The Overview of this trip will tell you the following information:
I. Highlight Birds
II. Trip Briefing
III. Trip Essentials (Price, Guide, Group Size, Difficulty Level, Dates and Length, etc.)
IV. Inclusions and Exclusions
I. Highlight Birds
Snow Partridge, Temminck's Tragopan, Golden Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, Chestnut-throated Monal Partridge, Chinese Monal, White-eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Grandala, Chinese Rubythroat, Firethroat, Long-tailed Rosefinch, Collared Grosbeak, Goldcrest, Giant Laughingthrush, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Slaty Bunting, Crested Tit Warbler, White-winged Grosbeak, Chinese Fulvetta, Sichuan Tit, Wall Creeper, Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture), Red and Yellow-billed Chough, Common Rosefinch, Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch, Pink-rumped Rosefinch, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Crimson-browed Finch, Red-fronted Rosefinch, Alpine Accentor, Brandt’s Mountain Finch, Chestnut Thrush, Kessler's Thrush, White-throated Redstart, Daurian Redstart, etc.
II. Trip Briefing
Sichuan is known as the world distribution center of pheasants, while Balang Mountain is the best place to explore pheasants among all the birding sites in Sichuan. We can expect extraordinary bird species including Chinese Monal, Chestnut-throated Monal Partridge, Snow Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, and numerous roesfinches in this trip. Besides, the brilliant Jiarong Tibetan culture is a great addition to this trip, we can not only learn their special culture, but explore the unique costume, food, structure, custom, etc.
III. Trip Essentials
• Trip Duration: 4 Days
• Tour Leader: AlpineBirding Bird Guide
• Difficulty: Easy
• Trip Cost: 825USD/pax
• Single Supplement：40 USD/pax
• Deposit: 200USD/pax
• Trip Size: 2~8 birders
• Space: Open for booking
IV. Inclusions and Exclusions
The cost includes the following.
1. Transportation throughout the whole trip.
2. Meals at local popular restaurants labeled as BLD in the itinerary.
3. All the entrance tickets for places listed in the itinerary including cable cars and shuttle buses.
4. Hotel stays for three nights in Rilong.
5. Bottled water, seasonal fruits and snacks throughout the trip.
6. Simple western breakfast.
7. Service charges of a professional English-speaking bird guide.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
9. Service of all logistic supports.
The cost does not include the following.
a. Drinks during the meals.
b. Extra charges due to change of itinerary from client side or factors beyond the control of AlpineBirding such as natural disaster and governmental policy change.
c. Discretionary tips to the bird guide and driver.
d. All personal expense such as laundry service.
e. Airfare to and out of Chengdu.
f. Any program not listed in the itineraries.
Day 1 Chengdu- Rilong
Meet your private bird guide and driver in the early morning, then drive to Chengdu Botanical Garden to search for some local birds such as Chinese Bulbul, White-browed Laughingthrush, Spotted Dove, Chinese Blackbird, Chinese Grosbeak, Collared Finchbill, Vinous-throated Parrotbill and so on. Followed lunch at a local popular restaurant, we drive about 3.5hrs directly to Rilong. Along the way, we will spend some time at the lower elevation area of Balang mountain in search of the birds like Blood Pheasant, Crested Tit Warbler, White-winged Grosbeak, Chinese Fulvetta, Sichuan Tit, Wall Creeper, Chestnut Thrush, Kessler's Thrush, White-throated Redstart, Daurian Redstart, Common Rosefinch, Chinese Beautiful Rosefinch, Chinese White-browed Rosefinches, Pink-rumped Rosefinch, etc.
Overnight: Lotus Inn or similar Meals: L, D
Day 2-3 Mt.Balang
We will spend two full days birding in the most fascinating birding site in China – the Balang mountain. Balang mountain is the first high mountain standing between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau. It serves as a demarcation line ethnically and, due to the change in topography, has rich flora and fauna resources. Our search for alpine birds start after we cross the mighty Balangshan Pass where will spend time around the summit which, at just over 4500 meters, is the highest point we’ll reach on the entire tour. Here we will search for scurrying Snow Partridge, Tibetan Snowcock, Blood Pheasant and Grandala. Other high altitude specialties could also include Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture), Red and Yellow-billed Chough, Alpine Accentor, Brandt’s Mountain Finch and Red-fronted Rosefinch. We will also spend some time in the lower elevations, searching for birds including the endemic Chinese Monal, White-eared Pheasant, and Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Crimson-browed Finch, Common Rosefinch, Kessler's Thrush (White-backed Thrush), Chestnut Thrush, etc.
Overnight: Lotus Inn or similar Meals: B, L, D
Day 4 Rilong-Mt.Balang-Chengdu
Continue our exploration in the mountain. In the late afternoon, we will drive you back to Chengdu. AlpineBirding service ends.
Overnight: / Meals: B, L,D
Several Very Good Weekend Trips in Sichuan and Yunnan
My wife and I are serious birders from the US. During 2018, we lived in Thailand for a work assignment, and had the opportunity to do several weekend trips up to China to go birding with Alpine.
We had successful and memorable outings in Zixishan (Yunnan), as well as Balangshan and Longcanggou (Sichuan), picking up specialties such as Alpine Accentor, Lammergeier, Black-headed Mountain-Finch, Blood Pheasant, Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Giant Laughingthrush, Golden Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Snow Partridge, Snow Pigeon, Tibetan Snowcock, Verreaux's Partridge, White Eared-Pheasant, White-capped Redstart, Chinese Bamboo-Partridge, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Gray-faced Liocichla, Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Temminck's Tragopan, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Godlewski's Bunting, and Yunnan Nuthatch, in addition to many others.
Even without the birds, Balangshan has the most inspiring mountain vistas we've ever seen.
Bella and her team arranged for comfortable transportation, lodging, and very experienced guides. But the best additional benefit was the food - our guides always took us out for the best local lunches and dinners - it will be very difficult to return home and have Sichuan food now, knowing how it pales in comparison to the real Chinese food in China...
Bella and Alpine were also very responsive and attentive to our overall satisfaction, and when we suggested some things that could be improved, they were happy to accommodate us. It was much appreciated.
We recommend Alpine Birding as a great way to see some of the most incredible birds found only in one of the most beautiful regions of Asia.
Date of experience: May 2018
Reviewed December 3, 2018
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.
Date of experience: June 2018
Reviewed June 20, 2018
Some other feedbacks from clients we had served:
I have been busy answering e-mails and writing text for our newsletter and other things since getting back as lots of things needed doing - but things already calming down again.
Thank you for your kind words and can I also say it was a complete pleasure working with you too, the words I said on our final evening were all completely from the heart and I can honestly say that the combination of you and Parus made for an excellent experience from the wildlife and cultural perspective. The guests were all telling me how much they enjoyed the holiday and how much your input made the holiday for them. To have someone who could explain and point out aspects of Chinese culture as diverse as architecture, food, religion, day to day life and more was just fantastic. I would say with hand on heart that this was one of the best trips I have led and for that I have you to thank
I am also very aware that you had a huge amount to think about during the trip – timing the travel days to arrive at a sensible time while still giving us time to enjoy a few stops along the way is not always easy and you did it very well indeed. Organising our evening meals and breakfasts in the field and so much more is all time consuming and needs thinking through and again you did a fabulous job. In fact the trip simply worked very well indeed and I feel very privileged to have worked with you and visited your wonderful country. I think the itinerary we chose was superb and clearly both the Terracotta Warriors at the start and pandas at the wend were both extremely popular.’
——Roy Atkins, a professional Bird Guide from UK in Custom Birding Trip in Sichuan in 2015
'Dear Philip, lily and Jiawei,
We are all noww safely back home and Ihave had time to produce my trip reoprt for the wonderful bird tour that you arranged for us. I attach the docuemtns here for your interest - you may use them and adapt them any way you wish if you need to.
It was a great experience seeing China - the birds, travel, culture, sceerny with you. You did an absoluteyl first rate job in all respects - some of the best service and professional arrqngements and leading of a tour in my 40+ years of experience worldwide to 100 countries and over 300 tours organised and led.
Thank you all - I will certainly promote your services to my friends and colleagues and hope your business prospers as it deserves. If I can be of any help do let me know.
Very Best Wishes '
——Peter Robert and Pia, Peter Rober, a professional bird guide from UK, in Custom Trip in 2013
Thanks also for this trip, you were very friendly and professional.
I’ll go to Brasil next week for birdwatching and mammals.'
——Michel Watelet，Private Birding Trip in 2013
Despite the hassles, it has been a very joyful journey! We have had countless happy moments and excellent views of birds many rare birds. Thanks for the excellent arrangements. Looking forward to have chance to bird with you and your colleagues again.
Yes we indeed need to produce appropriate documents in order to claim insurance. To simplify matters, we will draft a sample letter to you, so that you can reprodue several copies of it, one for each member of the group, with the individual's name and identity appear in the letter. The draft letter should be ready within the next few days. Thanks.
——KC Lee from Hong Kong, Custom Winter Birding in Tibet in 2014 and 2015.’
How about your bird guides, are they professional enough?
All our bird guides are carefully chosen and have rich experiences of guiding westerners. Most of them are full time bird guide of AlpineBirding. Their specieties in colleague are always involved with ecology, they have strong interests in birds and have guided lots of birding trips for AlpineBirding. They know the birds, birding sites and culture aspects of the places you are going to visit very well. To be honest, because English is not official language in China, our guide can't speak fluent English as the bird guide from western countries, their knowledge on birds and cultural aspects of places you are going to visit is excellent..
2. How difficult is this trip?
The difficulty of this trip can be labled from easy to moderate. Most of times,we will search for birds on the roadside or the forest near the main road. There are some optional hikes along the trails, but it is optional and very few. The most difficult part of the trip is going to the high elevation areas, the highest elevation we will go is around 4500 meters above the sea level. Consult your doctor if you have never been to high elevation area before.
3. How about the food? Is there aways western food avaible?
Because most of times, we need to drive to the field before day break so as to make good use of golden hours for birding in the moring, so breakfast is always easy and in the field. We will bring some snacks, coffee, hot water, cakes and fruits. So very few times, we will have breakfast in our hotel. For the lunch, it is similar, we always have picnic lunch in the field to save time. While dinner is always in a good restaurant near our hotel or in our hotel if the hotel also provide good food. Sichuan food is one of the four most famous food in China. In our past trips, the absolute majority of our clients enjoy the food. However once we get out the the main cities like Chengdu, it is very hard to find western food restaraunt.
4. Can AlpineBirding help me to get Chinese Visa?
Yes, we can provide necessary documents needed for your visa application. Once you confirm to participate our trip, our staff will help you with this.
5. Do I need vaccination for this trip? Do I need bring medicines?
Generally Sichuan is very safe destination. You don't need. The best way is to consult your personal doctor for suggestions. Yes, you'd better bring your own medicine. Though we have lots of phamacies in China, all the medicines are explained in Chinese. So the best way is to consult your doctor and bring some medicines in case of needs.
6. What kind of birding gears do I need to bring?
We will bring a swarovski spotting scope and A Field Guide to the Bird of China, you need to bring your own binoculars. We will also print a checklist for each of our trip participants. Unless we specify in our itinerary, we do not camp in our trips but in some trips, we have to stay in local family guest house which is quiet basic, if you want to bring your own sleeping bags, you can bring.
7. What does AlpineBirding trips include and exclude?
Please read the inclusions and exclusions given in the same page where you find the trip cost.
8. How do you compare your trips with birding trips provided by other world famous birding companies?
The world only becomes so colorful just because of the existence of so many different things. We hold great respects toward all the other companies in the world, but we want to show our specialties accumulated from many years of running trips. As a local company, we have our own advantages about local birds and local culture. We want to build up our own team of professionals. The growth of our professional team will not only bring direct benefits to our customers in a way that they can travel in cheaper price at the same trip quality but also will exert positive impacts on locals in terms of protecting environments, appreciating local birds and knowing better of local resources. We care about your enjoyment of the trip and we will do everything we can to ensure your full enjoyment of your trip and realize the best value of each penny you have paid to us.