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2 Days Nature and Culture Exploration Camp at Longcanggou
Age: 8+ Child with Family, 10+ alone
Date: Apr.8th-9th, 2023 Trip Code: FE003
Trip Focus: Nature Observation + Photography
Located in the transitional areas between Sichuan Basin and Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Longcanggou Forest Park is the core area of the West China Rainy Zone and the national forest park at the closest distance from Chengdu with the world-largest forest of Chinese Dove Trees. Culturally speaking, this place is the birthplace of Emperor Zhuanxu, an important post station along the southern Silk Road and the Tea-and-Horse Trade Route, and a place famous for producing casseroles. Its unique natural environment and long human history have made it a great place to explore.
▲ Chinese Dove Tree——the first-class protected plants in China
Led by the plant expert and nature guide of ApandaTour, we will go to the relics of Yandao Ancient Town of Yingjing to learn about the history of the Southern Silk Road and the Tea-and-Horse Trade Route. Under the guidance of local craftsmen, we will experience how to bake black casseroles, which is a technique of national intangible cultural heritage. At the Longcanggou National Forest Park, we will hike, look for birds and photograph the beautiful scenery, and enjoy its rich natural resources. We will also not spare the chance to taste local delicacies.
▲ Black Casserole baking technique——the national intangible cultural heritage
1. Acquiring knowledge：Come to know the rich natural resources in Longcangou, get to know the local plants and the ecological system of forests, explore the geographical locations of the Southern Silk Road and Tea-and-Horse Trade Route, and think about the natural causes that lead to the formation of the West China Rainy Zone;
2. Improving Skills：learn how to identify plants in the field and how to observe birds enhance our capabilities in nature observation, learn the basic skills for nature photography and practice them;
3. Building up Passion：Immerse ourselves in nature, and experience the pleasure from nature games and observation, understand the strong surviving wisdom of plants, the relationship between people and nature, and think about the proper way people live properly with nature;
4. Sharing and Caring：Share with teammates the beauty of biodiversity and care about intangible cultural heritages.
1. It is a trip of exploration on culture and history. We will experience national intangible cultural heritage by making our casserole and baking it after learning its history and the basic skills to make it. During our visit to the Yingjing Museum and the relics of Yandao Ancient Town, we will explore the important roles played by the Southern Silk Road and Tea-and-Horse Trade Route in the communications between ancient China and the rest of the world;
2. It is a trip of nature discovery in which our plant expert will help us to enjoy the flowers and birds in Longcanggou National Forest Park known for its rich natural resources during our search for endemic plants and star birds;
3. A Trip of experiencing delicacies featuring local famous dishes such as Bang Bang Chicken, Hand-pulled Noodles, and handmade tender Toufu.
▲ Our Past Nature Observation Activities
▲ Tour Map
Day 1：Exploring the human history of Yingjing and experiencing national intangible cultural heritage.
08:30-12:00 Meet in Chengdu and head on to Yingjing County by our private tour bus.
12:00-13:00 Lunch and rest.
13:00-14:30 Visit Yingjing County Museum(the Yingjing Museum of Yandao Relics), where we will learn the ancient history of Yingjing, the Southern Silk Road, the Tea-and-Horse Trade Route and the communications between different ethnic minorities in southwest China. We will explore the secrets of the bronze stamps by observing the stamps that carry no written language but only sketches of the sun, heart, and walking people.
14:30-18:00 We drive to Gucheng Village which is known as the most famous village for making casseroles in China to visit the Black Casserole Museum. We will learn the history and current situation of the casseroles in Rongjing and the unique culture going with it. We will visit the traditional workshop for the handmade casseroles, where we will learn the craftsmanship of casserole making with a history of over 1,000 years and the baking dome kiln that has been using up to now. We will bake our handmade casserole. After that, we will go to the relics of Yandao Ancient Town to see the relics left from the Southern Silk Road.
18:00-19:30 Dinner and rest. We will try local delicacies including the famous Bang Bang Chicken.
19:30-21:00 Indoor games and sharing.
▲ High-temperature dome kiln
▲ Workshop for Black Casseroles
Day 2：Nature Observation and Photography at Longcanggou.
07:30-08:30 We go to Longcanggou National Forest Park by our bus after breakfast.
08:30-15:00 Hike by the side of waterfalls and streams. Our plant expert will show us various wildflowers including Chinese Dove Tree, Pleione bulbocodioides(Franch.) Rolfe, Rhododendron strigillosum Franch, and Rhododendron calophytum Franch. We will also look for birds such as Red-billed Blue Magpie, Hwamei, Red-billed Leiothrix, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, and Verditer Flycatcher. We will also learn how to photograph wildflowers and get your images with the methods we have shared with you.
15:00-17:30 Return to Chengdu by our bus.
▲ Beauty cuckoo
▲ Red-billed crow bird
A plant expert, photography teacher and snow mountain lover
Cory's love for plants and nature started from a very young age with rich knowledge and experiences on plant survey. During his study at Sichuan University, he started outdoor hiking. Out of his strong love for plants, he traveled to different parts of Sichuan and neighboring areas and photographed over one thousand plant species. He co-founder of some new plant species and new distribution of plants in Sichuan. Frequently, he is interviewed by the local newspaper, and TV stations. In one of the TV programs called To the West of Chengdu(Chengdu Plus), he showed some unique flowers in southwest China. Through his lens and sharing, he hopes to help more people to appreciate the beauty of plants.
Also as a snow mountain lover, Cory is one of the founders of an interest group called For the Snow Mountains to the West Chengdu and their activities have been reported by local TV stations many times.
A nature class designer, nature guide, and nature educator
Born in Zhangye of Gansu Province, Bill started his work in an NGO in China, specializing in children's education. He has a wide range of interests, loving bird-watching and enjoying board games. Bill is also familiar with video editing software. He likes making some creative and interesting video clippings with materials he has photographed during trips. After years of working in natural education, Bill becomes very skilled at class design and development. He has built up rich experiences of guiding outdoor activities from his frequent working in the field with students for natural experience and observation activities. He always makes use of any possible chance to go to nature in search of birds and wildlife to enrich his field experiences. Bill also holds AHA first-aid certificate.
Location： Longcanggou National Forest Park and the neighboring areas of Yingjing county town
Date： April 8-9, 2023. This trip can be customized
Expected Participants： Family with children above 8 or only children above 10
Trip Size：15-25 pax
Price：238USD/pax same price for adults and children
The price includes： the transportation from Chengdu to Longcanggou and back, 1 night of hotel stay, meals during the trip, fees for entrance and shuttle bus inside the park, service charges for teachers, material preparation for the class, and travel insurance
The price does not include：personal expenditure and any items not specified as being included in the itinerary
Hotel Stay：Local hotel or guest house ( one twin-bed room for one family, for children without a parent, arrange room-sharing according to the actual situation. In principle, we do not use one room for one single child. If parent hopes to use a single room, the single supplement is 25USD/pax ) .
Transportation: Same registered tour bus starting from Chengdu and back to Chengdu.
Food：Meals at the local popular restaurant except for boxed lunch on the second day.
1. All around process control and safety check before the start of the trip.
2. Staff with AHA first aid certificate and first aid kit during the whole trip.
3. Detailed rules and reminders for the trip and ensure all the participating parents and children know them.
4. Measures for epidemic prevention: we will prepare epidemic prevention materials such as surgery masks, pure alcohols, hand sanitizer, and thermometer. We will have a temperature check before the start of our trip activities.
Is it a much to carry a camera to participate the nature photography activities?
It is ok to use an SLR camera, mirrorless camera, or even your mobile phone. The nature photography teacher on this trip is well-knowledged in the photograph and will give us instructions on how to use the photography skills such as composition, dealing with light, and using creative ideas. If we keep practicing, we can get great photos even with our camera.
What kind of preparations shall we make before the start of the trip?
The weather in the mountainous area is variable and difficult to predict. We suggest you bring some warm jackets. To be environment-friendly, please do not bring disposable raincoat and paper cups. During the trip, we will have a moderate hike, it will be helpful if you bring your kneecaps and a walking stick. Before the start of the trip, we will send you an e-version departure book with much more detailed information for your better preparation.