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Trip Details, Dates, Prices, etc.

An Excursion for Pheasants & High-elevation Specials in Balang Mountain
As one of the high mountains sitting at the edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Balang Mountain is home to a great variety of birds and plant species due to the huge elevation differences from the mountain foot to the mountain peak. It is widely considered as the best place to explore pheasant species among all the birding sites in China. It is conveniently suited about a 4.5-hour drive away from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. We can expect extraordinary bird species in the diverse habitats including Chinese Monal, Chestnut-throated Partridge, Snow Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, Streaked Rosefinch, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Crimson-browed Finch, Common Rosefinch, Grandala, Firethroat, etc. 
Besides, the brilliant Jiarong Tibetan culture and breathtaking scenery of snow mountains are great additions to this trip. We can learn the special culture of the Jiarong Tibetan from their unique costume and distinctive architecture.
If you hope to customize this trip so as to better meet your personal taste, we can easily add other sites you are interested in. For instance, we can visit the Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base en route to our birding site where there are natural surroundings for your panda photos. We can enjoy both adult pandas and young cubs there. Or we pay a visit to the 2200-year-old Dujiangyan Irrigation Project to understand the traditional and ancient Chinese wisdom.

Tour Info Sheet

Highlight Birds
Snow Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, Chinese Monal, White-eared Pheasant, Chestnut-throated Monal Partridge, Blood Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Firethroat, Chinese Fulvetta, Chinese Rubythroat, Golden Bush Robin, Streaked Rosefinch, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Crimson-browed Finch, Common Rosefinch, Red-fronted Rosefinch, Kessler's Thrush (White-backed Thrush), Rufous-vented Tit, Sichuan Tit, Giant Laughingthrush, White-throated Redstart, Grandala, Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture), Golden Eagle, Alpine Accentor, Brandt's Mountain Finch, Snow Pigeon, Rosy Pipit, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Chinese Bulbul, White-browed Laughingthrush, Red-billed Leiothrix, Chinese Blackbird, Chinese Grosbeak, Collared Finchbill, Long-tailed Shrike, Fork-tailed Sunbird, etc. 
Numbers of Species to Expect50-80
Ease of Birdingmostly easy birding with a few tricky species
Highlight MammalsRed Panda, Chinese Goral, Himalayan Marmot, Blue Sheep
Photography Opportunitiesbirding focused but with very good photography chances
Habitats Coveredsub-tropical forests, alpine scrubs and meadows, alpine flowstone slopes
Expected Climatesee details in the "pre-trip briefings"
Physical Requirementsmostly easy, but need to be aware of high altitude
Accommodationclean and comfortable guesthouse with a good location for birding

What makes this trip irreplaceable?
1. Explore Balang Mountain, the "Kingdom of Pheasant".
2. A great diversity of high-elevation species including rosefinches, warblers, etc.
3. Experienced guides who have great knowledge about local birds and rich experiences of guiding travelers from different countries.
4. A short program with more flexibility. This trip can be customized to meet your needs and preferences better.
6. Years of working as a local partner for some prestigious western companies specialized in birds and wildlife. 
7. A strong logistic team in the office to ensure our trip goes smoothly and every participant has a comfortable and memorable journey. 

Dates & Prices

Dates Booking Status Price Single Supplement Group Size Guide Notes
Spring, Summer,
Space Available990USD/pax85USD/paxDeparture from 2Local GuideCustomizable
Slide the sheet to the left to see the full sheet if you are viewing it on your phone or tablet.
The cost includes the following:
1. Private transportation throughout the trip, including pick-up and drop-off at the hotel or airport.
2. All meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 4.
3. All the entrance tickets for places listed in the itinerary including cable cars and shuttle buses.
4. Hotel stays from the first day to the last day, two clients occupy one twin-bed room on a sharing basis at nice 3 or 4-star hotels in big cities and local best guesthouses in remote areas.
5. Bottled water throughout the trip.
6. Simple western breakfast whenever possible.
7. Service charges of a professional and experienced local bird guide throughout the whole trip.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
9. Service of all logistic supports. 
The cost does not include the following:
a. Drinks during meals.
b. Extra charges due to changes in the itinerary from the client's side or factors beyond the control of AlpineBirding such as natural disasters or government policy changes.
c. Discretionary tips to guides and drivers.
d. All personal expenses such as laundry service.
f. Any program not listed in the itinerary.
Please be aware that the price is inapplicable during any Chinese official holidays including but not limited to Chinese New Year, Labour Day, National Day, etc. Please contact us to confirm the price if your trip date covers any Chinese holidays.


Tour Map

Day 1: Chengdu to Wolong.
Meet your private bird guide and driver in Chengdu, either at your hotel or at the airport. Before we drive to Balang Mountain, we can have a short visit to the Chengdu Botanical Garden which is considered as one of the best city parks for birding due to its big diversity of floras and high forest coverage. We can find some urban and special resident birds here, such as Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Chinese Bulbul, White-browed Laughingthrush, Red-billed Leiothrix, Japanese White-eye, Chinese Blackbird, Chinese Grosbeak, Collared Finchbill, Long-tailed Shrike, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Hoopoe, etc. 
Following the exploration, we will drive about 3.5 hours to Wolong. If time permits, we will spend the late afternoon to search for the low-elevation area for Large Hawk Cuckoo, Himalayan Cuckoo, Eurasian Nutcracker, Green-backed Tit, Yellow-streaked Warbler, Buff-throated Warbler, Chinese Leaf Warbler, Sichuan Leaf Warbler, Martens's Warbler, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, White-collared Yuhina, Chinese Babax, Chestnut Thrush, Verditer Flycatcher, Daurian Redstart, Slaty Bunting, Yellow-throated Bunting, etc. Golden Pheasant's call normally can be heard here, but it normally hides in the bush, we may see it with luck. 
Day 2-3: Balang Mountain area.
Balang Mountain is the first high mountain standing between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, from the foot to the pass, the elevation rises sharply from 2,000m to 4,500m which provides a wide variety of habitats to support a lot of wildlife. We will spend two days birding at this fascinating site. The mountain pass at around 4,500 meters is the highest point we will reach on the entire tour. Around the snow-line of the alpine flowstone slope, we will search for the scurrying Snow Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, and Grandala. Other high-altitude specials we can expect including Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture), Golden Eagle, Yellow-billed Chough, Alpine Accentor, Brandt's Mountain Finch, Red-fronted Rosefinch, Snow Pigeon, Rosy Pipit, etc. 
We will also spend some time at the lower elevations around the timberline where alpine meadows and scrubs carpet the snow-covered mountain. We will visit this area several times in search of the endemic Chinese Monal, White Eared Pheasant, and Chestnut-throated Partridge, as well as other birds like Blood Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Firethroat, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Chinese Fulvetta, Chinese Rubythroat, Golden Bush Robin, Streaked Rosefinch, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Crimson-browed Finch, Common Rosefinch, Kessler's Thrush (White-backed Thrush), Rufous-vented Tit, Sichuan Tit, Asian House Martin, Alpine Leaf Warbler, Giant Laughingthrush, White-throated Redstart, etc. We can also look for Chinese Goral, Blue Sheep in this area.
Day 4: Wolong to Chengdu.
We will spend most of the day on the mountain to try our targets again. In the late afternoon, we will drive you back to Chengdu. This will conclude the services for this scheduled itinerary from AlpineBirding.

Gentle Reminder:

1. The bird species mentioned in the itinerary are just for your reference, it changes with the seasons. We may tune the itinerary according to the latest bird information to maximize our chances.
2. We are more than happy to assist with hotel booking, flight booking, etc. before or after the trip to make your travel more enjoyable and comfortable, please feel free to let us know in advance. 


We will arrange one of our best local guides for this trip who has rich experience of guiding tours in this region. The followings are some of our professional guides who have guided tours in this area for many years.

Bella Zhang
Bella, the director of AlpineBirding, graduated from Sichuan Agricultural University with a Bachelor's Degree. She joined AlpineBirding in early 2016 and became the director of AlpineBirding in 2018. She was born and grown up in a Bai ethnic family in Yunnan Province which boasts of the largest number of bird species in China. Her interests toward birds started with her observation of a Long-tailed Minivet in her mom's garden at a very young age. As she grows up, the interests and love toward birds become stronger and stronger. Because of that, she found AlpineBirding before graduation and joined the company for further learning of birds. Bella has guided a number of birding trips in cooperation with AlpineBirding guide in the past years, her passion, readiness to help, and detail-oriented attitude have won her lots of praise from our clients.


We don't have a report available for this tour at this stage, please feel free to email us, we are more than happy to answer any of your questions and share the latest bird information with you.


Alice and Silas / Balang Mountain Excursion
The Birds of Balang Shan
My husband and I are just returned from an amazing and very professional Birding Tour by Alpine Birding in the Wolong Preserve/Balang Shan area; Western Sichuan Province. Gorgeous forests and alpine landscapes, the dividing line between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai Plateau. Awe-inspiring views!
We had a 1 1/2 day experience, all inclusive with a private driver (to and from and during the location), delicious meals and snacks and water provided, a room for the overnight stay, and our extraordinary Birding Guide Shay who showed and instructed us on far more birds than we could've hoped to see had we been on our own! He generously shared his superior equipment and bird identification field guide, and went above and beyond our expectations in stopping at many many locations to look for birds! We were impressed by his knowledge of bird identification and his deftness of scoping! Attention to detail was one of the hallmarks of our experience; We felt very well taken care of:)
While our trip was of necessity a simple overnight/daytrip, I highly recommend a longer excursion; We will definitely do another AlpineBirding tour in the future:)
Alice and Silas / Balang Mountain Excursion May 25, 2019
Andrew / Balang Mountain & Chongqing
Balang Mountain / Chongqing
I contacted Alpine Birding last minute and they did an amazing job to set up 2 brilliant birding trips for me.

One around Chongqing city and one from Chengdu to Balang Mountain. I cannot fault them. Everything was brilliantly organised and the local knowledge of bird calls and many hidden birding spots was excellent.

I highly recommend this birding team.

Andrew / Balang Mountain & Chongqing July 17, 2018
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