Yunhe Center for Nature Education and Outdoors Activities
Since 2003 Dragon Expeditions has been committed to genuinely ethical tourism, proactively taking responsibility for protecting the beautiful places we visit and helping local communities to flourish in a way that preserves their spirit and culture but allows them to look forward with confidence to the future. For this reason, in 2014, Dragon Expeditions established its Nature Education and Outdoors Activities Division; the following year we founded our Yunhe Center for Nature Education and Outdoors Activities in the Gyalrong Tibetan village of Zhonglu. Zhonglu is 373 kilometers from Chengdu (about a six-hour drive), 2,600 meters above sea level; its scenery, architecture and culture are now part of a world heritage site. A prime reason for siting the center in Zhonglu is to help protect, preserve and enhance the local flora, fauna and culture.
The center offers customized programs geared for children and young adults, activities and projects include eco-adventures, biodiversity study, Tibetan arts and crafts, community construction projects, and outdoor survival skills. In so doing we the participants will learn self-reliance, teamwork and leadership, we hope to instill in them – the coming generation – a deeper understanding of themselves and their behavior, and an enduring respect for nature, other people and cultures, and the planet.
Itinerary (10 days )Schedule
Note that from Day 7 onwards participants can be joined by their parents
Please note that there are health and attendance checks every morning and evening, and of course 3 meals every day, mainly using locally sourced produce, and often cooked by the participants. In the evening there is generally opportunity sit around a campfire and reflect on the day’s experiences.
Dragon Expedition and Centre staff are skilled trainers, all have first aid training and some are national level experts in wilderness rescue and first aid.
DAY 1Chengdu – Danba- Zhonglu Village (Altitude 2600m)
You will leave Chengdu to Zhonglu 373 kilometers from Chengdu (about a six-hour drive). Stop half-way for lunch.
DAY 2Welcome to Zhonglu!
AM Introduction to the camp, camp rules (and other participants). Participants put into teams A and B.
PM Visit local Tibetan households/farms. Daily chores around the camp.
EVENING Nighttime campfire, songs and dancing with locals.
DAY 3Team A and B Farming and food, Tibetan arts and crafts. Forest activities star-gazing
AM Teams do different activities, e.g. one team will do chores like feeding animals, picking vegetables, preparing food, whilst another team does Tibetan arts and crafts.
PM afternoon both teams do nature education and outdoor activities in Yunhe forest.
EVENING the teams gather outside for star-gazing and to go over their days’ experiences.
DAY 4Team roles reversed. Leave No Trace (LNT). Evening nature hike.
AM reversed roles: Team A Tibetan arts and crafts, Team B farming and food.
PM Soil conservation and LNT Leave No Trace concept. Garbage sorting activity.
EVENING Nighttime nature hike.
DAY 5A gift for the village
Giving something back to the village. E.g. Teams use local natural materials to make toys for local village children. Collect materials and visit the village children.
DAY 6Hiking, campfire and canvas (camping trip).
AM: 3km hike to campsite. Hike includes wildlife identification and geology/geography.
Lunch at campsite.
PM Set camp, collect firewood.
Evening reflection on the day, campfire and canvas under the stars.
DAY 7Hike back to Yunhe Centre..
AM Pack up all the camping materials and make breakfast before the hike back to Zhonglu.
Nature and geography/geology hike.
PM Kids source ingredients for evening
Cook meal with parents at the Yunhe center.
DAY 8Hike Mozi Valley and river activities
AM Breakfast with parents.
Daytime Mozi Valley river hike with parents.
PM Hike back to Zhonglu before dusk.
DAY 9Perform skits with local kids
Every child performs skits / sings a song / dances with local kids. Review of the whole camp and what the children and teachers have learned.
Evening meal and campfire, singing and dancing with parents, local people.
DAY 10Farewell to Zhonglu
Thanks, farewells, return to Chengdu.