3-day trip in Ya’an City
In 3 days, we hiked in Bifengxia Valley, a fairyland to view waterfalls, hanging coffins; volunteered at Bifengxia Panda Base to feed the cute pandas, clean their enclosures, and stay some happy time with the bears; reached the Mount Mengding to explore the tea culture. Mengding is the birthplace of tea where you’ll get fully understanding of Chinese tea especially Mengding tea. Wandered freely in Shangli Ancient Town, a pure village where you could even see the locals doing their farm work. It was memorable tour in Sichuan China.
What we did as volunteers:
We stayed overnight in Ya’an and arrived at the panda base office 8:40am. Dressed into the work clothes and gloves and were assigned to keepers at the former breeding center. The keepers we were assigned to were two very nice gentlemen. They let us spend some time photo the pandas before starting the work. We cleaned their enclosures, taking out the left over bamboos and sweeping/mopping the area. It was real labor but not as bad as I expected. Their enclosures and poo did not smell, so the cleaning was manageable. One of the outdoor enclosures was positioned a bit high and I thought it was dangerous especially after the rain the night before. Our keeper was nice enough to do most of the cleaning there. Work lasted for about 50min or so. We were then released to wander around on our own for the rest of the day and were to return at 11:30am, 2pm and 4:00pm to feed the panda. The feeding sessions turned out to be the highlight of our trip. It was a great experience being able to be that close to a panda, feed him, and touch him. Bifengxia is the place to go if you want a close encounter with the pandas.
To volunteer at Bifengxia Panda Reserve, you could take the special offered panda tours:
- 3 Days Giant Panda Volunteer Tour (Chengdu / Bifengxia / Chengdu)
- 5 Days Chengdu Highlights & Panda Volunteer Tour (Chengdu / Bifengxia / Chengdu)
- 5 Days Panda Volunteer Tour at Bifengxia Panda Base (Chengdu / Bifengxia / Chengdu)
- 6 Days Chengdu, Leshan, Emei & Panda Volunteer Tour (Chengdu / Leshan / Emei / Bifengxia / Chengdu)