Photo Trip for China Alpine Flowers
This trip will give you a unique opportunity to photograph hundreds of blooming flowers in western Sichuan under the guidance of our flower expert guide Cory. The west of Sichuan Province is located in the core area of the Hengduan Mountains. In this magical land, there are spectacular snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, rushing rivers; there are dense forests, lush grasslands, and numerous alpine lakes around the mountains. The extremely complex landforms and diverse climates, huge gap in altitude, give birth to the rich plant species, especially the alpine flowers. Every summer, the mountains are covered with colorful wild flowers, especially the genera of Rhododendron, Primula, Gentiana, Lilium, Meconopsis, Pedicularis and Corydalis which are rich in species here. 100 years ago, many western plant hunters have been attracted by these gorgeous flowers, went to this area to search for these flowers and brought them back to Europe. Now the traffic condition here has no longer been remote and danger, we can easily travel further into west China’s secret mountains, to explore the paradise for wild flowers.
In this trip, we mainly focus on enjoy seeing various flowers and how to take wonderful pictures of flowers. And, the trip no only offer great opportunities for flowers but also has some other highlights, the beautiful scenery, endemic birds and rich Tibetan culture.
Balang mountain: Balang mountain is one of the best place for Alpine flowers and endemic birds. It is located in the Wolong Nature Reserve. Every year from June to August, the Balang Mountain slope is covered with a carpet of various wild flowers. Here we can see more than 5 kinds of Meconopsis, and many species of Primula, Pedicularis, Corydalis and so on.
Huanglong: As one of the world natural heritage sites by UNESCO, Huanglong has the unique high altitude tufa forest landscape. The unique landform nurture abundant orchid resources along the 4-kilometers long travertine streams,especially the slipper orchids. We can see large number of Cypripedium flavum , Cypripedium tibeticum and other exciting orchids.
Qingcheng Mountain: As a holy place for Taoism, Qingcheng Mountain is famous for its lush sub-tropical forest, tranquil environment and rich Taoism culture.
Xiling Mountain: The vegetation range from subtropical evergreen broad-leaved to alpine coniferous forest, with large elevation and significant vertical distribution of the vegetation, so ,the plant species are very rich and we can see all kinds of wild flowers.
Tour Guide: Cory
Cory Li,co-founder and manager of Wildflora, is a super fan of nature especially for flowers. His passion about nature grows from the beauty of greens in the little boys’ eyes. As a native of Sichuan Chengdu, he has spent a lot of time exploring nature in the mountains nearby his hometown. During his study in Sichuan University, he has begun to participate lots of outdoor activities like hiking and mountain climbing, and started to study flora by teaching himself. After graduation, he even spent more time in the wild than in the office exploring wild flowers in Sichuan and neighboring provinces with other nature lovers. He himself has photographed about two thousand wild flowers species. He even found several new distribution of some endemic species, and even some new species of plants jointly with some other nature lovers. He loves to share his findings and stories behind the photos with other nature lovers on internet and has lots of “flora fans” in southwest China, though he never expected becoming famous out of this, he just enjoys sharing the beauty of those lovely flowers with others.
After years of exploration, Cory found that southwest China is a paradise for naturalists. The more he see, the more he feels like to explore. So he decided to quite his job as a chemical engineer and became a full time flora explorer. He wants to take people to find the beauty of those nature spirits, work on nature education for Chinese students, and help with the conservation of those endangered species.
Some amazing flowers we can see during our journey
1. Meconopsis integrifolia
2. Lilium lophophorum
3. Primula optata
4. Omphalogramma vinciflora
D1 Arrive at Chengdu International Airport. Meet your wild flower expert and transport to the hotel. Welcome dinner and trip briefing by Cory. Overnight: Chengdu Shangri-La Hotel. Meals:D
D2 In the morning, we take you to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to see pandas at different ages. Here you can also see a variety of cultivated flowers and plants. We spend the whole morning seeing giant pandas and red pandas. In the afternoon we drive to Wolong Nature Reserve. We will have some easily exploration of flowers in low elevation near our hotel. Overnight: Wolong Memory Hotel. Meals:BLD
D 3-4 In the early morning we drive to Balang Mountain, the paradise for flowers and birds. We spend a day here photographing for different alpine flowers at different elevation, including about 4 kinds of Meconopsis, and a great variety of Primula, Pedicularis, Corydalis plants and so on. Overnight: Lianhua Boutique Hotel. Meals:BLD
D5 Leave Rilong to explore another great place for alpine flowers named Jiajin Mountain, where we can find the unique Meconopsis and other alpine flowers here,such as Cypripedium tibeticum and other orchids.In the afternoon, we drive to Xiaojin County Town. Overnight: Xiaojin xx Hotel. Meals:BLD
D6 Leave Xiaojin to Barkam County. We will drive through a long and beautiful gorge. On the both sides of the river which flow across the gorge, we can find lots of terraced farmlands cultivated by local Jiarong Tibetans. We will have several stops looking for flowers and photographing the beautiful Tibetan houses. On the way we could see alpine forests, gorges, alpine meadow and flowers around here.
Overnight: Xisuominju Hotel. Meals:BLD
D7 Leave Barkam to Hongyuan County. Today we will move from mountainous area to the edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The plateau will be decorated by blooming wildflowers with herds of yaks grazing here and there. The early summer plateau is also full of different summer
breeders including Whiskered Terns, Horned Larks and Black-necked Cranes.
Overnight: Hongyuan xx Hotel. Meals:BLD
D8 We spend most of the day searching for our target flowers and birds on the Ruoergai Wetland Plateau, photographing them in different angles. In the afternoon,we drive on to Huanglong Nature Reserve.
Overnight: Huanglong XX Hotel. Meals:BLD
D9 In the early morning, we take a cable car to the top of the reserve and hike from there to the Multi-colored Ponds. We will search and photograph flowers when we walk from the upper cable station to the Multi-colored Ponds through the conifer forest. Then we walk down long the travertine stream searching and photographing flowers.Overnight: Huanglong XX Hotel. Meals:BLD.
D10 Today we drive on to our next destination Dujiangyan. When we climb over the Xueshanliang Pass, we will search for different kinds of alpine flowers to photograph. In the afternoon, we drive all the way to Dujiangyan. Overnight: Dujiangyan XX Hotel. Meals:BLD
D11 We will visit Qingcheng Mountain. As a holy place for Taoism, Qingcheng Mountain is famous for its lush sub-tropical forest, tranquil environment and rich Taoism culture. In the afternoon, we will drive on to Xiling Mountain. Overnight: Xiling Yingxue Hotel. Meals:BLD
D12-13 We will spend two days visiting different parts of Xiling Mountain to explore forest and wild flowers. Overnight: Xiling XX Hotel.Meals:BLD.
D14 Drive back to Chengdu and city tour. Overnight: Shangri-La Hotel. Meals:BLD
D15 Drop you at Chengdu International Airport. Meals: B
• Trip duration: 15 days from Jul 10th to Jul 24th
• Tour leader: Cory and a logistic guide
• Difficulty: mostly moderate, demanding on certain parts.
• Trip cost: 3500USD/pax
• Single supplement：500 usd/pax
• Deposit: 400USD/pax
• Trip size: 2~15 person
We are very happy to customize this trip for people who hope to travel only with family members and friends so as to better meet their taste, timing and style.
The cost includes the following.
1. Transportation throughout the trip , include airport pickups and drop off at Chengdu international airport.
2. Meals in 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 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 of the trip including a professional English-speaking flower guide.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
The cost does not include the following.
a. Any expense of personal nature such as laundry.
b. During the trip, extra charges due to change of itinerary from the client side or other factors are beyond the control of WildfloraTour.
c. Any flight tickets to the place where our trip start and from the place where our trip ends .
d. Expenses for visa application.