Xi’an Panda Tour with Former WWF Panda Conservation Program Director

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3 Days
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Xi'an
Xi'an
About this Journey

Tick off two China bucket list items in one trip: the formidable Terracotta Warriors and the adorable Giant Panda. Expand your China knowledge and horizons as you explore one of the greatest finds of modern archaeology and a present day success in wildlife conservation.

Dive deeper into understanding China’s “national treasure”, the giant panda. Beyond the cuddly facades that have allured and transfixed admirers far and wide, these pandas have an array of social, biological and environmental complexities to be explored. To explain you could ever want to know about pandas, we have arranged for former WWF panda conservation program manager, Wan Hui, to join the excursion to Louguantai Panda Center as an expert guide.

Meet WildChina Expert, Wan Hui:

Having initially studied Environmental Ecology at the prestigious Peking University, picking up a Masters in Geography immediately after, Wan Hui began her corporate career in Shanghai’s concrete jungle.  Luckily for China’s wildlife, after four years in the city, Wan Hui shifted back to nature conservation and worked within World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for ten years, focusing on landscape conservation for giant pandas in western China. In 2019, she left her post as the director of WWF’s panda conservation program to head up her own consulting firm to share her knowledge with visitors and research centers the world over. 

During the tour, make sure you keep the questions coming, as there’s little that doesn’t fall within Wan Hui’s expertise.  Whether it’s explaining the nuances of China’s biodiversity and ecosystem, or the effects of local populations on the distribution of China’s pandas – she’s got you covered (and then some).

What we love
  • Gazing at one of the world's greatest recent-history finds: the 8,000-strong Terracotta Warriors
  • Learning about China's national treasure, the giant panda, with an expert at the lesser-known Louguantai Giant Panda Breeding Center
  • Experiencing the living history of the Silk Road at the Great Mosque and Muslim Quarter in Xi'an
Where you're going
Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Xi'an

Though Beijing has stolen the thunder as China’s new capital, its history and prestige are nothing compared to the old capital of Xi’an, where emperors ruled China for thousands of years. Home of the treasured Terracotta Warriors, the eastern end of the Silk Road, and a history that stretches longer than the Great Wall, Xi’an epitomizes traditional Chinese culture.

The Great Mosque

Islam first entered China more than a thousand years ago via the Silk Road, flourishing around the Great Mosque in the heart of the Xi’an’s thriving Muslim Quarter. Entering the elegant grounds at sunset, you might mistake the undulating roofs and colonnaded halls for a Chinese temple until the evening call to prayer confirms that this is instead a potent fusion of Chinese and Islamic culture.

The Muslim Quarter

As Islam flowed along the Silk Road into China 1,300 years ago, its faithful followers, both locals and foreigners alike, settled in a busy commercial area of the capital, Chang’an. After centuries of prosperity, the very same Muslim Quarter is still one of the most bustling areas of modern-day Xi’an, and a sensory feast of neon signs, exotic spices, and mouthwatering barbecued fare.

Meals included: dinner

Day 2Xi'an

Drive to Louguantai

The ride from Xi’an downtown to Louguantai will take around 2 hours.

Louguantai Giant Panda Breeding Center

Having just opened to the public in 2023, the Louguantai Giant Panda Breeding Center offers brand new access China’s national animal: the giant panda. Founded in 1987, the expansive research center is home to ten giant pandas – the main attraction – as well as a host of other animals native to these areas of the Qinling Mountains.  While seeing the pandas in their natural environment is a rewarding experience in itself, learning more about them – their habits, relationships, diets, and of course, their struggles, adds so much more to the experience. As such, we’ve arranged for former WWF panda conservation program director, Wan Hui, to join as an expert guide. 

Lou Guan Tai Temple

The origin of a philosophy that now reaches around the world, the Lou Guan Tai temple is where Taoism was created, where the famous Lao Tsu wrote Dao De Jing as well as where he lectured its principles to Taoism’s first followers. Just five minutes from the research center, exploring this historic site in the company of a modern Tao philosopher is an experience that will stay with you long after you leave its grounds.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3Xi'an

The Terracotta Warriors

In 1974, while digging a well in the vast countryside outside of Xi’an, a group of farmers made a legendary discovery. They struck a chamber containing 8,000 soldiers belonging to China’s fearsome first emperor, a terracotta army buried beneath the earth to guard his tomb for eternity. Less than an hour outside the city, you’ll spend two hours coming face-to-face with row upon row of these ancient guardians, an experience no trip to China is complete without.

Your Train/Flight Back Home

Your WildChina guide will escort you to the train station/airport and help you check in for your train/flight home.

Your Accommodation

Hilton Xi'an

5-Star

Inside Xi’an’s ancient city walls, Hilton Xi’an brings together contemporary design, Tang dynasty artwork, and plush beds to create an urban escape for travelers after a day filled with sightseeing. Close to the cultural treasures in the heart of the city, the hotel’s spacious rooms, marble baths, Shaanxi dishes, and spa treatments help guests relax and recharge for another day exploring the delights of Xi’an. Pop up to the landscaped roof garden for a moment of secluded serenity.

Photos
Details

What’s Included

  • All overland transfers with private chauffeur and in-transport refreshments
  • All admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • Services of an English-speaking WildChina guide
  • Private chauffeur service to and from airport at start and end of your trip

What’s Excluded

  • International and domestic flights, domestic trains, plus relevant taxes
  • Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Meals, apart from those included in the itinerary, and alcohol
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
  • Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers
Why WildChina

We’re on the ground with you

Our team of advisors will design every detail of the trip with you through close consultation, then orchestrate your entire journey while on the ground. We’re in the same time zone as you, so we can fulfill requests and handle issues without a hitch. With over 40 staff in China and an expansive network of operational partners across the country, we have the manpower to ensure your journey is safe, reliable and comfortable from beginning to end.

Your trip, your way

Flexibility is our highest-ranking compliment. We pull off journeys for pioneers with a 6-hour layover to Hollywood’s elite, and everywhere in between. Our team regularly pulls off unprecedented logistical feats; nearly any time frame or budget is within our realm. No matter how you wish to experience China, we are here to bring that dream to life.

We embody passion

WildChina guides are carefully handpicked for their knowledge and charisma, then meticulously trained to maintain our exceptional service standards. They are expert storytellers and passionate natives of the regions where they guide, having the perfect combination of local insights and service know-how to bring you seamless once-in-a- lifetime moments all across China.

The little things, the big picture

Supporting inspired local economies allows you to experience the soul of the destination, while also protecting and cultivating China’s artisanal culture. From watching artisans creating their handcrafts, to picking organic vegetables for dinner on a local farm, our tours are designed to showcase and protect China’s heritage, both natural and human.