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Trip Details

22 Days Experience the Wild Side of China

22 Days Experience the Wild Side of China

Date: Sept. 9 to Sept. 30, 2024, 2025

Price: From 5900USD/PAX

Trip Focus: Wildlife + Culture

Status: Open to Booking

Route: Beijing-Xi'an-Yangxian-Tangjiahe-Pingwu-Jiuzhai-Huanglong-Wenchuan-Wolong-Rilong-Labahe-Yajiang-Shangri-La Town-Shangri-La City-Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve-Lijiang

Trip Code: W007


This is an ultimate wildlife trip focusing on wildlife and culture exploration. We will visit three different kinds of habitats, namely, Qinling Mountains, which serve as the geographical demarcation line between southern and northern China, the panda habitats in Sichuan where the majority of wild pandas live in the depth of bamboo forests along with dozens of companion animals, and Hengduan Mountain Range, which have been listed by Conservation International (2020) as one of the 36 hot spots for biodiversity.
We start this trip from Beijing, the capital of China, where you can easily arrive and warm up with visits to some classical sites such as the Forbidden City, The Great Wall the, Summer Palace, and Hutong that are a must for travelers. After Beijing, we will pay a visit to Xi’an, the ancient capital of China in history, where we will visit the Terracotta Warriors, Muslim Quarter, and Xi’an Acient City Wall. We will head to Qingling Mountains by bullet train to look for birds and mammals there such as Crested Ibis. Then we will go to the panda habitats in Sichuan where we can search for wildlife including Red Panda, Sichuan Takin, Asiatic Black Bear, Golden Pheasant, Temminck's Tragopan, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, and other endemic wildlife who share the same habitats with giant pandas. After the panda habitats, we will drive on to the Shangri-La area in the Hengduan Mountains. The name Shangri-La refers to a big area covering part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province, and Yunnan Province. The name was given by James Hilton in his book Lost in Horizon to refer to the extremely beautiful area in Kham Tibetan area where wildlife lives side by side harmoniously with local Tibetan people. Besides stunning natural scenery and diverse indigenous Tibetan culture, we will have a good chance to see a variety of wildlife including White Eared Pheasant, Buff-throated Partridge, Black Snub-nosed Monkey, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Marmot, Tibetan Wolf, and Tibetan Partridge.

• Search for wildlife in three different types of habitats with a good chance to see some rare or precious animals in China such as Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, Sichuan Takin, Black Snub-nosed Monkey, and Blue Sheep.

• Volunteer at Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base and experience the life of a panda keeper there by cleaning the panda enclosure and feeding the panda.

• Visit five World Culture Heritage Sites located in the tourist cities of Beijing, Xi'an, and Lijiang.

• Visit some of the most important cultural sites such as the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and Terracotta Warriors in China.

• Experience a great diversity of ethnic cultures in China, such as the culture of Han Chinese, Hui people, Kham Tibetans in Sichuan and Yunnan, and Naxi ethnic minority in Lijiang.

Introduction to Trip Destinations:

Tangjiahe Nature Reserve
Tangjiahe Nature Reserve is a famous panda habitat located at the Minshan Mountains and it has more than pandas. In the depth of those rugged mountains, we can find world-class attractions, elusive endemic birds, and a great variety of mammals, insects, amphibians, and plants. Though it is not easy to spot a Giant Panda in the wild, the rewards from paying a visit to this panda habitat are extremely high. With the umbrella protection of Giant Panda, its companion animals like Asiatic Black Bear, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey, Golden Pheasant, Chinese Goral, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, Reeve’s Muntjac, Tufted Deer, Hog Badger, Yellow-throated Martin, Tibetan Macaque, Eurasian Otter, Wild Boar, Red Panda, Temminck's Tragopan, and Leopard Cat also get lots of benefits. Spotting those lovely creatures in the wild can bring you lots of fun on your natural journey. A guided walk through this reserve will enable you to gain an understanding and appreciation of the panda habitat. Also, you might encounter some animals and plant species you have dreamed of for a long time. 

Labahe Nature Reserve
Labahe Nature Reserve is one of the best places in the world to see wild Red Panda. In Labahe Nature Reserve, you can search for mammals like Sambar Deer, Tibetan Macaque, Chinese Goral, Leopard Cat, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, and Red- and-White Flying Squirel and birds such as Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Great Parrotbill. Labahe Nature Reserve is located at the Hengduan Mountains with an altitude ranging from 1,050m to 5,100m above the sea level. It is covered with mixed forests and dense bamboos with the cloud drifted in and out throughout the day. The vegetation and the altitude of the reserve make it a perfect habitat for the animals.

Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve
Black Snub-nosed Monkey lives in high-elevation evergreen conifer forests and mixed conifer and oak forests from 3,400m to 4,100m above sea level. It is endemic to China. There are only about 3,000 left according to the data of 2013, and most of the black snub-nosed monkeys live in Yunnan. When you pay a visit to the Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve, you will fall in love with this large monkey with a very long tail. You will be attracted by its bare facial skin which is pink with a black patch on the bluish nose. What is more, its lip is deep reddish-pink. What a beautiful lip color.

Volunteer at Panda Base
The panda volunteer will give you a unique opportunity to gain indepth knowledge about pandas by working side by side with a panda keeper. This program allow you enter the areas not open to general public to observe pandas upclose and assist the panda caretakers in their daily routine of cleaning panda enclosures and hand-feeding pandas. That means we will do the Panda Volunteer Program in Dujiangyan Panda Base and enjoy a face to face time with the panda.

Wolong Panda Base
Wolong Panda Base is a new panda base built with the charity donation from Hong Kong Government after the 2008 earthquake during which the old Wolong Panda Base was damaged. It takes about a 2.5-hour drive from Chengdu to the base. This base is located inside the panda habitat and has the best natural temperature for the pandas. It is an excellent place for people who want to see active panda cubs with fewer crowds. The Wolong Giant Panda Habitat Reserve around this area is one of the most important giant panda habitats in China.


Mount Siguniang National Park
Mount Siguniang is literally known as "Four Girls Mountain" or "Four Sisters Mountain" with its four peaks of Da Feng (5,025m), Er Feng (5,276m), San Feng (5,355m), and Yaomei Feng (6,250m). Mount Siguniang National Park was inscribed as a part of Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries on the heritage list by UNESCO in 2006. This national park covers an area of 2,000 square kilometers and is famous for the encompasses four peaks and the surrounding three valleys, namely Changping Valley, Haizi Valley, and Shuangqiao Valley. In our trip, we will pay a visit to Shuangqiao Valley.


Daocheng Yading National Park

Daocheng Yading National Park was first introduced to the western world by the famous American adventurer Joseph F. Rock in 1928. The renowned “last pure land” centers around three sacred snowcapped mountains named Chenresig (compassion), Chana Dorje (power), and Jampelyang (wisdom). This region is comprised of some extraordinary forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers, and glacier-fed lakes. Additionally, the unique culture of the local Tibetan communities is reflected in the numerous colorful prayer flags, stupas, and marnyi stones that are ubiquitous in the area.


World Culture Heritage Sites and Top Tourist Cities

This trip will cover five World Cultural Heritage Sites located in Beijing, Xi’an, and Lijiang. The World Cultural Heritage Sites we will visit are the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Terracotta Warriors, Jiuzhaigou National Park, Huanglong National Park, Giant Panda Habitat, Three Parallel Rivers and Lijiang Ancient Town.


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.


How Can We Make This Trip Special?

• A team of passionate guides specializing in photography and wildlife with rich experiences of guiding and solid knowledge about wildlife and local places.

• Can be customized to better meet your travel style.

• 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 trip 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.



Experience the Wild Side of China Trip Map



Day 1 (Sept. 9). Arrive in Beijing. Meals: (D)

The airport pick up and transfer to our hotel.

Overnight: Beijing Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel

Day 2(Sept. 10). Beijing.  Meals: BLD

Pay a visit to the Forbidden City and Mutianyu Great Wall.

Overnight: Beijing Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel

Day 3 (Sept. 11). Beijing-Xi’an (By Bullet Train). Meals: BLD

Drive to the train station after visiting a Hutong and Temple of Heaven.

Overnight: Campanile Hotels·Xi'An Bell & Drum Tower

Day 4 (Sept. 12). Xi’an. Meals: BLD

Pay a visit to Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an City Wall, and Muslim Quarter.

Overnight:  Campanile Hotels·Xi'An Bell & Drum Tower

Day 5 (Sept. 13). Xi’an-Yangxian (By Bullet Train). Meals: BLD

Transfer to Yangxian. Searching for Crested Ibis.

Overnight: Yangxian Liyuan Hotel (480m)

Day 6 (Sept. 14). Yangxian-Tangjiahe (By Bullet Train and bus).Meals: BLD

Transfer to Tangjiahe Nature Reserve via Guangyuan.

Overnight: Tangjiahe Grand Hotel(1,400m)

Day 7 (Sept. 15). Tangjiahe Nature Reserve.Meals: BLD

Wildlife safari inside Tangjiahe Nature Reserve.

Overnight: Tangjiahe Grand Hotel(1,400m)

Day 8 (Sept. 16). Tangjiahe-Pingwu Golden Snub-nosed Monkey Reserve-Jiuzhaigou. 360km 6hs  Meals: BLD

Drive to Golden Snub-nosed Monkey Reserve and after seeing the lovely monkeys, we drive on to Jiuzhai.

Overnight: Jiuzhai Jiuyuan Hotel (2200m)

Day 9 (Sept. 17). Exploring World Heritage Site Jiuzhaigou Meals: BLD

We spend whole day exploring the famous Jiuzhaigou National Park.

Overnight: Jiuzhai Jiuyuan Hotel (2,200m)

Day 10 (Sept. 18). Jiuzhai-Shenxianchi ( Fairy Ponds) and drive to Huanglong.Meals: BLD

Drive to Shenxianchi in the morning and visit the Fairy Ponds before we drive on to Huanglong.

Overnight: Huanglong Seercuo International Hotel.

Day 11 (Sept. 19). Visit Huanglong in the morning and then drive to Wenchuan. Meals: BLD 

Take cable car to the top and walk all the way down to enjoy the gem-like calcified ponds scattered along the valley.

Overnight: New Wenchuan Hotel

Day 12 (Sept. 20). Visit Wolong Panda Base with participation of volunteering program at Wolong Panda Base ) and then drive to Four Sister Mountain. Meals: BLD

Drive about 50 minutes to Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base and spend the morning volunteering at the base before we drive on to Four Sister Mountain.

Overnight: Rilong Anlan Hotel.  

Day 13 (Sept. 21). Whole day exploring Four Sister Mountain. Meals: BLD

In the morning, we take a local shuttle bus into the valley and enjoy the stunning natural scenery inside the park. In the afternoon, we will explore the Tibetan villages nearby.

Overnight:Rilong Anlan Hotel(3100m)

Day 14 (Sept. 22). Rilong-Labahe. 330km 6hs Meals: BLD

Drive to Labahe en route we pay a visit to Dengchigou Cathnic Church set up by Armand David who was the first wester seeing a panda and introducting the giant panda into the western world.

Overnight: Labahe Luming Hotel (1,900m)

Day 15 (Sept. 23). Labahe Nature Reserve. Meals: BLD

Searching for Red Panda inside Labahe Nature Reserve.

Overnight: Labahe Luming Hotel (1,900m)

Day 16 (Sept. 24). Labahe-Yajiang. 230km 6hs Meals: BLD

Searching for Red Panda in the morning, then drive to Yajiang.

Overnight: Yajiang Kangba Zangyi Hotel (2,700m)

Day 17 (Sept. 25). Yajiang—Shangri-La Town. 350km 7hs  Meals: BLD

Drive to Shangri-La Town via Sangdui Monastery.

Overnight: Shidai Yading Hotel (3,000m)

Day 18 (Sept. 26). Shangri-La Town. Meals: BLD 

Hiking inside Daocheng Yading National Park.

Overnight: Shidai Yading Hotel (3,000m)

Day 19 (Sept. 27). Shangri-La Town—Shangri-La City. 310km 7.5hs Meals: BLD

Drive to Shangri-La City and enjoy the wonderful scenery on the way.

Overnight: Dujinimi Tibetan Hotel (3,300m)

Day 20 (Sept. 28). Shangri-La City—Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve. 130km 2.5hs  Meals: BLD

Drive to Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve.

Overnight: Black Snub-nosed Reserve Hotel (2,800m)

Day 21 (Sept. 29). Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve-Lijiang. 180km 4hs Meals: BLD

Drive to Lijiang Ancient Town.

Overnight: Lijiang Baishuifang Boutique Hotel(2,400m)

Day 22 (Sept. 30). Lijiang depart. Meals: B

The airport see off.

Trip Details

Day 1. Arrive in Beijing. Meals: D

Arrive at the airport, meet our AbsolutePanda guide and transfer to your hotel. We will explore the city a bit if time permits. At the welcome dinner, we will have the first taste of Beijing cuisine.

Overnight: Beijing Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel

Day 2. Beijing. Meals: BLD

In the morning, we will drive to the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty which is the last dynasty in Chinese history. It was originally built in 1406, for almost 500 years, it served as the seat-bed of the Emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasties as well as the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government. After lunch, we will drive to the Mutianyu Great Wall for a quiet, less-crowded afternoon visit. The Mutianyu Great Wall is the best-preserved and most complete section with the extremely beautiful natural landscape.

Overnight: Beijing Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel

Day 3. Beijing-Xi’an (By Train). Meals: BLD

Visit one of Beijing's old Hutongs in the morning, explore the unique architecture and authentic Chinese street life. Then we will go to the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and masterpiece of architecture and landscape design. The complex was visited by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven for a plentiful harvest. After lunch, we will drive to the train station and it takes about 6 hours from Beijing to Xi’an by a bullet train. Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.

Overnight: Campanile Hotels·Xi'An Bell & Drum Tower

Day 4. Xi’an. Meals: BLD

Today we will depart early to visit Terracotta Warriors, the eighth wonder of the world which was created to guard the tomb of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor to unite ancient China. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Terracotta Warriors is one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries throughout history. In the afternoon, we will pay a visit to Xi’an City Wall (the Ancient City Wall of Xi’an). In the evening, we will pay a visit to the Muslim Quarter. The Muslim Quarter is regarded as the best place to experience the exotic foods brought in through Silk Road.

Overnight: Campanile Hotels·Xi'An Bell & Drum Tower

Day 5. Xi’an-Yangxian (By Train). Meals: BLD

Today we will transfer to Yangxian  by trains. Located in the south of the Qingling Mountain Range, the species boundary between the south and the north, Yangxian is a very unique birding spot where we can see the endangered Crested Ibis. It was considered as an extinct species until 7 Crested Ibises were found in Yangxian in the 1980s, while the population has gradually grown up to 3,000.

Overnight: Yangxian Liyuan Hotel (470m)

Day 6. Yangxian-Tangjiahe (By Train). Meals: BLD

Searching for Crested Ibis in the morning and photograph them in the best light. Then we will board the bullet train again for Guangyuan, from where we board our bus to head toward Tangjiahe Nature Reserve via Qingxi Ancient Village. With a history of 1700 years, Qingxi Ancient Village is a beautiful and peaceful ancient village surrounded by the Minshan Mountains.
Hidden deep in the Minshan Mountains, Tangjiahe Nature Reserve is one of the first reserves set up to protect giant pandas and their companion animals in China. It is also known as a premier biodiversity hotspot that consists of murmuring streams, lush mixed broadleaf-conifer forests, and cliffs.

Overnight: Tangjiahe Grand Hotel (1,400m)

Day 7. Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Meals: BLD

Wildlife safari inside Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Thanks to years of protection efforts from the reserve staff, now Tangjiahe is one of the best reserves in China to see wildlife in their habitat. Mammals such as Sichuan Takin, Reeve’s Muntjac, Tibetan Macaque are relatively easy to find and sometimes they can be spotted from a very close distance. It needs some luck and patience to spot some species like Eurasian Otter, Tufted Deer, Asiatic Black Bear, Chinese Serow, Yellow-throated Martin, Hog Badger, and Golden Pheasant. To maximize our chances, we will spend two days searching for wildlife in different places of the reserve.

Overnight: Tangjiahe Grand Hotel (1,400m)

Day 8. Tangjiahe-Pingwu Golden Snub-nosed Monkey Reserve-Jiuzhaigou. 360km 6h Meals:BLD 

In the morning, after early breakfast we drive toward Pingwu Golden Snub-nosed Monkey Reserve to photograph Golden Snub-nosed Monkey there. There are about 40 Golden Snub-nosed Monkey live in the lower elevation area where we can easily hike to the site and see those beautiful mountain creatures up close. We will spend 3-4 hours there observing playful monkeys and then we will drive on to our next destination, Jiuzhaigou. 

Overnight: Jiuzhai Jiuyuan Hotel. (2200m)


Day 9. Exploring World Heritage Site Jiuzhaigou Meals: BLD

After early breakfast at our hotel, we take our bus and drive to the parking lot of Jiuzhaigou National Park and hike to the entrance. We will spend the day touring the natural splendor of this coveted heritage site. The main attractions of the valley are the colorful mirror-like lakes and splendid waterfalls. At the end of the valley, water from melting snow mixes with limestone water from underground, flowing down the mountain terraces, depositing the calcium carbonate from the limestone water on the rocks, stones, and fallen branches in its path. This natural phenomenon is the cause of vibrantly colored waters of the park.

Overnight:Jiuzhai Jiuyuan Hotel

Day 10. Jiuzhai-Shenxianchi ( Fairy Ponds) and drive to Huanglong. Meals: BLD

In the morning, we will drive to another wonderful site called Fairy Ponds. On the way, we will be greeted by yak herds grazing on the small grasslands by the side of the road, hospitable Tibetan people waving toward us with their smiling faces. If we are lucky, we can even encounter flocks of blood pheasants running across the road or hear the loud calls of Blue Eared Pheasant. Fairy Ponds is the miniature of Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong with the beauty of exquisite. These pools feature a variety of beautiful colors ranging from white to pale yellow that result from natural processes of calcification. When the sun shines, brilliant light will be reflected and fresh air will rush to your face, straight into the heart. Then, we will head to Huanglong for a good rest.

Overnight: Huanglong  Seercuo International Hotel

Day 11. Visit Huanglong in the morning and then drive to Wenchuan.

Meals: BLD

Today, we will spend whole morning exploring Huanglong National Park. After breakfast, we walk to take the cable car to the higher elevation area where we will see ponds of different shapes and colors in the best morning ray and with fewer crowds. We will walk on a wooden walkway made through the virgin forest. Occasional some cute squirrels may hop up in front of us. With some luck, we can also encounter some birds like Blood Pheasant and eloquent laughingthrushes. From the top, we will enjoy the most beautiful group of ponds named Multicoloured Ponds. A Taoist temple sitting by the side of the ponds shows a blend of culture between Tibetan and Han in the past time. From Multicoloured Ponds, a huge calcified carpet stretches all the way to the bottom like a dragon. That is how Huanglong (literally means yellow dragon in Chinese) got its name. Surrounded by picturesque snow-capped mountain peaks, and with virgin forests on both sides, we will get lots of chances to photograph the golden ponds filled with gem-like water from your preferred angel. The whole park is just like a paradise on earth. And both Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong are panda habitats. As we slowly descend, the scenery changes as if we look through a kaleidoscope. Ater touring the world heritage site, we will board our bus and drive toward Wenchuan.

Overnight: New Wenchuan Hotel


Day 12. Visit Wolong Panda Base with participation of volunteering program at Wolong Panda Base ) and then drive to Four Sister Mountain.  Meals: BLD

This morning we leave early from our hotel and drive for about 50 minutes to Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base. We will arrive at the panda base at 8:30 to prepare for the Panda Volunteer Program. We will do the panda volunteer work like cleaning the enclosure and preparing bamboo. Then, we will have some free time to visit giant pandas and red pandas inside the panda base. At 11:00 we will feed panda with bamboo shoot, apple, or panda cake. After lunch, we will head to Rilong.

Overnight: Rilong Anlan Hotel

Day 13. Whole day exploring Four Sister Mountain. 

Four Sisters Mountain National Park is a world heritage site famous for its unique geology, Tibetan culture and beautiful nature scenery. Today we will spend a whole morning visiting the most beautiful valley called the Shuangqiao Valley of Four Sister Mountain National Park. This area is renowned for its beauty. We will arrive at Shuangqiao Valley early, and if the weather is good, we can take photos of the sky’s beautiful reflection on the calm and clear surface of the alpine lakes. Taking a walk around the magnificent stupa decorated with colorful prayer flags will give us the chance to interact with Jiarong Tibetans. Inside this park, we can photograph holy snow-capped mountains, mirror alpine lakes, Tibetan pagodas, and yaks. With some luck, we may take photos of some local birds such as Himalayan Vulture, Bearded Vulture, White-throated Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart, etc.

Overnight Rilong Anlan Hotel (3100)

Day 14. Rilong-Labahe. 330km 6h Meals: BLD

Today is our driving day, we will climb over the famous Jiajin Mountain which is home a great variety of plants. At the foot of this mountain sits a church set up by Father Armand Divid in 1869. Here he saw Giant Panda for the first time with the help of local people. He got a panda here and sent to Paris Nature Museum. We will pay a visit to the church and learn stories about him.This place is also home to Jiarong Tibetans, who have coexisted with Giant Panda and their companion animals for thousands of years. After visiting the church, we will drive our toward Labahe Nature Reserve.

Overnight: Labahe Luming Hotel (1,900m)


Day 15. Labahe Nature Reserve. Meals:BLD

After breakfast at our hotel, we take park buses to get to the higher place of the reserve, where we will hike along the walking train in search for Red Panda and its companion animals. Labahe Nature Reserve is one of the best places in the world to see wild Red Panda in their habitat. In Labahe, we can also search for mammals like Sambar, Tibetan Macaque, Chinese Goral, Leopard Cat, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, and Hog Badger. Also, we will get a chance to see some beautiful birds like Lady Amherst's Pheasant and Fulvous Parrotbill. Overnight: Labahe Luming Hotel (1,900m)


Day 16. Labahe-Yajiang. 230km 6h Meals: BLD

Searching for red pandas in the morning, then we will start our scenic drive toward Yajiang. Once we get into the Tibetan plateau, we will have ample opportunities to photograph the beautiful scenery, unique Tibetan houses, and grazing yaks on the mountain slope close to the road. Today we will complete our exploration in the eastern Tibetan area of Kham after 6 hours’ drive from Labahe Nature Reserve.

Overnight: Yajiang Kangba Tibetan Hotel (2,700m)

Day 17. Yajiang—Shangri-La Town. 350km 7h Meals: BLD

Drive to Shangri-La Town via Sangdui Monastery. Today will be a relatively long driving day but we will be amazed by the beautiful scenery we see along the way as we drive across the core area of the eastern Tibetan region of Kham. The 7-hour drive is just like unrolling a gigantic Chinese landscape painting with the breath-taking scenery, beautiful Tibetan villages, glittering Tibetan monasteries, and flocks of yaks.

Overnight: Shidai Yading Hotel (3,000m)

Day 18. Shangri-La Town. Meals: BLD

Hiking inside Daocheng Yading National Park. The Daocheng Yading National Park was first introduced to the western world by James Hilton’s novel Lost in Horizon which is based on the stories of American adventurer Joseph F. Rock in 1928. The renowned “last pure land” centers around three sacred snowcapped mountains named Chenresig (compassion), Chana Dorje (power), and Jampelyang (wisdom). This region is comprised of some extraordinary forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers, and glacier-fed lakes. Additionally, the unique culture of the local Tibetan communities is reflected in the numerous colorful prayer flags, stupas, and marnyi stones that are ubiquitous in the area. 
We will spend the whole day here, not just pacing ourselves for the high altitudes, but also giving ourselves enough time to enjoy the gorgeous view and search for wildlife such as Blue Sheep, Giant Laughingthrush, Robin Accentor, and Elliot’s Laughingthrush.

Overnight: Shidai Yading Hotel (3,000m)

Day 19. Shangri-La TownShangri-La City. 310km 7.5h Meals: BLD

Today we will drive from Shangri-La Town of Sichuan Province to the Shangri-La City of Yunnan Province. Here we will enjoy the beautiful scenery and snow-capped mountains along the road. Besides, we will witness the change of architecture when we drive from Sichuan to Yunnan. We will have several stops to take scenery shots and photograph beautiful Tibetan villages, especially the unique white Tibetan houses in Xiangcheng.

Overnight: Dujinimi Tibetan Hotel  (3,300m)

Day 20. Shangri-La City—Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve. 130km 2.5h Meals: BLD

In the morning, we will drive to Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve in search of Black Snub-nosed Monkey. This area is also home to some interesting bird species including Hume's Pheasant, Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Bar-winged Wren-Babbler, Giant Laughingthrush, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Black-faced Laughingthrush, Black-headed Sibia, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Sharpe's Rosefinch, Godlewski's Bunting, and Yellow-throated Bunting.

Overnight: Black Snub-nosed Monkey Reserve Hotel (2,800m)

Day 21. Black Snub-nosed Monkey Nature Reserve-Lijiang. 180km 4h Meals: BLD

We will go on searching for black snub-nosed monkeys in the morning. After finishing our search, we will drive to Lijiang Ancient Town in the afternoon. Lijiang Ancient Town was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. It is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities in China, along with Langzhong Ancient Town in Sichuan, Pingyao Ancient City in Shanxi, and Shexian Ancient Town in Anhui. Here you can also see another group of the ethnic minority in China called Naxi ethnic group.

Overnight: Lijiang Baishuifang Boutique Hotel(2,400m)

Day 22. Lijiang depart. Meals: B

The airport see off.

1. If you need help in arranging a flight to Beijing from Shanghai, Guangzhou or other cities, or a flight out of Lijiang, please feel free to contact us, we are very happy to provide any assistance that can facilitate your trip planning.
2. This trip will venture into a remote area of high altitude. Please seek advice from your doctor on altitude sickness and bring necessary medications before you decide to join this trip. In some events, high elevation can cause severe health complications for those with cardiovascular diseases or other poor cardiopulmonary function diseases. 

Dates & Prices


 Sept. 9 to Sept. 30, 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 exactly same 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 they enjoy a trip suited to their 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 and the maximum departure number at ten. That means the group size is 4 to 10 participants. 

The cost for a group of 4 to 10 people:  

Single supplement:

The cost includes:
1. Well-chosen vehicles based on the size of the group for the trip with fuel, tolls, airport pick up and drop off included in the price;
2. An English-speaking senior nature and culture guide for the whole trip;
3. A local ranger in Tangjiehe Nature Reserve;
4. Meals listed above as BLD;
5. Bottled water and snacks;
6. Entrance charges listed in the itinerary;
7. China Domestic Travel Insurance;
8. Hotels arranged during this trip;
9. Bullet train tickets listed in the itinerary;
10. Panda Volunteer Program in Dujiangyan;

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 Beijing and out of Lijiang;
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.

This trip price is based on two clients sharing one twin-bed room in 3 or 4-star standard hotels in big cities and local best guesthouses in a remote area. 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 Wildlife 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, especially bird photography, and had guided many Snow Leopard safari trips since 2017. Besides being a wildlife guide, Philip also has great knowledge of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, birds, and culinary culture.

• Cory: Cory is a plant expert and photo guide of AbsolutePanda. As a native of Chengdu, the place where he was born has beautiful mountains and abundant plant resources. Since his childhood, he has been deeply attracted by the beauty of nature and spent a lot of time exploring nature in the mountains surrounding his hometown. After many years of learning purely out of interests, Cory has accumulated rich knowledge about plants, mammals, and mountains. As a successful plant photographer, Cory has photographed more than two thousand species of wildflowers. His knowledge and passion for plants and photography will make your trip unique and enjoyable. With him as your plant and photography guide, you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the nature presented like a roll of traditional Chinese painting unveiled by Cory with his findings and stories behind those beautiful flowers.

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. 

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.

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.


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 are the chances we will see wild Red Panda on this trip?
During our visit to the natural reserve in Labahe, we will have an especially good chance of spotting a red panda (depending on weather conditions). Labahe is considered one of the best places in the world to find these animals, our team of guides had conducted lots of trips to this area and have extensive knowledge about the wildlife there. In our past trips, our clients had taken very good photos of the wild red panda with us.

Will we see wild pandas during this tour?
While Sichuan is famed as a province accommodating the most substantial portion of the wild panda population (80%), it should be noted that spotting a wild panda is quite slim due to the small population and unique lifestyle of pandas mostly living inside the bamboo forest. Although visitors and rangers report viewing pandas in the Tangjiahe Nature Reserve almost every year, it's really hard to predict how a particular trip will go. For us, we will do our best to show you all the possible attractions we see inside this panda habitat and make your trip full of wonderful memories. Pandas live in the place we are going to visit, and we just enjoy everything we have blessed to see there.

3. If I am particularly interested in finding birds, is there a way for me to request a specialist as a guide?
Our expert guide for this trip has very good knowledge of the places we are going to visit. As a nature guide, he knows very well about the mammals we possibly encounter in this trip and birds we have a good chance to see. We are going to visit many different habitats, landscapes, mammals, birds, plants, and architectures are very different.

What cultures will we interact with on this trip?
While we stay in Xi’an, we will visit the famous “Muslim street” in downtown Xi’an to experience the unique Muslim culture there. While in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, we will see numerous different Tibetan villages. Generally speaking, the Tibetan areas there are often referred to as “Kham”. Additionally, while we stay in Lijiang, we will have the chance to learn more culture from the Naxi ethnic group.

What is the likelihood of spotting the animals specified in the itinerary?
Southwestern China is comprised of a wide array of different habitats, teeming with a wide variety of different animal species. With animals ranging from the lumbering Sichuan Takin to the Black Snub-nosed Monkey, there is something for everyone. As is the truth with every animal safari, we cannot guarantee we will see any of the animals on the itinerary; however, we are confident that you will experience success in our search.

6. Will we use the assistance of local guides?
AbsolutePanda team work nationwide. AbsolutePanda office will judge based on the actual guide sent to guide this trip. We have a diverse team of guides from both the local region (Sichuan) as well as other parts of China. Whenever AbsolutePanda office thinks it necessary to hire a local guide for a particular trip, we will hire local guide without any hesitation so as to create best memory for our clients. But if the AbsolutePanda office concludes that the guide sent to guide this trip is fully capable of guiding clients in a certain destination, we may just use our national guide. .

Can you provide some more information on the high-speed bullet train?
China has one of the most effective high-speed railway systems in the world. These trains are not only comfortable but rival airfare in their ability to get passengers to their destination promptly. We enjoy utilizing the train system for this tour to minimize the overall price as well as providing you the spectacular opportunity to watch the landscape shift from the window of a train.

If I have dietary restrictions, will that be a problem for your team to accommodate?
Our team is experienced at making sure all of our client’s needs are met. If you or anyone in your group has specific requirements for food, we are happy to accommodate your needs.

Email us if you have any questions. Read our FAQ



The best travel company I have ever worked with.
Where to begin? I am an international tour leader. This team is our partner company, and for the last 5 years, they have proved time and time again to be by far the best, most meticulous, detail-oriented, experienced, and honest company I have ever encountered. These guys get it- travel is an art. They are focused on the experience, not the profit, and this is very rare in China. The founder, Philip, is one of the top birders and nature experts in Sichuan and is well respected throughout the province and beyond for all of his efforts to support local culture and conservation of wildlife. He is from a remote Tibetan region and understands how to operate in the wild, unexplored regions of China- the real China. He is an excellent teacher and judge of character and has built an amazing team of loyal guides who cannot be topped. If you travel with these guys, you have made a wise decision.

Date of experience: May 2017

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Videos & Photos

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Click Photo Album to View photos taken in the past trips.

Temple of Heaven

Terracotta Warriors

Crested Ibis

Sichuan Takin

Tibetan Macaque

Golden Snub-nosed Monkey

Giant Panda

Panda Volunteer Program

Stupa in Shuangqiao Valley.

Lake in Four Sister Mountain National Park.

Red Panda

Daocheng Yading National Park

Black Snub-nosed Monkey

Lijiang Ancient Town

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Click Photo Album to see more photos from past trips.


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