Travel & Volunteer | The Dragon Trip

12-day Panda Volunteer and Travel

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12 days / 11 nights - from £1,330

CHENGDU TO BEIJING | There is no animal on earth quite like the panda. Endangered, massive and incredibly cute! This China trip enables you to get up close and personal with these amazing animals and make a genuine difference to their lives. After your time with the pandas- there are more highlights in store with 6 days on The Dragon Trip. In this time, you’ll see the terracotta warriors, learn kung fu in Shaolin and camp under the stars on the Great Wall of China. If you have any questions or just want to find out more visit our contact us page! 🐼



Day 1: Chengdu

Transfer from your Chengdu hostel to the Dujiangyan Panda Research Centre. Meet the team and begin your panda volunteering orientation.


Day 2-4: Dujiangyan

Now the fun really begins! For the next couple of days you will get the opportunity to work closely with the famous Giant Panda. Prepare food, tend to and feed these magnificent and endangered creatures.


Day 5: Dujiangyan / Chengdu

Say goodbye to the pandas and collect your certificate from the reserve in recognition of your efforts. After lunch, head to Chengdu to meet the rest of your group.


Day 6-7: Xi'an

Arrive in China’s ancient ‘frontier’ city. Stroll the Muslim quarter, barter for souvenirs, cycle the huge, old city walls, and try local delicacies.


Day 8-9: Shaolin

An unforgettable time at the Shaolin temple. Learn about kung fu from a monk and really get to know the locals as you hike and discover this tranquil, ancient place.


Day 10-12: Beijing

Camp out under the stars on a remote section of the Great Wall. After an unforgettable sunrise, head back to the city for more history, culture and food.

Day 1:

  • You can be picked up at any time to be taken to the to the Dujiangyan Panda Research centre.
  • Take a tour of your home for the next few days.  Please make sure you have your health certificate/letter with you. (See Further Info tab)

Day 2-4:

  • After breakfast, you’ll go straight to the Panda enclosures.
  • First up is helping the rangers to prepare the enclosures before feeding the Pandas themselves.
  • The Pandas like to rest around lunchtime so you can relax, enjoy surroundings and learn more about the animals and how they are looked after.
  • In the afternoon, you’ll help the rangers with their various activities. These include cleaning, feeding Pandas and preparing the Pandas’ evening meals.

Day 5:

  • Bid a fond farewell to the pandas and be awarded a certificate for your efforts.
  • After lunch, head on over to join your travel group at the hostel.
  • Board the night-train and start your travels around China.

Day 6:

  • Arrive in Xi’an and explore the city in the afternoon.
  • Optional: Explore the Bell Drum Towers, Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque to learn about the history of the Silk Road, towers, mosque and some local legends.
  • Enjoy a dinner of local street foods at the Muslim Quarter. Relax after dinner by visiting the local Silk Road market nearby.

Day 7:

  • Another bucket-list destination with a trip to see the infamous Terracotta warriors.
  • Optional: Bike Ride on Ming Dynasty City Walls. Please make sure you wear a helmet!
  • Optional: Volunteer at the Star Sun Home
  • Optional: In the afternoon, there is a chance to volunteer at a soup kitchen or continue to wander around the city centre.

Day 8:

  • Board a private minivan  to DengFeng, the closest village to the Shaolin Temple
  • Arrive in DengFeng
  • Optional: Kung Fu Lesson & Show at a local Children’s Home run by the Shaolin Temple where the monks teach these children to be Kungfu masters. All proceeds go directly to the Children’s Home.
  • Dinner in the Guesthouse
  • Mandarin lesson: Have your first Mandarin lesson!

Day 9:

  • Optional: Visit the flagship of Kung Fu, The Shaolin Temple
  • Optional: Hike to Dharma Cave, a spiritual spot for Buddhist pilgrims, and be rewarded by beautiful views of both the shrines/temples in the area and the views of the area
  • Have a late lunch at the guesthouse then pack and check out
  • Depart to Zhengzhou to board your train to Beijing
  • Arrive at the train station and have some food before your train leaves

Day 10:

  • Arrive Beijing and meet your next Adventure Leader. Transfer by minibus to the hostel. You won’t be staying the night here, so you won’t be able to get into rooms, but can use the shower rooms, and common areas to relax before heading to the Wall in the afternoon
  • Mandarin lesson: Have your 2nd Mandarin Lesson
  • It’s time for the Mandarin challenge! Use your freshly learned Mandarin to complete challenges around Beijing’s ancient streets and alleyways. The winning team earns a prize.
  • Mandatory meal at a local farm to obtain permission to access the locals only sections of the unrestored Great Wall
  • Hike on totally unrestored sections of the Wall before setting up camp on a deserted section of the wall to watch the sunset on one of the Wonders of the World (Please note, due to cold weather before end of April and after September, we stay in a guest house near the Wall instead of camping, but still return to the Wall to watch sunrise in the morning)

Day 11-12:

  • Rise early for an unforgettable sunrise
  • Return to Beijing.
  • Optional: Visit the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium designed by one of the most controversial figures in modern China
  • Optional: A stunning Chinese Acrobatics Performance performed by young talents recruited from around China
  • Enjoyed exclusively by royalty in ancient times, taste Beijing’s signature dish Peking Roast Duck
  • Optional: Take a walk through the globally recognized, Tiananmen Square
  • Optional: Visit the Forbidden City. The largest palatial complex in the world, the grounds boast 980 buildings and a history of housing 24 different Chinese royalty
  • Optional: Go to Jingshan Park for a bird’s eye view of the three palaces: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square.
  • Test your bargaining skills in the Fake Goods Market!
  • Push your taste buds to the limit at the Wangfujing night market where you can sample most foods you’ve never tried, like scorpion, dog, cat, bugs and more
  • Optional: Go to the Temple of Heaven, the largest complex dedicated to heaven worship in the world and where ancient sacrifices were made to bring bountiful harvests

Post-trip night of Day 11 included in the tour.

Departures Dates

Departing Finishing Price Status
18th Aug, 2018 29th Aug, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
25th Aug, 2018 5th Sep, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
1st Sep, 2018 12th Sep, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
6th Sep, 2018 17th Sep, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
8th Sep, 2018 19th Sep, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
15th Sep, 2018 26th Sep, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
20th Sep, 2018 21st Sep, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
22nd Sep, 2018 3rd Oct, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
29th Sep, 2018 10th Oct, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
4th Oct, 2019 15th Oct, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
6th Oct, 2018 17th Oct, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
11th Oct, 2018 22nd Oct, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
13th Oct, 2018 24th Oct, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
20th Oct, 2018 31st Oct, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
27th Oct, 2018 7th Nov, 2018 £1,330 FULLY BOOKED
3rd Nov, 2018 14th Nov, 2018 £1,330
14th Mar, 2019 25th Mar, 2019 £1,330
16th Mar, 2019 27th Mar, 2019 £1,330
21st Mar, 2019 1st Apr, 2019 £1,330
23rd Mar, 2019 3rd Apr, 2019 £1,330
28th Mar, 2019 8th Apr, 2019 £1,330
4th Apr, 2019 15th Apr, 2019 £1,330
6th Apr, 2019 17th Apr, 2019 £1,330
13th Apr, 2019 24th Apr, 2019 £1,330
18th Apr, 2019 29th Apr, 2019 £1,330
25th Apr, 2019 6th May, 2019 £1,330
30th May, 2019 10th Jun, 2019 £1,330
1st Jun, 2019 12th Jun, 2019 £1,330
6th Jun, 2019 17th Jun, 2019 £1,330
8th Jun, 2019 19th Jun, 2019 £1,330
13th Jun, 2019 24th Jun, 2019 £1,330
22nd Jun, 2019 3rd Jul, 2019 £1,330
29th Jun, 2019 10th Jul, 2019 £1,330
4th Jul, 2019 15th Jul, 2019 £1,330
6th Jul, 2019 16th Jul, 2019 £1,330
11th Jul, 2019 22nd Jul, 2019 £1,330
18th Jul, 2019 29th Jul, 2019 £1,330
20th Jul, 2019 31st Jul, 2019 £1,330
25th Jul, 2019 5th Aug, 2019 £1,330
27th Jul, 2019 7th Sep, 2019 £1,330
3rd Aug, 2019 14th Aug, 2019 £1,330
8th Aug, 2019 19th Aug, 2019 £1,330
10th Aug, 2019 21st Aug, 2019 £1,330
15th Aug, 2019 26th Aug, 2019 £1,330
17th Aug, 2019 28th Aug, 2019 £1,330
24th Aug, 2019 4th Sep, 2019 £1,330
31st Aug, 2019 11th Sep, 2019 £1,330
5th Sep, 2019 16th Sep, 2019 £1,330
7th Sep, 2019 18th Sep, 2019 £1,330
14th Sep, 2019 25th Sep, 2019 £1,330
19th Sep, 2019 30th Sep, 2019 £1,330
21st Sep, 2019 2nd Oct, 2019 £1,330
28th Sep, 2019 9th Oct, 2019 £1,330
5th Oct, 2019 16th Oct, 2019 £1,330
10th Oct, 2019 21st Oct, 2019 £1,330
12th Oct, 2019 22nd Oct, 2019 £1,330
19th Oct, 2019 30th Oct, 2019 £1,330
26th Oct, 2019 6th Nov, 2019 £1,330
2nd Nov, 2019 13th Nov, 2019 £1,330

Guest information

  • Project Start Date: Selected Thursdays and Saturday
  •  Project Location: Dujiangyan City (approx. 40 miles from Chengdu)
  • Getting There: Pick-up from Mrs Panda Hostel in Chengdu, transfer to project and transport throughout included
  • Accommodation: Single room or twin room accommodation at Panda Centre (4 nts), hostels & guesthouses (4 nts), tent on Great Wall (1 nt), sleeping berth on overnight train (1 nt)
  • Meals: 3 breakfasts
  • Notes: All bedding, sleeping bags and mats provided during Great Wall camping

Price includes:

  • Bilingual Adventure Leaders
  • Accommodation (hostels, guest houses, camping (1 night))
  • Transport within China
  • Loads of fantastic, activities, camping under the stars on a remote section of the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors and much more.
Please note: Accommodation is single rooms as a standard. Upgrade options to twin rooms are available for the same price per person- please contact us for more information. All our hostels have WIFI.


  • A deposit is required to make a reservation, with the balance due one month prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £200 GBP / $300 USD / $300 AUD / €300 EUR.
  • For customers making payment from the UK: please note that when you are making a payment into our US dollar account you must request your bank to send the money directly to our US dollar account at HSBC UK. Otherwise they may use an intermediary bank resulting in an added wiring fee charged to you of $25.00.
  • Late booking customers must understand that they may be sat separately from the rest of the group on trains, and may have to be booked into a separate dorm room. No bookings can be accepted within 18 days of a trip departure date.

Upgrades & Extras

  • Need hostels booked for after your trip ends? We are more than happy to help - just let us know what you need!
  • If you would like to alter your trip itinerary from the one provided to you by us then please let us know more than 30 days before your trip departs so that we can make your trip the perfect one for you! When you let us know that means we can relay all information to our on the ground staff and make the appropriate arrangements. Some such requests from previous Dragon Trippers are: I would like to skip Macau and go directly to Hong Kong from Fujian, I don’t need accommodation in Shanghai because I am staying with a friend, I would not like to camp on the wall and instead want to stay in regular accommodation, I would like to take a flight instead of a train for certain legs of the trip. Please let us know more than 30 days in advance. If you do not let us know in advance The Dragon Trip will not be responsible for assisting you, or for providing reimbursement for accommodations or transportation not used.
  • Room and train upgrades for this route are available. Room upgrade requests must be communicated to the Dragon Trip before the start of the trip. Customers wishing to upgrade once the trip has started must do so independently. In Beijing everyone will get twin rooms, those who have paid for an upgrade will receive a superior room. Train upgrades are unavailable once train tickets have been booked, train upgrades only apply to over-night trains.
  • Train upgrades cost GBP 70 per person.
  • The Dragon Trip provides, upon request, airport transfers. In Beijing and Shanghai, the price is GBP 40 for a pick up or drop-off. This will be in private transportation (up to 3 PAX). If you’d like a bilingual guide to meet you and ride with you from the airport to your destination, or vice versa, it is GBP 40 extra for a pick up or drop off (up to 3 PAX). In Guilin, Xi'an and Chengdu, the price is GBP 30 for a pick up or drop-off. This will be in private transportation (up to 3 PAX). If you’d like a bilingual guide, it is GBP 30 for a pick up or drop off (up to 3 PAX). This service is not available in Hong Kong.


  • Customers need to bring a doctor’s certificate or written letter proving that they are fit and don’t have any contagious disease for the volunteering. This needs to mention the customer’s full name and passport number and also with the doctor’s signature, stamp and date.
  • You will receive a wristband which will have a phone number on it for you to call in emergencies.
  • All train tickets in China must be purchased through a central booking centre which means there is always a small chance that you may not be seated together with the person that you have booked the tour together with. If you or your PAX has a seat that is not next to the group’s our Adventure Leaders have a process to help you switch your tickets, so that you are seated next to the group. (In some train stations, the Adventure Leader will be able to board the train even when they won’t be travelling themselves. In this case, they will switch you or your PAXs tickets with a local so that Dragon Trippers can sit together. In the case that our Adventure Leader cannot board the train, they will be able to explain in Mandarin over the phone to a conductor, or directly to a local passenger to help switch seats so that Dragon Trippers may be seated together.)

To book or find out more, contact us

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