China – Sichuan Province

The province has a subtropical monsoon climate with  lots of rain. It has an early spring, hot summers, cool autumn and warm winters with strong sunshine. The difference between day and night temperatures are wide and the evenings  with annual average temperatures at 16 degrees Celsius.

Chengdu 

In the Sichuan Province  of China located in the northern suburb of Chengdu is the Research Centre for Giant Pandas Breeding. Situated in 100 hectares, you will see the Giant Pandas in a manmade habitat of tall bamboos, a sparkling lake rolling green hills and songbirds all dedicated to conservation of this endangered species of Giant Black and white Pandas. 

Jiuzhai Valley National Park 

Close to the hearts of the Chinese people, the valley is a national treasure filled with biological, geological and cultural jewels waiting to be discovered. The park abounds with an abundance of natural treasures, from mesmerising terraced lakes of clear mineral water blue and green pools linked to waterfalls against the backdrop of breathtaking scenery of high Tibetan mountains, makes it one of the worlds most beautiful places on the planet. It’s known as the valley of the nine villages and a visit here will bring you close to the Tibetan culture providing a glimpse of the life of the Tibetan farmers.  

The mountains rising from 2000 to 4000 metres are home to rare animals such as the Giant Pandas, snub nosed golden monkey and many rare birds and plants. You will be delighted by the gentle chimes and the fragrant aromas from the Tibetan temples and (shortens) Bhuddist shrines dotted across the mountains.  As you travel throughout the Park you will see evidence of the worship of the Tibetan Bhuddists who still make sacrifices to natural gods Stupas and the prayer wheels turned by hand or water evident of the local belief that the soul is inherent in all things and can be seen close to temples and monasteries in the region.  

As you traverse the area you will notice streams of colourful prayer flags strung high atop the mountains, and on house tops which are meant to purify the air and pacify the gods. Known as “The Fairy Land of Earth” legend has it that the 114 sparkling lakes were formed from shattered glass when a young boy Dage bestows his love for the goddess Wolou Semo. 

Huanglong 

Huanglong also known as the “Paradise on the Ground” is claimed to be the seven amazing characters of colourful lakes, snowcapped mountains, valleys and forests mingled with ancient temples, and local customs. 

The colours of the lakes change with position of sunlight, the reflections of the environment and the angle from where it is viewed. 

To See and Do 

  • Take a full and half day tour to see the Pandas and be spoilt for choice with Panda souvenirs
  • Climb the Jiuzhai Valley National Park Boardwalks and be mesmerised by translucent pools and waterfalls
  • Stop at the Mountain Caiwang for a typical Tibet meal served by traditionally dressed staff in true Qiang custom
  • Experience the artistry of ancient cultural customs and significant historical events through theatre
  • Visit a Monastery and observe ancient Bhuddist practise
  • Try food at a local restaurant and soak up the ambience