Keith Jones, Adventures with Wild Animals
Close Animal Encounters
Rub noses with a gray whale,  Pet a Giant Panda BearSnorkel with a shark, Walk a Tiger on a leash!


  China 6 day panda encounter itinerary
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Day #0: Leave the USA or UK/Europe and fly to Chengdu crossing the international date line along the way.   For your flight to Chengdu you might have to change planes in either Beijing or Shanghai. But there are also direct flights from the UK and USA to Chengdu. It would be best if you can arrived at the Chengdu Airport no later than 4:00 p.m. on Day #1. If you cannot arrange a satisfactory flight, consider flying in one day early. We can help you with a room at the same hotel we will use so it would be easy and convenient for you.
Day #1: Arrive in Chengdu where the tour begins.  We meet you at the Chengdu Airport and transfer to the very Chinese Wenjun Mansion.  Dinner and a chance to meet the other members of our small group.  We suggest scheduling your arrival in Chengdu for morning or early afternoon or you may miss the group dinner and (optional) Sichuan Opera. Arriving earlier than the tour start date or staying longer? Let us know we will arrange your rooms for the extra nights.
Day 2: From Chengdu we drive up into the mountains to an elevation of around 2,000 meters.  We will spend the next few nights at the Bifengxia Panda Preserve. Today we will register for our Panda work experience.   We'll visit the panda preserve and spend some time learning our way around the Panda Preserve. Accommodations at the Ibis Hotel for the next 4 nights.
Day 3, 4 & 5: These two days are scheduled for our Panda volunteer work experience.  The morning work session usually runs from 8:00 to 11:30 and the afternoon session from 2:00 to 5:30 PM.  In the morning we can expect to be cleaning cages and enclosures.  The morning is when the pandas are most active.  They know that the keepers will be entering their enclosures and bringing them treats.  This is when the old bamboo is usually removed and fresh tender green bamboo provided.  The afternoon session is normally more laid back.  Brief periods are usually spent feeding or working on simple training responses, then we wait until the next scheduled feeding and do it again.***
Day 6: Today we leave Bifengxia and drive back to Chengdu. When we get to Chengdu our cultural experience will continue with a visit to the impressive and new brocade and silk museum. We expect to arrive at the Chengdu Airport around 2:00 P.m.
* Hotels may change due to availability or local conditions. 
** We reserve the right to change side trip and tour destinations to meet local conditions such as weather, renovation, overcrowding or unexpected natural or human caused issues.
*** The work experience may vary considerably from month to month and day to day.  Work duties change with the seasons and with the individual health of each panda.  You will work with a panda keeper and your experience will be significantly related to the duties of that particular animal keeper. We are required to abide by the ever-changing regulations of the Panda Preserve. The extra optional activities also change from week to week, month to month and year to year as do the prices for these optional activities. We have no control over what the Panda Preserve researchers offer in this ever changing smorgasbord of activities. There is usually some play activity with the approximately one year old pandas. There is also usually a 1 to 5 minute bathing a panda activity that takes place with a one year. Sometimes late in the year as the young babies get larger the preserve will allow selected time and individuals to enter the nursery and feed or burp a baby for a period of 1 to 3 minutes. This activity is extraordinary and was first offered in 2009 only for a few weeks. About a dozen of our clients have had the opportunity and budget to do this really special activity. But we can never promise it will be available and we NEVER know until we arrive and ask at our sign in for the volunteering if they will offer it to our group. WE ARE ONE of the only tour operators to be offered this activity when it is available. Many tour companies never have this opportunity made available to any of their clients. It is also expensive at perhaps $1,500 US dollars for the 1 to 5 minute experience!
China and the Giant Panda Bear Tour and Volunteer Experience
copyright 2013, Keith Jones
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