The Panda Trail

A classic China tour offering a real chance to see pandas in the wild

The Panda Trail
Tour Details
10 days
Departure Date:
17 March 2013
This Trip Operates:
As a fixed tour date with a minimum of four passengers
Max Group Size:
What's Included:
  • 6 nights accommodation on twin-share basis in comfortable hotels
  • 3 nights basic cabin accommodation
  • tour leader
  • private vehicle and driver throughout
  • all entrance fees as listed
  • many meals
US$3750 based on twin-sharing

Panda ("Poonya") means Bamboo Eater and as such here at Bamboo Trails we've always had more than just a passing interest in the wellbeing of this iconic but highly endangered species. We begin with a taste of China's cultural heritage in Beijing and Xi'an before getting off the beaten track and on the trail of the panda in the Qinling Mountains. As well as the elusive panda these beautiful forested mountains are home to the golden snub-nosed monkey, the crested ibis and the mystical takin. The trail leads on to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, home to some of China's fieriest cuisine, and a guaranteed panda sighting at the Giant Panda Research Base.

Days 1-2 – Beijing

On day 1 people will be arriving throughout the day. We'll meet in the evening to get to know one another over dinner, and have an introductory briefing to the tour. The following day we'll take a walking tour through the hutong to Tian'anmen Square before entering the Forbidden City. In the evening we'll dine on Beijing Duck before taking an overnight train to Xi'an.

Days 3-4 – Xi'an

We'll have a couple of days in Xi'an to witness the incredible Terracotta Warriors, wander the old city walls, and backstreets of the Muslim Quarter, and sample a dumpling banquet in one of China's most enigmatic cities.

Days 5-7 – Qinling Mountains

On day 4 we'll head off early on the drive to Foping National Nature Reserve. On arrival we'll trek 8km to the research centre that will be our simple base for the next three days. Each day we'll head off early in search of giant pandas, red pandas, golden monkeys, takin, or some of the 220 bird species.

Days 8-10 – Chengdu

After three nights in the wild we return to Xi'an and visit the "mini Terracotta Warriors" (Han Yanling) before flying on to Chengdu. During our time in Chengdu we'll have the chance to sample spicy Sichuan dishes and witness the deft mask-changing of Sichuan opera in a traditional teahouse. Our tour culminates with a visit to the Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding where we'll have a guaranteed panda sighting and the chance to witness the breeding program. The tour ends after breakfast on day 10. From Chengdu there are flights to all major Chinese and selected international destinations.