- Learn about panda conservation and research in China and contribute to the efforts to protect these magnificent, and gentle, creatures through hands-on interaction.
- The giant panda has become a symbol of China and of conservation efforts around the world. As a result of farming, deforestation, and other development, pandas are considered a vulnerable species, with approximately 2,000 left in the wild. Getting up-close-and-personal with one of these incredible creatures is a rare privilege.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Leshan Giant Buddha. The largest Buddha on the planet is 233 feet tall and was built between 713 and 803, during the Tang Dynasty. It’s carved out of a cliff, and if you tear your eyes away from the statue and take in the gorgeous natural setting, you’ll be treated to picture-perfect views of the Min River, the Dadu River and Mount Emei.
- Share a homemade meal with a local family. Join a local family as you buy ingredients in the market before visiting their home for a cooking class using the ingredients you purchased. Learn how to make a number of Sichuan favorites before enjoying your delicious meal together and learning more about local life in the region.
- The Panda Research Center in the lovely village is surrounded by a vast bamboo forest. Learn all about the workings of this important place, which houses a panda hospital, a medical lab, 10 sets of monitoring enclosures, a panda kitchen, and an educational center.
- See China from two completely different points of view – the bustling metropolis of Chengdu and the conservation hub of Dujiangyan.
Please see a detailed itinerary below:
- Day 1. Arrive to a warm welcome at Chengdu International Airport. We’ll transfer you to your four-start hotel in downtown Chengdu where you will enjoy a traditional Sichuan Hotpot welcome dinner.
- Day 2. Visit Chengdu’s Panda Breeding Research Center for your first day of hands-on experience with the pandas. We’ll introduce you to the conservationists at the Dujiangyan Panda Research Center who will introduce you to the pandas before your work begins. Your first task will be to help feed the pandas their bamboo breakfasts. After your own lunch, you will clean the fencing of the pandas gardens, clean their cages, break bamboo shoots for the pandas, and more to help the center. After the days work, walk around the neighborhood before a local meal for dinner.
- Day 3. Visit Chengdu’s Panda Breeding Research Center for your second day of hands-on experience with the pandas. Help clean the enclosures before experiencing the magic of hand-feeding the pandas for a second time. These friendly animals will be familiar faces by now as you learn how to make special cakes for them and continue to provide the special care they need. You’ll receive a certificate of recognition of your efforts.
- Day 4. Experience a cooking class with a local family. Spend today joining a local family in the nearby markets gathering ingredients before a cooking class in their home. Learn how to make a number of Sichuan favorites before enjoying your lunch together. In the evening, watch a performance of a traditional Sichuan act of face changing, as well as other local performances.
- Day 5. Take a river cruise and visit the unforgettable Buddha Statue at Leshan. Enjoy a free morning before boarding a bus to Leshan. You will stop at tea fields along the way to learn more about the process of making tea, including picking your own leaves and trying some of the various teas of the region. Once we arrive in Leshan, we’ll marvel at the world’s largest stone Buddha statue at Leshan, carved into cliffs overlooking the Yangtze River and standing 233 feet tall. Hop on a river cruise to see the Buddha from close and afar.
- Day 6. Depart Chengdu for your flight home. Back in Chengdu, enjoy dinner before a free night to explore the lively atmosphere of the city or relax in your hotel.
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