Silk Road & Wild China Tour(Giant Pandas, Crested Ibises, Golden Monkeys & Jiuzhaigou National Park)(June.8—22, 2015)

On our journey along the Silk Road, we’ll visit several important outposts including the desert oases of Turpan in Xinjiang Province of northwest China. Our expedition will also take us to the World-only natural habitat of Crested Ibises in Yangxian where the memorial of Cailun, inventor of the wolrd-famous paper making , and the only place where a brown giant panda was found in Foping.In China Wolong Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda, witness 16 cute baby pandas that set up a new record for panda’s birth. Attending a lecture by panda experts, we’ll know more secrets about giant pandas. In Jiuzhagou National Park, UNESCO’s world natural heritage, enjoy a hike on boardwalks through the virgin forest as well as spectacular mountains and crystal clear water while watching birds, wild flowers or some small animals. Following a naturalist , explore the Baihe Nature Reserve where over 1,600 wild golden monkeys stay . Make good use of cameras for breathtaking photos. Finally, browse Chengdu’s Hollywood, Huanglongxi, an old town with a history of over 1,000 years, where old houses from the Qing Dynasty(1644A.D-1911A.D.) are still well-preserved. Cruise Luxi River and marvel at awesome views specially in West China.

Dear Travelers In 2015/2016 summer West China Adventures has organized a journey to explore the northern Silk Road, including the oasis cities of northwest China, Foping Nature Reserve(for protection of wild white and brown pandas)and Yangxian Nature Reserve(for protection of wild crested ibises) , the spectacular Tibetan area, Jiuzhaigou National Park, and Baihe(white river) Wild Golden Monkey Reserve.

The region where we explore is wild and scenic, with contrasting sceneries and cultures. People of the arid valleys channel snowmelt from nearby mountains to water apricot orchards and grape arbors. We’ll meet groups of Uygur, Kazakh, and Tajik peoples in Western Xinjiang.

The oasis towns of Turpan , in China’s Xinjiang Province, are cultural centers for the Uygur nationality, with colorful homes and a rich history of folk art and scholarship.

Chang An(present Xi’an, capital city of ShaanXi Province), capital of Tang Dynasty, is the gateway to Ancient Silk Road.In Xi’an, we’ll witness lifesize Terracotta Warriors of Qinshihuang, first emperor of Qin Dynasty who united China.Outside of Xi’an, explore Foping (Buddha’s Place) Nature Reserve, the only place where a brown giant panda was found in 1985.See Panda Museum with panda experts. In Yangxian, we’ll marvel at wild Crested Ibises following experts.Crested ibises are most endangered birds in the world, known as “Oriental Precious Stones”. Also, we’ll have a chance to pay homage to the memorial of Cailun, inventor of world-famous paper making. Visit the Paper Museum and learn about paper culture.

Jiuzhaigou, a picturesque Tibetan area and UNESCO’s world natural heritage, is noted for its snow-capped mountains, torquoise lakes, colorful woods in Autumn and Tibetan folkways.It’s a nice place for watching some birds and other animals.Enjoy hiking through the virgin forest on boardwalks above falls, one has a feeling of coming back to nature.In Baihe, a wild and gorgeous place ,we’ll witness wild golden monkeys. This is a paradise where over 1,900 golden monkeys live . Each day, only 200 visitors can get this valuable chance to see them in a short distance. Of course, cameras can work well for such breathtaking moments.

Although we will visit some remote places on this journey, all of the hotels are comfortable and well-maintained, with modern amenities. The roads we will travel are in good conditions. The itinerary will include short flights between Urumqi and Xi’an, Xi’an and Chengdu. Otherwise we’ll travel by motor coach.

We hope you will join us on this unique adventure to explore the cultures, national park, and extraordinary scenic landscapes of Xinjiang and Sichuan.

Day 1. Arrive Beijing
Arrive in Beijing. This evening we’ll enjoy a light but delicious welcome dinner and a brief introduction to the coming adventure. Beijing Airport Hotel (1 night).

Day 2. Beijing to Urumqi
Morning flight from Beijing to Urumqi, capital city of Xinjiang-Uygher autonomous area. In the afternoon, we will visit the Xinjiang Museum. Mummies, some 4000 years old, have been recovered from cities that vanished when the oases shifted. Some of these have beautiful clothing and Caucasian features. Vestiges of old Urumqi – trading stalls and vibrant Uygher culture – survive at Erdaoqiao. Come evening, streets convert to open air markets and restaurants with kebabs and delicious melon for sale. Yindu Hotel (3 nights).

Day 3. Heaven Lake
Today, we will take an excursion to Heaven Lake, at 6000 feet elevation amidst rolling meadows and spruce forests of the Tian Shan (Celestial Mountains). Heaven Lake, near the foot of 17,000 foot Bogda Peak, was carved by ice-age glacial activity. We’ll travel by boat 2 miles to the upper end of the lake to enjoy a picnic lunch prepared by Kazakh people who spend summers here. We can stroll near the lakeshore and look for Tian Shan wildflowers before our afternoon return to Urumqi.

Day 4. Nanshan & Turpan
Foothill grasslands of Nanshan, south of Urumqi, are settled by Kazakh people who live in yurts during the warm part of the year. This morning we’ll visit Nanshan to stroll and visit with a Kazakh family. Afternoon drive to Turpan, an oasis in an arid basin below sea level and one of China’s lowest (and warmest) places. Over millennia, snowmelt from the Celestial Mountains has been brought by tunnel to irrigate the best grape arbors in all of Central Asia. Turpan is friendly and fascinating. Come evening, we’ll enjoy a traditional Uygher cultural performance. Turpan Hotel (1 night).

Day 5 – Jiaohe & Urumqi
Early morning visit to Jiaohe, an ancient city who ruins spread across a river terrace just west of Turpan.
This afternoon, head back to Urumqi. Leisure time for personal interest.
Overnight in Urumqi

Day 6 Fly to Xi’an. See the world famous Terracotta Warriors. Also, explore the Old City Wall.
Overnight in Xi’an Regal Hotel

Day7 Xi’an/Yangxian
Depart for Yangxian(Splendid County), the World-Only natural habitat for protection of wild crested ibises. See beautiful Crested Ibises with opportunities for photos. Also, visit the memorial of Cailun, inventor of the wolrd-famous paper making and learn about paper making history.
Overnight in Yangxian. Yangxian Hotel or similar

Day8 Yangxian/Foping
This morning, following a naturalist , explore Foping(Buddha’s Place)Nature Reserve, where the first brown giant panda was found.
Afternoon, head back to Xi’an
Regal Hotel

Day9 Fly to Chengdu, the bustling queen city and capital city of Sichuan Province, also known as the birthplace of wolrd famous Sichuan Food and paradise of gourmet.
Explore the local pets and flowers market , and enjoy a nice walk on the riverside of Chengdu’s Splendid River, once the moat of Old Chengdu.
This evening, taste the world famous Sichuan Food in a local non-touristy restaurant before a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera in a nice park.
Xinliang Hotel

Day10 Fly to Jiuzhaigou
Travel to Songpan, the largest residential area of Hui Minority in Sichuan. Explore a local mosque and the Old City Wall.
Continue the trip to Jiuzhaigou.
Overnight in Jiuzhaigou
VIP Grand Hotel

Day11 Jiuzhaigou
Full-day excursion to Jiuzhaigou , UNESCO’s world natural heritage, with our picnic lunch. This beautiful national park is famed for its falls, colorful woods in Autumn, snow-capped mountains, Tibetan folk custom and turquoise lakes. The green bus (natural gas powered)will take us to the fork of two valleys. Enjoy hiking on the boardwalks through the virgin forest or on the trails above falls.
Overnight in Jiuzhaigou(BLD)
VIP Grand Hotel

Day12 Jiuzhaigou/Baihe
Today is an exciting day! With a reserve staff, see Baihe Golden Monkey Reserve where over 1,000 wild monkeys inhabit. Please prepare enough films for photos of this unique animals.
Overnight in Jiuzhaigou VIP Grand Hotel

Day13 Fly to Chengdu. Transfer to Wolong, paradise of giant pandas , it’s noted for a good protection and successful breeding of pandas. Attend a panda expert’s lecture in which your questions can be answered. Witness giant pandas and you’ll have opportunties for photos by cuddling a panda(You’re required to pay as a donation.)
Overnight in Wolong
Wolong Hotel

Day14 Wolong/Chengdu/Huanglongxi
Travel to Huanglongxi, an old town known as Chengdu’s Hollywood that lots of films have included. On a pedicab, explore old residences built in the Qing Dynasty(1644AD-1911AD). Enjoy walking on slab-paved streets. Cruise Luxi River with very graceful rural views.

Farewell dinner will be arranged in a special local restaurant.
Overnight in Chengdu.
Minshan Hotel

Day15 Departure.