Panda Volunteer Tour
Next scheduled Tour: Oct.26 – Nov.6, 2021
If you are a panda fan there is no other Panda Tour that can rival ours. Our partner in Beijing and ourselves are the originators of the Panda Volunteer Tours which we have offered since 2001. We don’t offer one day or two-day tours, nor are the pandas a sideline on a tour to China. They are the main attraction. Our tours are panda intensive and are geared to serious panda fans to do volunteer work serval days to a week. While you are with the pandas you are a panda keeper, not a tourist.
In recent months the World Wildlife Fund has complained to China that the pandas are being misused having their pictures taken with tourists day in and day out. Pandas are wild animals and not circus props. We fully support this. Picture taking for the tourists is not what panda bases have been established for. Thus it is no longer possible to have one’s picture taken with a panda bear.
It is exactly for this reason that Posh Journeys had suspended their tours for some time. Panda tours had acquired a bad reputation for being a “make money quick” scheme. Expensive quick day tours to the Chengdu Base and the Dujiangyan panda base were being offered by irresponsible Chinese and American tour operators as “highlights” of a tour to China. In 2020 the Coronavirus stopped all travel to China. But China has recovered by initiating strict regulations that had to be followed and were followed. We have now set the dates for our Panda Volunteer tour for Oct. 27 – Nov.8, 2021
The tour will be escorted by Richard Blanchette of Boulder, Colorado, who is a nature and wildlife photographer an6 who has escorted Panda Tours for us before.
Oct.27– Depart San Francisco for the flight to Chengdu.
Oct.28 – Arrive in Chengdu where your local guide will meet you at the airport to drive to the Panda Research and Conservation Center in the New Wolong, our first volunteer location. After arrival, check into the hotel which is located within the Conservation Research Center. There is time for a rest or a first look at the pandas before meeting for dinner at the hotel. D
Oct. 29/30 – After breakfast register at the Volunteer Club, sign some paperwork and receive your uniform and meet your keeper, referred to as “the Master” with whom you will work. You will be assigned a panda for whom you will be the keeper for the time you are a volunteer. The chores are exactly those a keeper would do. They entail cleaning the panda’s enclosure and bin, taking out the old bamboo and replenishing it with new bamboo, feeding the panda additional foods such as milk and panda bread. The bread is baked fresh each day in a special kitchen and you will take turns baking the bread. Work hours are from 8:30 in the morning to 11:30 and from 2:00 in the afternoon to 4:00 pm. Lunches and dinners are at the hotel. After working hours you are free to enjoy the base and take pictures of the pandas. B L D
Oct.31/Nov.1 – A special treat on these two days is volunteer work at the old Wolong Research Center that was rebuilt after it was destroyed in the earthquake of 2008. The accommodations will not change since the old Wolong base is not far away. Some of you may be returning volunteers, if so, being back will recall many memories of past times spent in their beloved Wolong. Working hours are the same. On the evening of the 5th which is the last day, we will have a dinner and party for the “Masters.” this is something we have always done which is greatly appreciated by the Sanctuary crew. B L D
Nov.2 – After breakfast, we bid the pandas goodbye and drive to Chengdu from where we take one of the high-speed bullet trains to travel to Chongquing on the Yangtze River. After arrival, our private guide will meet us to take us on a city tour. Like San Francisco, Chonquing is a city built on hills. The tour ends with a dinner of local cuisine after which we are taken to the Yangzte River to board our ship for a spectacular 4-day cruise on the river. B D
Nov.3/4 – Aboard our five-star Yangtze cruise ship where you have a private stateroom with a balcony. The cruise down the river is truly spectacular sailing through magnificent scenery with near-vertical mountains rising 3000 feet on each side of the river. Whenever I was on that cruise I was always late for dinner or even missed some of it, not able to get myself to leave the deck while the ship passed slowly through grand scenery in the purple dusk of evening. B L D
Nov.5 – At midnight the ship passes through the locks of the Yangtze Dam, a spectacle you must have experienced to realize the scope of this project. Tonight night you won’t get to bed early as the passage through the lock can take several hours. After a short nights sleep wake up to scenery that has changed to green hills with tiny villages along the shore. Many of these villages have been moved up on the hillsides from their location in the valley which is now flooded by the river. Although there had been controversy when the Dam was built is was for the best of the local population that lived along the river which frequently flooded the villages bringing hardship and death to many. By midmorning, we arrive in Yichang where we leave the ship to take one of the high-speed bullet trains to Chengdu. B L D
Nov.6 – After breakfast, we embark on a day trip to an ancient, 2000-year old flood control system in the mountains outside of Chengdu. Our bus will leave us out on the top of a hill from where we will walk down the hillside among beautiful Ming Dynasty Temples and Pagodas. It is a lovely and scenic walk to the river’s edge where you can walk across a long wobbly (don’t worry it is very safe to do this) bridge to an island that splits the river in half. Afterward linger in one of the tea houses along the shore before returning to the bus which will pick up a short walk from the teahouse. B L D
Nov.07 – Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading for a walk through the old section of Chengdu where we pause in one of the traditional tea houses to dawdle a while over a cp of Sichuan green tea. Afterward, a slow walk brings us to a garden museum that focuses on the traditional cuisine of this region. Take part in a cooking lesson before relaxing over a lunch of Sichuan ancient cuisine. Afterward, we visit a Silk Brocade factory, a fabric once only available to royalty. The fabrics are nothing short of spectacular. B L D
Nov.08 – This morning transfer to the airport to board your homeward flight.
INCLUDED: 11-nights first-class hotel accommodations, best available at the panda base, daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Private guide and driver, all transportation, airport transfers, deluxe staterooms on the Yangtze cruise, all included sightseeing, basic tips to guides and drivers and the services of A&H Travel China and Posh Journeys.
NOT INCLUDED: International Airfare, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks with meals, Chinese Visa, travel insurance, and any item not specifically mentioned in this itinerary.
TOUR COST: Available shortly
SINGLE TOUR COST:
The tour is limited to 14 participants
If you want us to hold a spot on the tour send us an email to: email@example.com