonomous Region which is known worldwide as Tibet. Geographically, the Tibetan population mainly consists of three dialectal regions namely Utsang, Kham, and Amdo. Each dialectal region has its unique charm. Utsang is regarded as the birthplace of Tibetan civilization, while Kham is famous for its preservation of diverse tribal cultures. Mainly living as nomads, Amdo is known for its vast territory, sparse population, and gallant horses. On this trip, we start our safari from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, going through a corridor of ethnic minorities including Qiang, Hui, and Tibetans, and a great variety of different landscapes. We will unveil some of the most beautiful places on earth and some untamed places in the bordering areas among Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai. These untouched places are the best place for us to understand the authentic local culture and offer us ample chances to great shots about local people in their costumes, local architecture, and natural scenery. On this photo safari, our professional bilingual photography guide who knows both culture and nature very well will assist you to get lots of amazing shots and enjoy a lifetime culture exploration in western China.


• Explore Chengdu city, the hometown of pandas, discover its leisure lifestyle by your lens, as well as photography giant pandas at different ages at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
• Photograph inside Jiuzhaigou National Park and Huanglong National Park which is in the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage.
• Experience a great diversity of ethnic cultures in China, such as the culture of Han people, Hui Minority, Qiang ethnic group, and Tibetans.
• Gain in-depth Tibetan and Buddhism culture immersion from Sichuan, Gansu to Qinghai, enjoy diverse Tibetan tribal cultures from agriculture areas to nomadic areas.
• Have abundant chances to photograph a diversity of subjects such as unique Qiang architectures, Tibetan people, brilliant Tibetan monasteries, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, alpine lakes, vast grasslands, wetlands, salt lake, deserts, nomadic areas, wildflowers, birds, and plateau wildlife.
• Guided by accomplished photography guide who is specialized in nature and culture photography, with plenty of patience and enthusiasm to answer your questions and provide technical supports.
• Travel in a small group with 12 people at maximum to ensure the quality of your trip and each travel get enough attention for individual assistance.

Introduction to Trip Destinations:
Dujiangyan Panda Ark
Dujiangyan Panda Ark is located at the foot of Qingcheng Mountain. Mainly focusing on panda rescue, husbandry, and disease control, its facilities have a critical impact on the continued survival of the Giant Panda. It takes about a 1.5~2 hours drive from downtown Chengdu to arrive at the base. The base has several pandas rescued from the wild and some others are returned from overseas, such as the famous panda-Taishan who was born in Washington D.C. Dujiangyan Panda Ark is very close to the UNESCO cultural heritage sites, the 2,200-year old Dujiangyan Irrigation System and the Qingcheng Mountain.



Taoping Qiang Village
Taoping Qiang Village is famed as "the ancient castle in the east" which is home to the Qiang ethnic group. Located in Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, it is the best-preserved village that built-in 111 BC. This ancient village combines with eight gates and 31 interconnecting lanes leading to each household in a maze-like manner. The Qiang people say that during wartime periods these lanes provided a form of defense, if there were sufficient food, they could defend their village for years. Besides, Qiang people have a strong aesthetic sense of wearing, their hats and shoes are decorated with floral and cloud-shaped patterns. On June 7, 2008, Qiang embroidery was selected into our second batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Jiuzhaigou National Park (Jiuzhaigou Valley)
Jiuzhaigou National Park was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. If there are “fairylands” in the world, Jiuzhaigou must be one of them. Stretching over 72,000 hectares in the northern part of Sichuan Province, the Jiuzhaigou reaches a height of 2,200m to more than 4,800m, thus comprising a series of diverse forest ecosystems. Here lives about 220 bird species as well as some endangered animals and plant species, including the Giant Panda, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, Sichuan Takin, and numerous orchids and rhododendrons. Its superb landscapes are particularly interesting for its series of narrow conic karst landforms and spectacular waterfalls.

Huanglong National Park
Huanglong National Park sets within Minshan mountains in Songpan County, with lush green forests surrounding the unique limestone rock formations which are internationally renowned as being one of the world’s largest, undamaged karst landscapes. Huanglong means "Yellow Dragon" which got its name for its special geographical features. With a bird-eye view, the Huanglong National Park looks like a big golden dragon arching across the valley, winding its way between the snow-capped mountain peaks. Huanglong is famous for its "Four Wonders", the colorful pool, snow mountain, canyon, and forest. In 1992, it was listed on the World Natural Heritage List.


Ruoergai Grassland
Ruoergai Grassland is believed to be one of the most beautiful grasslands of China, as well as one of the world's largest and best-preserved plateau peat swamp wetlands. These picturesque highland prairies sit at an elevation between 3,400m and 3,600m and host dozens of bird species like Black-necked Crane, Golden Eagle, Ruddy Shelduck, and many more. What is more, it is a good place to search for colorful flowers endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. Besides, it is a good place to searching wildlife like Tibetan Gazelle, Palla’s Cat, Wolf, Tibetan Fox, Plateau Pika, Himalayan Marmot, and so on. This highland wetland ecosystem is rare and needs good protection due to its vulnerability.

Langmusi is a small town located at the border between Sichuan and Gansu provinces with two mountains sitting behind and a stream flowing through. Monasteries stand quietly among the mountains with prayer flags flying in the air, sending a strong religious message to the passerby. It is said Langmusi is a mini version of "Shangri-La": it is not only a paradise of natural beauty, the intersection of ancient roads, but also a place where diverse cultures blend and develop. You will not miss a visit to Langmusi Monastery where you might get a chance to know more about the Tibetan Sky Burial.

Labrang Monastery
Labrang Monastery is a transliteration of the Tibetan word for the residence of the living Buddha master. Founded in 1709, it is one of the big six monasteries of the Gelug Sect (the yellow hat sect) of Tibetan Buddhism and the highest Buddhist school of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, known as the "World Tibetan Buddism University". More than 4,000 monks have studied in its splendid buildings at its golden age. Labrang Monastery has one of the longest corridors of prayer wheels over the world, which has over 1,700 scripture wheels. Now Labrang hosts many important and magnificent Buddhism ceremonies that attract Buddism believers worldwide.

Ta’er Monastery (Kumbum Monastery)
Ta'er Monastery also called Kumbum Monastery. It is only 28 kilometers away from the Xining City of Qinghai Province. Ta'er Monastery was built in 1560 in memory of Tsongkaba (1357-1419), the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is considered as the center of Tibetan Buddhism in northwestern China and one of the six major monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The three unique Tibetan art forms namely butter sculpture, barbola, and mural painting from the monastery are accepted as the three artistic treasures of the Ta’er Monastery. Everyone who pays a visit to Xining will not miss this spot.

Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve
Established in 1975, Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve is located in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau which is about 100 kilometers to the west of Xining City. With an altitude of about 3,300 meters, it is famous for the beautiful scenery and mixed ethnic culture formed by Muslims, Mongolians, and Tibetans. Qinghai Lake is the largest inland lake in China (salt lake) and an important nesting ground for summer breeders. In the summer, millions of birds fly here and breed their young. It is also a major stopover place for some migratory birds in spring and autumn during their migration. There are altogether 200 species of birds and beasts in Qinghai Lake and lakeside areas, including Brown-headed Gull, Great Cormorant, Bar-headed Goose, and Black-necked Crane.

How Can We Make This Trip Special?
• Many times of running this itinerary for western nature and culture lovers enables us to ensure your photography trip is enjoyable and comfortable in the hidden area.
• A team of passionate guides specializing in photography and wildlife with rich experiences of guiding and solid knowledge about local cultures and places.
• This trip can be customized to better meet your travel style by centering on a different focus.
• 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 trips for travelers of different travel styles.


What Makes AbsolutePanda Excellent? 
• We are one of the premier travel companies focusing on panda and other wildlife in China.
We use AbsolutePanda as company brand because of our deep love toward panda and our determination to create your absolutely enjoyable panda trips. 
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 scenery all over China and explore the authentic local culture.
• 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 in comfort and your style.
We understand each traveler is different. In addition to 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 know the value of wildlife and learn how to love and appreciate those beautiful creatures living near their villages.



Map of the Photo Safari Trip to Hidden Tibetan Land



Day 1. Arrive in Chengdu. (D)
The airport pick-up. City exploration based on your time of arrival. Overnight: Chengdu (500m)
Day 2. Chengdu-Taoping Qiang Village. 170km 3.5h (BLD)
Drive to Taoping Qiang Village after visiting Chengdu Panda Base. Overnight: Taoping Qiang Village (1,500m)
Day 3. Taoping Qiang Village-Jiuzhaigou. 300km 6.5h (BLD)
Drive to Jiuzhaigou. Overnight: Jiuzhaigou (2,000m)
Day 4. Jiuzhaigou National Park. (BLD)
Visit Jiuzhaigou National Park (Jiuzhaigou Valley). Overnight: Jiuzhaigou (2,000m)
Day 5. Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong-Ruoergai. 275km 5.5h (BLD)
Drive to Ruoergai after visiting Huanglong National Park. Overnight: Ruoergai (3,450m)
Day 6. Ruoergai-Langmusi. 90km 2h (BLD)
Drive to Langmusi after visiting Zhada Monastery and Huahu Lake (Flower Lake). Overnight: Langmusi (3,330m)
Day 7. Langmusi-Xiahe.190km 3.5h (BLD)
Drive to Xiahe after visiting Langmu Monastery. Overnight: Xiahe (2,950m)
Day 8. Xiahe. (BLD)
Visit around Xiahe include Labrang Monastery and Sangke Grassland. Overnight: Xiahe (2,950m)
Day 9. Xiahe-Xining. 230km 4.5h (BLD)
Drive to Xining and visit around Xining. Overnight: Xining (2,250m)
Day 10. Xining-Qinghai Lake. 160km 3h (BLD)
Drive to Qinghai Lake after visiting Kumbum Monastery. Overnight: Gangcha (3,300m)
Day 11. Qinghai Lake-Xining. 280km 5.5h (BLD)
Drive to Xining via Haergai. Overnight: Xining (2,200m)
Day 12. Depart Xining. (B)
The airport drop-off.
Day 1. Arrival in Chengdu. Meals: D
The airport pick-up. Based on the time you arrive, we can plan some free city tour programs such as visiting People’s Park to experience the typical laid-back lifestyles of Chengdu or taking you to Jinli Street to feel the bustling shopping street with unique local souvenirs and delicious local take-away food. Sichuan cuisine is among the top four Chinese cuisines, so a food tour will be a highlight. Sichuan Opera (Face-changing Show) is also a must-see that you don't want to miss.

Overnight: Chengdu (500m)

Day 2. Chengdu-Taoping Qiang Village. 170km 3.5h Meal: BLD
We will visit Chengdu Panda Base for the pandas when they are very active in the morning. Chengdu Panda Base is the breeding center that has the largest numbers of giant pandas in one facility in the world. Here you can see the pandas of different ages and you will have absolute panda experience! After the panda base, we will drive to Taoping Qiang Village. This village is known for its mysterious ancient fortress which has protected Qiang people since 111 BC. These are the only buildings in the area that was not affected by the “May 12 Great Sichuan Earthquake” in 2008. We will stay in the village tonight and experience the culture of Qiang people.

Overnight: Taoping Qiang Village (1,500m)

Day 3. Taoping Qiang Village-Jiuzhaigou. 300km 6.5h Meal: BLD
We will head to Jiuzhaigou National Park (Jiuzhaigou Valley). “Jiuzhaigou” means nine Tibetan villages living in the valley. If there are “fairylands” in the world, Jiuzhaigou Valley must be one of them. Its superb landscapes are particularly interesting for their series of narrow conic karst landforms and spectacular waterfalls. Together with Huanglong National Park, it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The magical colors of water inside Jiuzhaigou will make fantastic photos.

Overnight: Jiuzhaigou (2,000m)

Day 4. Jiuzhaigou National Park. Meal: BLD
Today we will enjoy the wonders of nature inside Jiuzhaigou National Park. Listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, Jiuzhaigou is famous for its iconic "Six Wonders", including the green lakes, multi-layer waterfalls, colorful forests, snow-capped peaks, Tibetan culture, and blue ice. Water is the soul of Jiuzhaigou, and the Haizi Lake in Jiuzhaigou is by far the most notable. The lakes here are crystal clear all year round, and with the changing seasons, the color of the water shifts. In total, Jiuzhaigou has more than one hundred pristine lakes connected by gorgeous towering waterfalls. Enjoy your photography day here.

Overnight: Jiuzhaigou (2,000m)

Day 5. Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong-Ruoergai. 275km 5.5h Meal: BLD
Drive to Ruoergai after visiting Huanglong National Park. Huanglong National Park is located in Songpan County, part of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province. Huanglong is famous for its "Four Wonders", the colorful pool, snow mountain, canyon, and forest. After Huanglong, we will drive to Ruoergai Grassland. Ruoergai is believed to be one of the most beautiful grasslands of China. What is more, it is a good place to searching colorful flowers and wild animals endemic to the Tibetan plateau.

Overnight: Ruoergai (3,450m)

Day 6. Ruoergai-Langmusi. 90km 2h Meal: BLD
We will drive to Langmusi after visiting Zhada Monastery and Huahu Lake (Flower Lake). In Zhada Monastery, you will have the chance to take photos of Sika Deer that wandering freely around. Ruoergai is a fairyland for watching wildflowers and birds. In Ruoergai, the Amdo Tibetan minority is a nomadic group who pasture yak and horse on the large grassland for generations. We will have a chance to visit some Amdo nomadic tents and talk to the locals to learn about their stories. We continue the journey driving to Langmusi in southern Gansu.

Overnight: Langmusi (3,330m)

Day 7. Langmusi-Xiahe.190km 3.5h Meal: BLD
We will drive to Xiahe after visiting Langmu Monastery. Langmusi, known in Tibetan as Taktsang Lhamo, is a small village straddling the border of Gansu and Sichuan in the Amdo region of the Tibetan Plateau. Sitting at an elevation of 3,330m, Langmusi lies in a beautiful valley surrounded by alpine forests and amazing mountains. You will not miss a visit to Langmusi Monastery where you might get a chance to know more about the Tibetan Sky Burial. It is a perfect place to immerse in Tibetan Buddhism. Leaving Langmusi, we drive north to Xiahe and continue our Tibetan culture experience.

Overnight: Xiahe (2,950m)

Day 8. Xiahe. Meal: BLD
Visit around Xiahe include Labrang Monastery and Sangke Grassland. Xiahe is home to the famed Labrang Monastery, one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The town is populated largely by ethnic Tibetans, as well as some Hui and Han Chinese. Sangke Grassland is a vast highland meadow surrounded by mountains. It enjoys a good reputation in the northwest Tibetan region for its excellent pasture and significant Buddhist ceremonies.

Overnight: Xiahe (2,950m)

Day 9. Xiahe-Xining. 230km 4.5h Meal: BLD
Leaving Xiahe in the morning, we are heading north to Qinghai Tibetan Autonomous Region. Xining is the capital of Qinghai province in western China and the largest city on the Tibetan Plateau. The city was a commercial hub along the Northern Silk Road's Hexi Corridor for over 2,000 years and was a stronghold of the Han, Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties' resistance against nomadic attacks from the west. It’s hard not to pay a visit to the Great Mosque on a stroll of Dongguan Street of Xining. Built in 1380, the Xining Dongguan Great Mosque is the largest in Qinghai province and it has become an important place of worship and assembly for Chinese Muslims.

Overnight: Xining (2,250m)

Day 10. Xining-Qinghai Lake. 160km 3h Meal: BLD
We will drive to Qinghai Lake after visiting Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Monastery). After the overnight in Xining, we will stop by a famous Tibetan Buddhism monastery on the way to Qinghai Lake. Kumbum Monastery was built in 1560 in memory of Tsongkaba (1357-1419), the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is considered as the center of Tibetan Buddhism in northwestern China and one of the six major monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Then we will head to Qinghai Lake. Qinghai Lake as the main body is surrounded by a lakeside plain, grassy swamp, alpine grassy marshland, semi-desert and dry grassy beach with abundant wetland ecosystem and bio-resources. There are altogether 200 species of birds and beasts in Qinghai Lake and lakeside areas, including Brown-headed Gull, Great Cormorant, Bar-headed Goose, and Black-necked Crane.

Overnight: Gangcha (3,300m)

Day 11. Qinghai Lake-Xining. 280km 5.5h Meal: BLD
We will drive back to Xining via Haergai. As a plateau lake, Qinghai Lake is a paradise for summer breeders. In spring and summer, around 100,000 birds fly to the Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve for their summer breeding. Qinghai Lake also boasts of abundant fish resources that serve as a food source for birds there. We will watch birds and track wildlife around the lake. How time flies, we will finish our photography trip in Xining. Enjoy the time with your team and share your photos in the evening.

Overnight: Xining (2,200m)

Day 12. Depart Xining. Meal: B
The airport drop-off. Depart Xining.

1. If you need help in arranging a flight to Chengdu from other major cities of China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, or a departure flight from Xining, please feel free to contact us, we are more than happy to provide any support we can to facilitate your trip planning.
2. This trip ventures into a remote area that features high altitude. Follow the advice from your doctor on altitude sickness before deciding to join this trip. In some events, high elevation can cause severe health complications for those with cardiovascular diseases or other poor cardiopulmonary function.
3. The overnight altitudes and driving hours listed in the itinerary are just for your rough reference.


Dates & Prices

1. Dates 
Jun. 21 to Jul. 2, 2024,2025
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 you enjoy a trip suited to your 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 travelers and the maximum departure number at twelve travelers. That means the trip size is 4 to 12 participants.
The cost for a group of 4 to 12 people:
Single supplement:
The cost includes:
1. Vehicles listed on the trip. Fuel, tolls, airport pick-up, and drop-off are included in the price. The size of the vehicle is based on the number of participants for this itinerary;
2. An English-speaking photography guide for the whole trip;
3. Meals listed above as BLD;
4. Bottled water and snacks;
5. Entrance charges listed in the itinerary;
6. China Domestic Travel Insurance;
7. Hotels and hostels listed in the itinerary.
The 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 Chengdu and out of Xining;
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;
9. Face-changing Show.
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 small villages. 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 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 and had guided many photography trips since 2004. As a guide, Philip also has a keen interest in Buddhism, birds, and Chinese cuisine.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
When you put your trust in our team, we are certain to help you enjoy an unforgettable travel experience in China!



AbsolutePanda firmly believes travel is an art. To ensure every trip with us is a great travel art for our clients, 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.



1. What kind of cuisine is popular in Sichuan?
Sichuan cuisine is indisputably one of China’s most celebrated cooking styles. Featuring bold and spicy flavor, Chengdu’s many delicacies are something that any visitor must try when coming to Sichuan. Some notable dishes include hot pot, Homestyle Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, and Double-boiled Beef.
2. Will Jiuzhaigou have opportunities for wildlife photography?
The pristine natural setting of Jiuzhaigou Valley is coveted as one of Sichuan’s greatest outdoor destinations. During our stay here in the park, we plan to visit the famous water features that draw tourists from around the world. For visitors that are interested in searching for animals during our time here, please contact our team during the booking process, and we will make sure to accommodate your request. Jiuzhaigou Valley is an excellent birding destination and is sure to give guests ample opportunity to photograph some of Sichuan’s beautiful endemic bird species.
3. Which Chinese provinces will we visit during this tour?
Throughout this trip, we will pass through the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai.
4. Which indigenous communities will we encounter on this trip?
During this trip, we will encounter Qiang, Hui, and Tibetan communities. In particular, the Tibetans we will meet are considered Amdo Tibetan and have many cultural distinctions from Tibetans found elsewhere on the Tibetan Plateau.
5. Do you expect altitude sickness to be an issue during this tour?
While the Tibetan Plateau is considered one of the highest regions on the planet and altitude sickness is a reasonable concern. When this trip was designed, we gave full consideration to this, by traveling from low elevation to gradually to higher elevation so that your body gets enough time to adapt to elevation change, there is no need to worry. If you have never traveled to high elevation places before, please check with your doctor before you come. Our guides have guided many foreign clients to these regions and so far none of our clients got big trouble with high elevation. Also, our guide has got some training on how to deal with this kind of situation.
6. Do foreign tourists need special permits to visit the Tibetan area?
Foreign travelers do need a special permit from Tibet Tour Administration to visit the Tibet Autonomous Region (T.A.R.). However, no permits are required to visit Tibetan areas in other provinces of China.
7. Does your team have tripods and binoculars that guests can use during the tour?
Yes, our company has prepared different sets of equipment for the conveniences of our clients, such as cameras, lens, camping gears, tripods, binoculars, spotting scope and walking sticks, etc. Feel free to contact us ahead of the time if you need any assistance from us.
8. Is it acceptable to photograph people on this tour?
The different ethical culture we will unveil to you on this tour gives you lots of unique chances to take some breathtaking photos that showcase the unique and vibrant communities in southwest China. In times of taking photos of people, we do suggest you ask first before photographing. If you are not quite sure, please ask our guide for help.
9. How is the comfort level?
From big cities to remote villages, AbsolutePanda makes sure that your time in China is safe and comfortable. In most local places, we stay in a local best hotel whenever it is possible. But in some places, the condition might be very basic to you because we are into the wilderness. Also, we will travel in very high elevation areas, we may come across some difficulties from altitude change.
10. Gentle reminders:
1). AbsolutePanda always does all it can to ensure the full enjoyment of the trip for our clients. However, we have to admit that we might encounter some situations which are beyond the control of AbsolutePanda. For example, our itinerary has to be changed due to temporary traffic control or some unpredictable factors such as road work.
2). We may not be able to visit some places listed in the itinerary due to various reasons such as inaccessibility from a landslide or some other unpredictable reasons. Though the chance for such kind of occurrence is really low, if it happens, AsbolutePanda will work our best to safeguard the interests of our clients and make the best-possible decision after talking with clients.
3). Sometimes problems may arise from different cultural interpretations. Just as the western proverbs says that when in Rome do as the Romans do. While in China we hope each of our travelers enjoys their trip and also strictly follows Chinese law and local traditions. Anything unclear, feel free to ask your guide.
Email us if you have any questions. Read our FAQ



Amazing local company—the best and most reliable.
I have worked in china as international tour escort for ten years and with a multitude of companies and these guys are in a league by themselves. They have long track record of success for 7 years, have the best connections and the best guides. I can't say enough about them. They can also organize the best local guides for anywhere in china, and are logistical wizards all around.

—Brad J from the US
April 19, 2015

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Videos & Photos


Chengdu Panda Base

Taoping Qiang Village

Qiang People

Waterfall of Jiuzhaigou

Colorful water in Jiuzhaigou National Park.

Huanglong National Park

Searching for wildflower in Ruoergai Grassland.

Iris songarica

Zhada Monastery in Ruoergai.

Tibetan Woman

On the road to Qinghai Lake.

We may meet some local events if we are lucky!

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