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2018 AUTUMN Photo Trip in WesterN China

 

The Overview of this trip will tell you the following information.

 I.  Trip Briefing
 II.  Trip Essentials (Price, Guide, Group Size, Difficulty Level, Dates and Length, etc.)
 III.  Trip Map
 IV.  Trip Itinerary
 V.  Inclusions and Exclusions


I.Trip Briefing

This trip is specially designed for photographers who have strong interests in nature like birds, flowers, and Tibetan culture. In this trip you will enjoy a blend of highlights from viewing and photographing endemic birds, alpine flowers, authentic Tibetan culture and beautiful lakes in Jiuzhaigou.June and July are the best seasons for viewing alpine flowers in western China and also best season to see the summer breeders on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. After coming face to face with pandas in Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, we will drive on to Wolong Nature Reserve, where we will search for Golden Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, Snow Partridge, Chinese Monals and some rosefinches.We will spend three days in this area, enjoying the wonderful blooming alpine flowers and birds living in high elevations. Then we drive to Maerkang. In the mountain standing by the side of the city, we will search for Chestnut-throated Partridge, Sichuan Jay and some other forest birds.From here we drive to the world largest Buddhist School, Seda Wuming Buddhist School. We will spend whole in this area photographing the small isolated world formed by sincere Buddhists who come here to seek the pure land in their heart and upgrade their spiritural pursuit.If you have interests, you can visit the skyburial ground where you can gain an understanding about life and death and different belief between body and soul. From here we drive on to Qinghai Province,en route we can photograph the nomandic lives, herd of yaks, alpine birds and flowers. After that we will pay a visit to Nianbaoyuze, the highest peak of Animaqing Mountain ranges and the holy mountains for local Tibetans.In this special reserve, we search for rosefinches, ground tits, if we are lucky enough, we can enven search for famous Tibetan Bunting here. On the next day, we drive on to Hongyuan and Ruoergai Grasslands looking for raptors,Blue Eared Pheasant and wintering Black-necked Crane. Our last stop is Jiuzhaigou, where we will photograph birds, and gem-like water lakes, we can spend one day in Jiuzhaigou National Park, photographing lakes and some birds. Before we drive on toward Chengdu, we will spend another day to explore another park near Jiuzhaigou. It is called Shenxianci, here we will search for Blue Eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Chinese Grouse and photograph the beautiful calcified ponds.

II.  Trip Essentials 
 

• Trip Duration:  23 Days from Oct. 18th to Nov. 8th
• Tour Leader: Philip He and An AlpineBirding Assistant

• Difficulty: mostly moderate

• Trip Focus: Photograph Birds, Mammals, Sceneries, Tibetan Culture and Terracotta Warriors

• Trip Cost: 5200USD
• Single Supplement:1300 USD

• Deposit: 800USD

• Trip Size: 2~10 photographers

• Space: Open for booking


 III.  Trip Map

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IV.  Trip Itinerary
 
Day 1 (October 18) Arrive Chengdu, city tour. Overnight: Chengdu.
Day 2. (October 19)Visit Chengdu Reseach Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and drive on to Wolong. Overnight: Wolong.
Day 3-4. (October 20-21)Photography birds in Scenery in Wolong area including Balang Mountain.
Day 5. (October 22)Drive to Lixian, en route photograph Taoping Qiang Village. Overnight: Lixian.
Day 6. (October 23)Visit Bipenggou Valley and photograph birds and scenery. Drive on to Maerkang.Overnight: Maerkang
Day 7. (October 24) Photograph birds in Mengbishan Mountain. Overnight: Maerkang
Day 8. (October 25)Drive on to Ruoergai, photograph Raptors, Blue Eared Pheasant. Overnight: Ruoergai.
Day 9. (October 26) Whole day photographing birds in Ruoergai. Overnight: Ruoergai.
Day 10. (October 27)Drive on to Tiebu, photographing alpine mammals and birds living on the plateau. Overnight: Tiebu.
Day 11. (October 28)Photograph Sika Deer and birds in the reserve. Overnight: Tiebu.
Day 12 (October 29)Drive from Tiebu to Jiuzhai, photograph birds and mammals on the way. Overnight: Jiuzhai.
Day 13. (October 30)Whole day photography birds and scenery in Jiuzhai. Overnight: Jiuzhai.
Day14. (October 31)Whole morning photographing pheasants, scenery in Shenxianci and drive on to Huanglong. Overnight: Huanglong.
Day 15. (November 1)Morning photography Pheasants and alpine birds in Huang Long and drive on to Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Overnight: Tangjiahe.
Day16-17. (November 2)Photograph mammals, sceneries and birds in Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Overnight: Tangjiahe.
Day18 (November 3)Morning photograph mammals near our hotel and then drive from Tangjiahe to Guangwushan.
Day 19. (November 4) Photograph coloful leaves, birds and scenery in Guangwushan. Overnight: Guangwushan.
Day20. (November 5) Morning photographing birds and scenery in Guangwushan and then drive to Yangxian. Overnight: Yangxian.
Day 21. (November 6) Photograph Crested Ibis and other birds, then we drive on to Xi'an. Overnight: Xi'an.
Day22. (November 7)Visit Terricotta Warrior and city tour in Xi'an. Overnight Xi'an.
Day23. (November 8)City tour in the morning and depart from Xi'an.

 

V.  Inclusions and Exclusions


The cost includes the following:


1. Transportation throughout the trip, including airport pickups and drops at Chengdu airports.
2. Meals in local popular restaurants labeled as 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 from first day to the last day, nice 4-star hotels in big cities and local best in local places.
5.Bottled water,seasonal fruits and snacks throughout the trip.
6. Western breakfast whenever is possible.
7. Service charges including an professional English-speaking birding guide.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
9. Basic tips to the serving staff , guide, driver and hotel bellmen.


The cost does not include the following:

a. Any expense of personal nature such as laundry.
b. Extra charges due to change of itinerary from client side or from factors beyond the control of AlpineBirding.
c. Any flight tickets to and from Chengdu.
d. Expenses for visa application.

 

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Calcified Ponds
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Sichuan Takin in Panda Habitat
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Black-throated Tit
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Terracotta Warriors  
Cick Any Picture Above to view more photos from our past trips.

► Spring
► 23 days
► 2-12 Birders
► Difficult
► Photographing & Birding
► Airplane & Bus

This trip is specially planned for professional photographers to get the best image of endemic birds in best background and best scenery shoots in best season. The trip happens in golden Autumn. Only in this season we can get best images of stunning sceneries of colorful trees. We will have good chance to get nice images of some endemic birds and mammals in good Autumn background, Tibetan people and beautiful sceneries on Tibetan Plateau. 


The Trip Itinerary:

Day 1. (October 18) Arrive Chengdu, city tour. Overnight: Chengdu. Meals: D
Upon arrival at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, you will be met by AlpineBirding guide and driver and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, we will arrange some city explorations. Welcome dinner at local popular restaurant.

Day 2. (October 19)Visit Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and drive on to Wolong. Overnight: Wolong. Meals: BLD
In the morning, we first drive to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where we will have opportunities to see 1-2 month old cubs, though through glass, it is hard for us to get nice pictures of those cubs. For those 1 year old panda cubs, we can photograph them playing together and climbing the trees in the open ground. We can also photograph Red Panda in the tree. The large panda sanctuary is also an excellent place for birds. Here you can find White-browed Laughingthrush, Spotted Dove, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Collared Finchbill and Grey-headed Greenfinch. After lunch at local popular restaurant, we will drive on to Wolong.

Day 3-4. (October 20-21)Photography birds in Scenery in Wolong area including Balang Mountain. Meals: BLD
The October in Wolong will give us lots of chance to photograph, birds, mammals and sceneries, especially scenery and birds. The huge elevation gap will enable us to photograph resident game birds at higher elevation, mottled trees by the side of winding stream and colorful mountain slope. We will start from the lower elevation area, photographing the beautiful Golden Pheasant and gradually move toward higher part, the colorful mountain slope, graceful Chinese Monal, Noisy White Eared Pheasant and spectacular Tibetan Snowcock and Snow Partridge. The beautiful sceneries from the mountain pass will be also very impressive.

Day 5. (October 22)Drive to Lixian, en route photograph Taoping Qiang Village. Overnight: Lixian. Meals: BLD
After breakfast, we will drive to our next destination, en route, we will pay a visit to Taoping Qiang Village, famed as the Oriental Castel. This village is the best preserved Qiang Village and is the best place to understand the Qiang culture, especially architecture of Qiang ethnic group. Tonight we will stay in Lixian County.

Day 6. (October 23)Visit Bipenggou Valley and photograph birds and scenery. Drive on to Maerkang. Overnight: Maerkang Meals: BLD
After breakfast, we drive to Bipenggou Valley to photograph snow-capped mountain, alpine lake and colorful virgin forest inside this valley. Bipenggou is an important valley of Qionglai Mountain Range. After photographing this beautiful valley, we will drive on to Maerkang, the capital of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.

Day 7. (October 24) Photograph birds in Mengbishan Mountain. Overnight: Maerkang Meals: BLD
We will spend whole day searching for endemic birds like Sichuan Jay, Chestnut-throated Partridge, Chinese Grouse, White Eared Pheasant and Blood Pheasant. The well-protected forest make this place an exciting birding habitats. In the afternoon, if you have interests, we can drive you to Zuokeji Mansion to help you understand the Jiarong Tibetan architecture and the beautiful Tibetan village located near the mansion.

Day 8. (October 25)Drive on to Ruoergai, photograph Raptors, Blue Eared Pheasant. Overnight: Ruoergai. Meals: BLD
Today, we are going to get into the vast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Our photography focus will be on the beautiful plateau sceneries, some endemic birds and nomad life. Our first target is to search for the famous Black-necked Crane on the vast grasslands and wetlands. We will make a number of stops to photograph the grazing yak flocks and take scenery shoots.

Day 9. (October 26) Whole day photographing birds in Ruoergai. Overnight: Ruoergai. Meals: BLD
We will spend whole day in Ruoergai searching for Blue Eared Pheasant, Chinese Grouse and mammals on the Plateau.

Day 10. (October 27)Drive on to Tiebu, photographing alpine mammals and birds living on the plateau. Overnight: Tiebu.
On our way from Ruoergai to Tiebu, we will continue our search for mammals, raptors and the resident birds on the Plateau. A number of stops will be made on the way to photograph the beautiful alpine lakes, curious Tibetan nomads and grazing yaks and sheeps.

Day 11. (October 28)Photograph Sika Deer and birds in the reserve. Overnight: Tiebu. Meals: BLD
Tiebu Sika Deer reserve is possibly the only reserve in China that is dedicated to the protection of this endangered animals. We will spend the whole day searching and photographing sika deer with the reserve staff.

Day 12. (October 29)Drive from Tiebu to Jiuzhai, photograph birds and mammals on the way. Overnight: Jiuzhai. Meals: BLD
We roughly drive the same way back to another wonderful site Jiuzhaigou and we will scan the plateau again for mammals and birds and stop any time we find there is a good chance to get nice shoots of mammals like wolves, and foxes.

Day 13. (October 30)Whole day photography birds and scenery in Jiuzhai. Overnight: Jiuzhai. Meals: BLD
Jiuzhaigou National Park is one of the most beautiful and popular tour destinations in whole China. The gem-like lakes of different sizes and waterfalls are extremely photogenic. The colorful trees on the mountain slope and lake side give special treat to the photographers. We will spend the whole day photographing those beautiful lakes and waterfalls in their autumn best.

Day14. (October 31)Whole morning photographing pheasants, scenery in Shenxianci and drive on to Huanglong. Overnight: Huanglong. Meals: BLD
Today, we drive you to another wonderful site about 60km from Jiuzhai where we will photograph Calcified Ponds and search for pheasants in the forest on the way and near the walkway. This hidden gem is called Shenxianci which literally means 'Pool of Immortals' or popularly known as 'Goddess Lake'. The well-protected forest make this place an excellent place to search for pheasants while the beautiful alpine lakes and calcified ponds will surely any picky photographer very happy with what they could get in the park. In the afternoon, we will drive you to another town to make our next day journey easier and get the best morning shoots.

Day 15. (November 1)Morning photographing Pheasants and alpine birds in Huang Long and drive on to Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Overnight: Tangjiahe. Meals: BLD
Today we will visit another beautiful Park, Huanglong National Park. In the early morning, we take cable car to the top and hike to the multi-colored Lake. We will photograph the beautiful calcified lake in the first morning ray. On our way of hiking day the valley along the paved wooden walk way, we will have chance to photograph blood pheasants and Chestnut-throated Partridge feeding on the ground. After photographing this park, we will drive on to Tangjiahe Nature Reserve, our final nature reserve.

Day 16-17. (November 2)Photograph mammals, sceneries and birds in Tangjiahe Nature Reserve. Overnight: Tangjiahe. Meals: BLD
We will spend two days in our private vehicle searching and photographing mammals in the reserve. This is one of the best protected reserves in whole China. We will have good chance to see and photograph numerous birds such as Golden Pheasant plus some mammals including Sichuan Takin, Tufted Deer, Reeve’s Montjac’s Deer, Chinese Goral, Serow, Wild Boar, Tibetan Macaque, if we are lucky enough we can even see and photograph Moon Bear , Golden Monkey and Giant Panda.

Day 18. (November 3)Morning photograph mammals near our hotel and then drive from Tangjiahe to Guangwushan. Meals: BLD
After morning search for mammals and birds around our hotel, we will drive on to another extremely beautiful place but not known to the western people, Guangwu Mountain. This place is famous for their colorful leaves and is on our way to photograph Crested Ibis.

Day 19. (November 4) Photograph colorful leaves, birds and scenery in Guangwushan. Overnight: Guangwushan. Meals: BLD
We spend whole day photographing the beautiful sceneries in the reserve, visiting different part of the reserve photographing beautiful sceneries. 

Day 20. (November 5) Morning photographing birds and scenery in Guangwushan and then drive to Yangxian. Overnight: Yangxian. Meals: BLD
We spend the morning photographing sceneries in Guangwushan National Forest Park. In the afternoon, we drive on to Yangxian to see Crested Ibis.

Day 21. (November 6) Photograph Crested Ibis and other birds, then we drive on to Xi'an. Overnight: Xi'an. Meals: BLD
Though Crested Ibis is very rare birds, once you get to Yangxian, it is not difficult to see them. We spend the morning photographing Crested Ibis and in the afternoon, we drive on to Xi’an to see the ancient capital of China. In the evening, if you have interests, we can take to the Muslim Quarters to photograph the inviting Muslim food street.

Day 22. (November 7)Visit Terricotta Warrior and city tour in Xi'an. Overnight Xi'an. Meals: BLD
We will visit the so-called eighth wonder of the world, the Terricotta Warriors. In the afternoon, we take you back to the city and explore Xi’an. Farewell dinner at local popular restaurant.

Day 23. (November 8)City tour in the morning and depart from Xi'an.
Depending on your time of departure, we will arrange some sightseeing program in the city and then drop you at the airport to catch you flight back home. If you need some customized extensions, we can also help you plan some private trips based on your taste and timing to conclude your China trip. 


Calcified Ponds
Autumn gives you golden chance to get bird image with nice background
Gem Like lake
 Cick Any Picture Above to view more photos from our past trips.

 

Following are some of the feedbacks we have got from our clients we had served.

 
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‘Hi, Philip

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 now safely back home and I have 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


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'Hi Philip
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


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'Dear Philip,
 
  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.
 
  Regards'
 
 ——KC Lee from Hong Kong, Custom Winter Birding in Tibet in 2014 and 2015.

 

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'Dear Philip and Jiawei
Thank you very much for your email and hope that you got back safely to Chengdu yesterday. We got back home a couple of days ago, but work is already busy! I hope that you had a good time surveying future opportunities near Chongqing.
 
We had a really great time with the three of you, and talking on the way home we rated the day hike at Zhuque (along with the Great Wall) as our best day in China. The birding was better than expected there, especially with Jiawei working extremely hard to lure species out with calls - his (and your) knowledge was fantastic and I owe you for about 10-20 species that I would not have found myself. The scenery was excellent, and also the food - this was the lasting memory of the trip we had with you. We also learnt so much about China and its culture, and are indebted to you for this. I think my bird highlights were the Rosefinches and Crested Ibis. I've yet to start editing my photographs.
One thing is for sure though, that I will be back in China for a real birdwatching holiday at some stage in the future. Especially with those direct flights to Chengdu.
 
Many thanks once again for all of your hard work.'
——Richard and Carol who went birding with AlpineBirding in August of 2013

 

Hi Philip,            
How are you? This is to tell you we had a great tour to Sichuan, everything was well organized and special thanks to Jay who did a great job!’

——Laurens Steijn, Birding with  AlpineBirding in June of 2014

1. How about the guide of this trip?
The guide of this trip is Philip He, the founder of AlpineBirding. Depending on the size of the trip, we will have an assistant guide to be in charge of logistic things. This trip is focusing on photographing mammals, birds, and sceneries. In Xi’an we will have a local guide to explain Terracotta Warriors. Philip He himself is an avid photographer, birder and cultural enthusiasts and have been to those places many times. He has worked in the travel industry for more than 15 years and has guided many birding trips. In this trip, he will try his best to make your best bird photography trip for you with his professionalism, passion and knowledge about local places in cooperation with his assistant and driver.

 

2. How difficult is this trip?
Generally speaking, this trip is quite easy. Whenever it is possible (availability and size of the actual trip), we will arrange a private vehicle to facilitate the trip and maximize the chances. While in high elevation areas, we many encounter some bad weathers, so make sure you have enough warm cloth. The focus of this trip is mammals, birds and scenery.

 

3. How about the food? Is there always western food available?
 
Food is very important part for all AlpineBirding trips. Please note that in this trip, we will travel in one of the remotest places in China. Though we will try our best to arrange authentic local food, we have to eat in some small and basic restaurant when we travel to those small places.

 

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 gears do I need to bring?
For this trip, the focus is on mammals, birds and beautiful sceneries. So if possible you can bring you best lens for those occasions. If you have your own binocular, it will be always helpful in spotting the mammals of birds we see during the trip. 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.

 

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.

 

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