Panda Volunteer Tour

Highlights:

  • Besides getting an extended and behind-the-scenes tour of the center, you’ll be able to take care and interact with the giant pandas, Your responsibilities will include feeding the panda, cleaning the bamboo and enclosure, giving the panda a bath, weighing the bamboo (to determine how much they should eat), and all the other responsibilities that being a panda keeper would entail

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 arrive in Chengdu

You will either fly or take the train into Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China. Upon arrival you’ll be met by your English-speaking travel guide, who will take you to your hotel for the evening.

The rest of the night is up to your own leisure. From traditional teahouses, theaters to modern pubs and clubs, Chengdu people know how to enjoy the night. Every corner in Chengdu offers the warmest welcome, and you are sure to find something to pique your interest during your time on the town.

Day 2 Chengdu-Bifengxia (B, L, D)

In the morning, you will be taken to Ya’an to visit the Bifengxia (Bifeng Grge) Panda Breeding Center. In the May 12th 2008 the Wenchuan Earthquake dealt the pandas a crushing blow and over fifty giant pandas living in captivity became completely homeless. In order to save these national treasures, the Wolong National Natural Reserve has, since May 15th, carried out an evacuation plan. Twenty-seven giant pandas were transferred in batches to Chengdu, Fuzhou and Beijng, and the rest were moved to Bifeng Gorge Base of China Panda Protection and Research Center, located in the northern suburbs of Chengdu.

Once we arrive you will learn from the center’s staff about the volunteer program, and the responsibilities and jobs it entails. At the end of the meeting you will sign a contract with them in order to volunteer. The afternoon you will have free, but you could make a tour of the nearby old town of Shangli. As one of the top ten ancient towns in Sichuan province, Shangli Ancient Town once served as an important post on the South Silk Road and the Ancient Tea-Horse Trail in history. Besides, it witnessed the Long March (1934–1936) of the Red Army in the 1930s. estling among hills and surrounded by rivers, the town is noted for its evergreen trees, delicate hillocks, wooden resident houses, stone-paved streets, towers, ancient archways, caves, the Tang dynasty’s spring (The White Horse Spring), and historical stone bridges. Two streams with distinctive scenery on the banks flow gently around the town. The stone-paved streets are flanked with various styles of residential houses and courtyards in a layout of the Chinese character "well", which remains intact. The ancient bridges, ancient pagodas, ancient trees, ancient caves and ancient memorial archways are distributed in or near the town, contrasting finely with each other. The perfect combination of history, culture and tradition with natural beauty makes the town full of mystery and vitality.

We will stay in Bifengxia overnight (at the guesthouse Bifengxia Panda Garden).

Day 3 and Day 4 Panda Volunteer Work (B, L, D)

We will begin our voluntary work at the Panda Center. An experienced staff and crew will guide us in both day’s work, such as cleaning the rooms for panda, feeding pandas, etc. They will teach us how to cook for the panda, how to clean the room and garden, and how to give the panda medical treatment when they are ill. After learned that we will use our own hands to look after the pandas.

Day 5 Bifengxia-Chengdu-departure (B)

Following breakfast we will drive back to Chengdu, and you will be taken to the airport, where you will travel on to your next destination.


        Lee Stevens, Monteral, CAN:

My wife and I had a really great time in Chengdu. The panda keeper experience is excellent. There is a little work (the dirty jobs are done quickly and first thing) but the reward of being up close with the pandas is more than worth it.