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Embark on a four-week road trip to see the best of China while gaining a taste of volunteer work. From central China, participants will venture to the mountainous regions of China and visit several local villages to gain a better understanding of the diversity of Chinese cultures. 

The goal of this project is for participants to experience the vibrant Chinese culture through authentic experiences, while simultaneously giving back. Participants will assist the keepers at a Giant Panda Center, lend a hand in the maintenance of a Dolphin Conservation Center and even have the opportunity to take some Chinese language classes. 
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Location of the Project:  China, various locations
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Project length:  4 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Arrival: Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) Departure: Zhanjiang (ZHA)
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Volunteer Work:  Animal care and keeper assistance, child care assistance
Age:  Min age of 18. Age Exceptions: Participants aged 16 and 17 may apply with parental consent.
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international participants

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Varied, but include shared dorm-style accommodations, homestays and one overnight train ride
Food:  Three meals per day included during weekdays and two per day on weekends
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Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
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Insurance:  Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
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Support:  Local in-country team and 24-hour emergency support

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), personal expenses.
On this road trip, participants will experience the uniqueness of China. This adventure takes participants through the mountains of the Longsheng terraced field, on treks through Tibetan villages and to the coastal city of Zhanjiang.

Participants will visit various temples, several indigenous tribe villages, hike through terraced fields and  experience the fast-growing city Chengdu, and the harmonious, top bag packers destination, Yangshuo and enjoy all that China has to offer. In addition to exploring these tourist destinations, participants will be volunteering with the local communities, making this trip the perfect balance of traveling and giving back.
As a volunteer on this project you will be traveling by bus and train and all around. Along the way, you will have three unique volunteer opportunities at the Giant Panda Center, a local school and the Dolphin Conservation Center. Thanks to rigorous conservation efforts, the giant panda is no longer on the World Wildlife Federation's endangered species list; however, they are still considered a "vulnerable" species.

Volunteers are needed to help safeguard the future of these most captivating animals. The Giant Panda program includes training on the care of pandas and volunteers will be assigned as an assistant to a trainer.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Assisting panda keepers*
  • Maintenance/cleaning at the Dolphin Conservation Center
  • Assisting teachers in a kindergarten in Guangxi
A typical day: Each day the schedule will vary depending on the current location and set activities for that day. There are several free nights throughout the four weeks. Sundays are free days.

Please note: Specific activities may vary and are subject to change. *There is no direct contact with the pandas.
 
Internet
Internet:  Internet may be available at some accommodations
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available at the panda base for a small fee and available in Fengyan volunteering center for free.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Varied depending on the location, but include single-gender dorm-style rooms with up to six people, homestays and an overnight train ride.
Food:  Three meals per day included during weekdays and two per day on weekends. Mostly Chinese-style dishes including rice and fish will be served during the road trip.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Good level of physical fitness; please be prepared for high altitudes. Some physicians may insist on a prescription for some volunteers.
The program itinerary is filled with travel highlights. Top destinations include: temple visits, visits to the Giant Panda Center, a visit to the Dolphin Conservation Center, learning about different tribers, bamboo river rafting, trekking and visiting the beautiful beaches of Donghai Island. 

Itinerary:

Week 1: Participants will spend the first week of their journey in the ancient, yet vibrant city of Chengdu, immersed in Chinese culture and getting to know fellow participants. During this first week you will be able to explore Chengdu, spend time with giant pandas and even learn some Chinese. Participants will then head to Kangding, located in the Sichuan Province, where they will visit Tibetan villages and the “Paradise of Photographers.”

Week 2: Participants will transfer to Zimei Yakou  in southwestern China get to experience Golden Mountain’s famous sunset view.  Participants will also go to the mountain top to watch the "The Mountain King", Minya Konka, the highest mountain in Sichuan, which has the altitude of 7556m. From there volunteers will continue to sightsee in Kindgdang, Chengdu and other major cities. Participants will also trek through rice fields and visit local hill tribes. 

Week 3: The next stop is the Fengyan village of Guilin, where participants will be immersed in local village life and visit several temples and local fairs. Participants will then head to Gongcheng County, where they may have the option to partake in cultural activities such as Chinese callgiraphy and cooking lessons. This week is also filled with various treks.

Week 4: Participants will stay in the Ping'an village one night and go back to Giulin for a city tour.  Participants will embark on night train to the coast city of Zhanjiang, where participants will visit the beach, art fairs and more before heading to  Donghai Island to visit and volunteer at the Dolphin Conservation Center. The road trip will end with the return to Zhanjiang.
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