Dragon Expeditions was founded in 2003 by a group of outdoor enthusiasts driven by the common goal to explore the great outdoors. Since then, we have dedicated ourselves to guiding groups of international tourists (both adult and student) on trips and expeditions to remote and stunning mountain regions across western China. Our commitment to practice responsible tourism has never failed and we have always been advocates for environmental protection.
The beautiful places we were guiding the tourists to slowly became our home, and the local people we were encountering along the way became our family. That was particularly true for Ganzi, a Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan Province located in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham. Our special attraction to Ganzi was mainly due to the region’s amazing sceneries of alpine forests, boundless meadows, deep rivers valleys, emerald lakes and, especially, to its high mountains that was making Ganzi the best trekking and hiking area of the Tibetan Plateau.
Our (love) story with Ganzi, its landscapes and people, kept growing until this one day in 2015 when we had the chance to visit Zhonglu, a traditional Tibetan village situated in the beautiful Gyarong Valley. Zhonglu was going to share the same fate as other remote yet beautiful regions in the China that were earmarked with grand plans for development, which usually consist of building major roads, large Western-style hotels, and even cable cars to encourage mass tourism. We knew that the introduction of such unrestricted development was usually coming with extensive damage to the environment and could unravel the social fabric of the community.
We had to do something about it.Not only because we were profoundly attached to the area but also because we felt deeply involved. It was obvious then that we had grown into something different, something that had been shaped by the experience and the knowledge gained through all the past years of travelling.
Dragon Expeditions couldn’t be a simple travel agency any longer, it had to be more than that, it had to show the way to an original model of tourism, which would be used as a tool for promoting a sustainable development. A clever and compassionate tourism, which would offer the chance to the traveler to witness, experience, contribute and feel responsible, also, for being part of the same World.
As a consequence, in May 2015, Dragon Expeditions created in Zhonglu a center for nature-based learning and community development called Yunhe (Forest School).