Exploring Wild Orchids In Northwest Sichuan
This trip features different species of orchids in a variety of carefully-chosen destinations in western Sichuan, including panda habitats, world heritage sites and Tibetan Plateau. Though in this trip our focus will be mainly placed on the search of orchids, we can also enjoy a great variety of alpine flowers, some breathtaking scenery, many beautiful endemic birds and authentic Tibetan culture in this trip. We will see all of them in this one itinerary..
Blessed with almost all kinds of habitats and known as one of the top flower-watching destinations in China, Sichuan Province is an ideal place to explore orchid species due to its abundance in quantity and variety of orchids. It is estimated that there are 440 orchids species of orchids in Sichuan Province.The most noticeable one is Slipper Orchids (Cypripedium). Of the estimated 50 Slipper Orchids species around the world,half of them are found in Sichuan.Also Sichuan has a great number of orchid species under Calanthe and Cymbidium, and is the the distribution center of orchid species under Amitostigma, Neottianthe.
During this trip we are going to see some spectacular mountains, canyon, grasslands and forests, including the famous world heritage sites Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong. When we visit these places, our primary goal is to find some amazing orchids there. We can see about 8-10 slipper orchids in these places,we can also find Amitostigma, Calypso bulbosa, Orchis, Calanthe orchid. In addition, we will see a variety of Primula and Meconopsis. Our flower expert Cory will share his rich knowledge about these flowers. If you have interests, Cory will also teach you how to take great pictures of these flowers. He himself is a famous plant expert and also a great flower photographer.
To ensure your full enjoyment of the trip, WildFloraTour will also send a English-speaking culture guide who will share the rich culture and show you the wonderful birds you encounter in this trip.
Huanglong:Huanglong is a world heritage site by UNSCO since 1992, the unique high altitude tufa forest landscape. The unique landform has nurtured quite a number of orchid species which can be found along the travertine streams running a few kilometers to the mountain foot. We can see large number of Cypripedium flavum , Cypripedium tibeticum and other exciting orchids.
Jiuzhaigou National Park: Known as the world heritage site and one of the best scenic spots in China, Jiuzhaigou is the prefect combination of snow mountains,travertine lakes,alpine forest and waterfalls.We can enjoy not just the breathtaking scenery but also the wild flowers in the fairy land.
Shenxianchi: The Shenxianchi landscape is similar with Huanglong , but smaller in size and lower in altitude. Here we can see large number of Cypripedium flavum and some Cypripedium shanxiense, Cypripedium guttatum.
Xueshanliang: It is one of the high mountian passes in our trip, and a good place to watch some alpine flowers, and 3-4 kinds of Meconopsis.
Balang Mountain: Balang Mountain is one of the best places alpine flowers and endemic birds. It is located in Wolong Nature Reserve only about 2 hours driving distance from Chengdu. Every year from June to August, the mountain slope is covered with a nature-made carpet of different blooming flowers. Here we can see over 5 kinds of Meconopsis, and many species of Primula, Pedicularis, Corydalis and numerous others.
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 orchids we may see in the trip:
4. Cypripedium guttatum
5. Cypripedium shanxiense
6. Cypripedium bardolphianum
7. Cypripedium plectrochilum
D1 Arrive at Chengdu International Airport, met by WildFloraTour guide and transfer to your hotel (500m). Meals: D
D2 Depart from Chengdu to Chuanzhusi（about 6h）,enjoy the beautiful nature along the way, on route, we will make a brief visit to Dujiangyan Panda Ark of China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. Afternoon we search flowers around Chuanzhusi. Overnight in Songpan Xunyicao Hotel (3000m). Meals: BLD
D3 Early morning we leave Chuanzhusi to Huanglong, during the way we will pass through a pass called Xueshanliang and watch the alpine flowers,include three kinds of Meconopsis. Overnight in Huanglong xx hotel (). Meals: BLD
D4 Visit Huanglong scenic spot for whole day .Huanglong is the world famous calc-sinter and high altitude forests scenery. Along a few kilometers of calc-sinter streams we can see a large number of slipper orchids. Overnight in Huanglong xx hotel. Meals: BLD
D5 Leave huanglong to Jiuzhaigou. Along the way we will go through Danyun gorge and Dujuan mountain pass. We are going to search for some special orchid such as Cypripedium sichuanense along Danyun gorge.Overnight in Jiuzhaigou International Hotel. Meals:BLD
D6 We will visit another world natural heritage site Jiuzhaigou, which is known as the ‘fairy – tale world’ for its unique lakes, waterfalls,forest,and so on.We will spend all day in Jiuzhaigou National Park to enjoy wild flowers and its extraordinary lakes of different shapes and lakes as well as spectacular waterfalls. Overnight: Jiuzhaigou International Hotel Meals: BLD
D7 We drive to Shenxianchi Scenic Area. In the half way we will climb over a pass with altitude of 3800m. We will see a great number of flowers along the way.Shenxianchi Scenic Area is similar with Huanglong but has its unique plants like Cypripedium shanxiense, Cypripedium guttatum and so on . This place is also a great place for some endemic birds such as Blue Eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasants, Chinese Grouse, and rosefiches and grosbeaks. Overnight in Jiuzhaigou International Hotel . Meals: BLD
D8 Drive to Ruoergai,which is known as the alpine wetland and enjoy the wild flowers and nice scenery along the way.Overnight in Ruoergai xx Hotel. Meals: BLD
D9 Drive to Barkam, the capital city of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, enjoy the nice scenery along the way. Afternoon we arrive at Barkam and experience the Jiarong Tibetan culture by visiting Xisuo Tibetan Family village. Overnight in Xisuo Tibetan Family Hotel.Meals: BLD
D10 Leave Barkam to Rilong Town,we will go through the Mengbishan pass with elevation of 4114m,and watch the flowers along the way.Afternoon we arrive at Rilong Town.Overnight in Lianhua Boutique Hotel.Meals: BLD
D11 We will drive to Jiajin Mountain to explore the alpine orchids and many other flowers.Overnight in Lianhua Boutique Hotel.Meals: BLD
D12 Get up early and drive to Maobiliang to see the sunrise of Four Girls Mountain,which is known as the ‘Oriental Alps’ and the second highest independent mountain in Sichuan province.Then we continue to drive to Balang Mountain,we will search for some orchids and huge numbers of other beautiful alpine flowers such as Meconopsis, Corydalis. Afternoon we drive back to Chengdu.Overnight in Chengdu xx Hotel. Meals: BLD
D13 Depart from Chengdu. WildFloraTour service ends.Meals:B
Trip Duration: 13 days from Jun 20th to Jul 2th
• Flower guide: Cory and a logistic and culture guide
• Difficulty: mostly moderate, demanding on certain parts.
• Number of flower species expected to see during the orchid exploring tour:( about 40 orchids and 250~300 other flowers )
• Trip Cost: 3000usd/pax • Single Supplement：500 usd/pax • Deposit: 200usd/pax • Trip Size: 2~12 person
The cost includes the following.
1. Transportation throughout the orchid exploring tour, 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.
7. Service charges of orchid exploring tour include the fees of a professional English-speaking flower guide and culture guide.
8. China domestic travel insurance.
the cost does not include the following.
a. Any expense of personal nature such as laundry.
b. During orchid exploring tour, extra charges due to change of itinerary from the client side or other factors are beyond the control of WildFloraTour.
c. Flight tickets to the place where our trip start and from the place where our trip ends .
d. Expenses for visa application.