I worked for two years in the mountains of Sichuan province in China to develop a tour based on Ecology in the area. The tour itinerary is on my web site. In Chengdu you visit the Panda Experiment Station in the morning seeing many Pandas including the nursery. From there you go up into the mountains reaching over 15,000 foot passes. The Four Sister Mountains and valley can be hiked if you wish or go on to the 10,000 foot plateau where you will visit Tibetan people and monasteries with next to no western tourists. Very friendly Tibetan people, mountains flowers, birds and pure natural sights abound. Just two towns along this area of deep cut mountains until you arrive at Moxi and Hailougou National Park. Going up the mountain in the park you arrive at the base of a cable car that will take you up further across a glacier and into the snows. Coming down half way you arrive at a Hot Springs with 8 pools of wonderful mineral water at a resort. Back to Chengdu after 7 days of mountain adventures and seeing untouched nature at its best. I sent a group of teachers from Iowa there last year and they said it was the trip of a life time. One couple had just gotten married before they left so we gave them a mock Tibetan wedding one evening as they all stayed at a Tibetan B & B.
I was up on the Silk Road last year and found it to be extremely historical and interesting. The desert areas were fantastic. Don’t miss Turpan if you go. It is the second lowest spot on earth. They grow Hami mellons there in the desert and are so sweet they melt in your mouth. They also grow grapes up on arbors because of the heat and can pick them from below. It gets to 130 degrees in the summer and down to -40 degrees in the winter. They dry grapes to make raisens and only takes 10 days. There is one winery there. I bought a bottle of their best wine called “Scent of a Woman”. Haven’t opened it yet. They live in clay brick houses with many having a second floor to dry their grapes with one out of four bricks being left out. The grapes are very sweet and when combined with Goat Ice Cream, can’t be beat anywhere. There are deserted and destroyed villages around this area from the old days when the Mongolians came down and invaded this area. You can visit them by donkey cart and walk around. The Flaming Mountians here are really beautiful and you will see very large wind mills that generate power for the area. This is just one part of the Silk Road that you will enjoy. ChinaDave
I own Interlake China Tours, Inc. in Seattle, Washington listed on the web as InterlakeChinaTours.com I have been going to China since 1989 and will leave on my 48th trip this September. I don’t lead tours but travel all over the country working with local travel services seeing all the local sights, inspecting hotels and finding new places to send people. I do mostly customized tours to the clients interests since my long suit is knowing the country very well and working with Chinese associates for all these years. I teach a class called “Ins and Outs of Travel in China” at the University of Washington and some of the local Community colleges each quarter for one session about 4 hours long to help people to plan their tours to China. This past winter I lectured at Chinese Guide Schools in Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai on guiding the Western Tourist on what we like and what we like to do. I am just starting a Blog and will be writing about all the latest information on China tourism. The latest incident in Tibet unfortunately that happened by some Americans that has caused a new rule about travel in Tibet, the New Bullet Trains just into service that has cut travel time in half on some routes, the new Tibet Train to Lhasa and other interesting topics on travel interest and culture. I lectured for three years in China under a United Nations program called “Star” to the business community and government departments on business culture differences with my years of doing business with Chinese factories and agents too. I hope you will check my blog from time to time or contact me with your questions or input as well.