Join us on this exceptional fourteen day expedition that takes you from the classic sites of the Capital of China to remote Tibetan villages in Western Sichuan. If there were a perfect way to immerse yourself in the rich cultural diversity and natural wonders of China and Freeland’s Wildlife Protection and Community Development Program, this is your trip.


Join us on this exceptional fourteen day expedition that takes you from the classic sites of the Capital of China to remote Tibetan villages in Western Sichuan. If there were a perfect way to immerse yourself in the rich cultural diversity and natural wonders of China and Freeland’s Wildlife Protection and Community Development Program, this is your trip.

Prepare yourself for a unique and challenging experience as you traverse the length and breadth of China on a journey that includes China’s unparalleled highlights – the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the “Terra Cotta Soldiers,” endangered Pandas and Snow Leopards – and a visit to Freeland’s Camp high on the Tibetan Plateau to restore an ancient Tibetan Trail. The Camp is located at the Yunhe Center for Nature-Based Learning and Sustainable Community Development.

Enrich your life by interacting with local cultures that until recently have had limited contact with the outside world; try new things you have never done before; help restore a lifeline for a remote Tibetan village; learn about efforts to save endangered species and habitats – all designed to help you explore the relationship between man and nature.

The expedition is 14 days long including travel. Freeland’s Nature Camp Expedition dates are flexible between June and November, 2019.

DAY 1: Arrival in Beijing

Flights from the U.S. arrive the next day in Beijing due to the time change.

The group will be picked up from airport by the guide and transported to your Beijing four star hotel.

Have a free evening and good rest adjusting to the new time zone.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Chinese food

DAY 2: Beijing – Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City , Temple of Heaven and Hutong Tour

On your second day we will visit Tiananmen Square and the magnificient Forbidden City in the morning and the Temple of Heaven in the afternoon. The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 A.D during the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifices to Heaven.

After that, we’ll have a Hutong Tour. Hutongs are fascinating ancient city alleys or lanes typical of early Beijing, where there were once several thousand surrounding the Forbidden City. The Hutongs you’ll visit were built during the Yuan (1206-1341), Ming (1368-1628) and Qing(1644-1911) dynasties.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Chinese Food

DAY 3: Beijing – Great Wall of China

We will visit the Mutianyu Great Wall where it is less touristy, walk 1000 steps up to the Great Wall and walk along the top imagining great invading hordes.

The construction of this section was started in the mid-6th century during China’s Northern Dynasties (386 – 581) and what now remains is from the restoration made during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

It has served as a northern barrier of what is now Beijing 1,500 years. You will take a cable car up the hill and toboggan down.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Chinese Food

DAY 4: Beijing – Xi’An

Take an early 5 hour trip on the famous high speed bullet trains from Beijing to XiAn where you will be picked by your guide from the station and escorted to your youth hostel.

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon walking tour around XiAn the ancient capital of China and learn the history in the home of the famous Silk Road.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Chinese Food

DAY 5: Xi’an Terracotta Army

Just outside of XiAn visit the world famous Terra Cotta Soldiers museum and the Mausoleum grounds of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.

Take the late afternoon 4 hour high speed train ride from Xian to Chengdu traveling the 643 kilometers at 300 km/hour. You will be picked up by your guide from the train station and escorted to your 4 star hotel in Chengdu.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Chinese Food

DAY 6: Chengdu – Giant Panda Breeding Center in Wolong – Mt Siguniang

This day’s journey will take you up onto the Tibetan Plateau and deep into the ancient Tibetan Kingdom of Kham. An early start is required as Rilong is over 250km from Chengdu.

After an hour or so there will be a brief stop at the town of Yenzhing (Chinese: Yingxiu), which was devastated by an 8.0 Richter scale earthquake in 2008.

On the way, you will stop for lunch at Wolong (Mandarin for sleeping dragon).

Immediately after lunch visit the Giant Panda Breeding Center in Wolong to experience pandas close-up and personal.

The Wolong Valley is the prime Giant Panda habitat in China. As you travel deeper into the Mountains of Kham, the scenery becomes more impressive, the steep sided green hills are dotted with picturesque Tibetan villages.

After climbing the final stretch of 40km the tour will reach the Balang pass at 4,520m. Here it is possible to get your first view of Bumoshi Mountain. The region is referred to as the ‘Oriental Alps.’ From the pass the road sweeps down to the Tibetan town of Rilong, where you will eat and stay at a guesthouse.

Overnight: Guesthouse
Meals: Chinese Food

DAY 7: Rilong – Danba Zhonglu (Tibetan Village)

In the morning we will travel approximately 3 hours to Danba in Zhonglu. Our group will receive a traditional welcoming by the host families.

You will then be taken to your Tibetan guesthouse where you can settle in and rest.

After lunch we will divide into small groups and walk around the village and get to know the life and culture here.

We’ll visit and talk with the local Tibetan families along the old trail and learn the history of the trails.

Overnight: Tibetan Guesthouse
Max Altitude: 2,000m

DAY 8: Danba Zhonglu Community Projects (Day 1 of 3)

Mountain trails are the lifeblood of Tibetan Villages. You will participate in helping the villagers to build a trail.

You’ll learn the traditional techniques of building trails and how to use the ancient tools from local craftsman. Also you’ll begin to pick up a few simple Tibetan words. Over these 3 days, you will work alongside local villagers and learn how to build mountain trails during the day, and in the evening participate in group discussions – learn to drawn trail maps and conduct research on specific features of physical geography which affect the village.

Other cultural exchange programs during your stay include:

– Learning some Tibetan words from the locals.

– Learning the traditional Tibetan embroidery and print prayer flag using traditional Tibetan method.

– Singing and dancing with the local villagers.

– Campfire celebration

Overnight: Tibetan Guesthouse
Max Altitude: 2,000m

DAY 9: Danba Zhonglu Community Projects (Day 2 of 3)

DAY 10: Danba Zhonglu Community Projects (Day 3 of 3)

DAY 11: Danba – Chengdu

In the morning we will board a shuttle bus and travel back to Chengdu, where you will stay at a four star hotel.

The evening will be free time with a group dinner.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Chinese Food

DAY 12: Chengdu

Spend a day experiencing one of China’s great inland cities. This city of 14 million is the capital of the Sichuan Province. Chengdu’s history dates back over 3,000 years when it served as the capital of the Shu Kingdom.

After a leisurely mid-morning, participate in a Chinese cooking class complete with shopping in the local markets and cooking your own group lunch under the guidance of a leading Sichuan chef.

In the afternoon take a private tour of the Jinsha Site Museum, the most important archeological discovery in China this century. The museum holds relics of gold, j bronze, stone and ivory from the ancient Shu Kingdom that flourished over 3,000 years ago in Chengdu.

Finally after soaking up the extraordinary Chengdu Culture enjoy a final celebration Sichuan dinner together with your guides.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Chinese Food

DAY 13: Chengdu to the U.S.

Prepare to say goodbye to your guides at the airport and board a return flight from Chengdu to the U.S. to complete a trip filled with memories, accomplishments and appreciation of different cultures.

Trip Cost Includes:

China VISA fees
Entrance fees
Project fees

Trip Cost Excludes:

Flights from the U.S.
Passport fees
Personal insurance
Shopping expenses
Other personal requirements


You will experience a mixture of different types of accommodations. In Beijing and Chengdu, you will stay at four star hotels. In XiAn you will have the opportunity to experience an international youth hostel. Boys and girls are given separate lodging. In the remote villages along the way, you will be staying at traditional Tibetan guesthouses run by the locals.


Chinese style meals come with rice and options of vegetable and meat dishes.

A typical Chinese breakfast has a bowl of Chinese plain porridge, bread, buns, eggs and sausages.

Though quite simple and limited in options, lunch will be tasty and suitable for your trip, as curated by your guide.

For dinner, you’ll get an opportunity to try different dishes as this meal is ordered as a group and shared amongst each other.

Upon request, we could arrange sandwich & Pizza meals.

Trip Difficulty

Physical rating: Moderate


Our clients are required to apply for insurance at their home country with international coverage. This insurance policy is secondary to your existing health insurance policy. Dragon Expeditions carries a Professional Indemnity Policy of $3.25 million USD.


Guides offer private English speaking tours throughout the whole itinerary. The guide ratio is 1: 7.


Please ensure that you take care of your Routine Immunizations. If you have any discomfort regarding headache, nausea & dizziness, loss of appetite, fatigue, shortness of breath, disturbed sleep, general feeling of malaise, please inform your guide.

China VISA

Travelers from the United States will require a Chinese VISA which will be provided by the tour once we receive your passport. Dragon Expeditions will issue the VISA invitation letter. Allow seven days for issuance. VISA and passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the dates of travel.




$2,975 per person

The full trip cost is $2,975 USD including accommodation, transportation, meals, guides, entrance fees, project fees, excluding flights from the U.S.

$3,175 per person for groups with less than 10 people.
$2,975 per person for groups with 10 or more people.