2015 WildChina Sustainability Award Goes to…

View from a hiking trail in Moganshan

Congratulations to Nali, Marco, Michael, Yeonjun, and Graci for their prize-winning “Bam! Bamboo Workshop” sustainable business plan.

In early June, these five students from Shanghai and their nearly 100 classmates spent a week in Moganshan to learn about responsible tourism and what it really means to be sustainable. Their final project? To design a business, NGO or non-profit that would contribute to a village in Moganshan.

From the list of twenty amazing ideas, it was hard to pick one, but the Bam! Bamboo Workshop took the cake for these reasons:

Great Cause: Operates as a non-profit, so all extra proceeds will go towards supporting local farmers and charities

Creative Business Plan: Provides workshops for travelers to understand traditional methods of bamboo cultivation and craft-making.

Thinking Local: Gives locals job opportunities and promotes cultural education for the community

Along with using their brains at the Sustainability Workshop, the Bam! Bamboo Workshop team and their classmates took part in a week long adventure through bamboo hills and serene lakes in Moganshan. From hiking 15 kilometers through natural bamboo forests and working together to make sturdy bamboo rafts, we can say that it was a lot of fun with a good dose of challenging bits.

Students doing Taichi at Moganshan

Great job! As summer vacation approaches, how about your keep the rules of sustainability in mind for your future adventures.

Conserve. Respect. Purchase Locally. Distribute Equally. Educate.

Happy Summer from WildChina!

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The best place to see pandas in Chengdu

A trip to Chengdu is not complete without seeing China’s cuddly national icon, the panda bear. There are three main options for panda viewing in Chengdu, each with its unique draws. Read on and find out which panda reserve is the best choice for your trip.

Panda at the Chengdu Base

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WildChina Receives TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

This week, we are very pleased to have been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence as a top rated China tour and activity provider. The award is given to businesses that “consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor” and with 37/38 reviews rated as ‘Excellent’ (and 1 rated as ‘Very Good’), we fall pretty strongly into that category.

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Two Days in the Tibetan Plateau

The Monastery

As we wandered around the monastery, we heard a deep horn. Whatever plans we had were gone and we were off to find the source of the sound. After turning a few corners, we looked up and there on top of a roof were two monks, blowing into long horns that ran along the ground. Below this, a group of monks hurried into a courtyard and then back into a building. What they did there I don’t know – received a blessing? Swapped out their shoes? In no time, they were all back in the courtyard. One very serious monk came and sat down in the middle of the courtyard at a table. The others began to arrange themselves in seated lines behind him. Older monks sat in the front, younger ones in the back.

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Looking For Wildflowers Around the World

In 1910, in the valley of Sichuan’s Min River, a group was on an arduous trek. The leader of this trek, a man named Wilson, was being carried by two others in a bamboo sedan chair. They had been traveling for days in search for a wild flower called The Regal Lily. As they were walking, a rockslide came without warning and the group was unable to avoid the huge rocks falling from the mountain. Once everything had settled, Wilson found that one of his legs was buried under the rocks and smashed completely. He moaned in agony, took out his camera tripod, and bonded it to his leg. Three days later, the group returned to civilization but he was left with a limp. Years later we would mock his limp and obsession with the Regal Lily referring to his walk as the “lily limp.”

flower-china-lily

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Shanghai to Suzhou: First time to China – Part 4

It was a grand time introducing our new friends to the wonders of China. For most of this Brazilian team of travel professionals, it was their very first time to the Middle Kingdom and we made sure they saw all the highlights in style. We hiked along the Great Wall, stared back at the stone-faced terracotta warriors, and floated down Guilin’s Li River between the Karst Mountains. For our final few days we explored one of the world’s most international cities, Shanghai, and then took a day trip from Shanghai to Suzhou to wander its famous gardens and canals.

We hope you enjoy reliving some travel memories with us:

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Handwoven Stories at Hidden Beijing Baskets Exhibition

Down Beijing’s KuanJie street, just past the Chinese Medicine hospital, you’ll come to what was once an old printing factory. Today the factory has been converted into a series of shops and private art spaces. It’s the kind of place that you’d likely walk right past if you didn’t know what to look for. Step through the nondescript door of room #101 and you’ll find a simple space, not large, filled with 120 beautifully displayed baskets.

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Dali, Embracing the Slow-paced Life

Dali, in southwest China’s Yunnan province, has always been an idyllic getaway, but in recent years it can feel overcrowded by tourists. How can travelers to Dali rediscover and immerse themselves in the relaxing, slow-paced lifestyle that this town is known for? As a Dali native, let me give you some tips.

After years of travel between the US and Beijing and beyond, I still come back to Dali whenever I can to find the treasures hidden in between the alleyways and backstreets. Here are my personal favorite finds:

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First Time to China – Part 3: Guilin

After visits to Beijing and Xi’an, our friends from Brazil reached the third stop on their tour, Guilin. The mists, clouds and distinct karst mountains that you may have seen in Chinese watercolors, make this an essential stop on a first trip to China.

arrived in guilin

The beautiful, iconic landscapes of Guilin’s karst mountains. So quintessentially China, and yet it’s a whole other thing to experience them in person.

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