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Sichuan Travel Itinerary

Wonglong Panda R

eserveLocated in Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province, Wolong Nature Reserve is a key nature preservation area designed primarily to protect and reproduce the giant pandas. Established in 1963, the reserve covers an area of about 200,000 hectares. Wolong Nature Reserve houses more than 150 highly endangered giant pandas.

Something about "Wolong"

Wolong Nature Reserve is a fairyland for tourists. It enjoys warm and humid climate favorable to bamboo, pandas' favorite food. At the same time, 101 mountains are above 5, 000 meters (16,400 feet) varying from 6, 250 meters (20,500 feet) to 1, 150 meters (3, 772 feet). These contribute to bio-diversity preservation as well as spectacular beauty of natural scene in Wolong Nature Reserve.

A safe place in the mountains

The Wolong Nature Reserve is located high in the mountains of western China's Sichuan Province. Set up in 1963, Wolong is home to over 6,000 species of plants and animals. It is one of the last protected homes of the giant panda, red panda, golden snub-nose monkey white-lipped deer (Cervus albirostris). Wolong contains lush deciduous and evergreen temperate forests and high, ice-covered mountains. The Wolong Nature Reserve has four general regions:
        Mountain slopes covered in deciduous and coniferous forests as well as bamboo groves.
        River valleys, where most of the people live and farm.
        High alpine slopes above the tree line where wildflowers grow and yaks live.
        20 glacier-covered mountain peaks over 4,000 m above sea level.

The legend of Wolong

Wolong means "sleeping dragon" and is a description of the mountainous peaks surrounding the Pitiao River valley. These mountains run through the center of the Wolong Nature Reserve.
The local Qiang people believe a giant dragon came wandering through the valley and fell in love with the beauty of the mountains and trees. The dragon decided to go to sleep and then never woke up.

Four seasons

In the spring, from April to June, the steep mountain slopes are covered with the bright purple and pink blossoms of rhododendron trees.

Summer lasts from June to September. It is warm and humid in the valleys and clear in the high mountains. Occasionally, sudden summer snowstorms occur in the mountains.

Fall begins in October, when leaves begin turning red, yellow, and orange. Visitors come from all over the world to see the beautiful scenery.

Few people visit Wolong in the winter when it is cold and wet. Snow falls in the mountains, but often it only rains in the valleys. Wolong receives over 170 cm of precipitation each year.

Home to animals

Reputed as bio-gene bank both at home and abroad, Wolong Nature Reserve is home not only to the giant pandas but also to rare and endangered animals such as red panda, and golden snub-nose monkey. white-lipped deer (Cervus albirostris), gnu (wildebeest) and precious plants like yew and beech.

Other major places of interests include: animal and plant specimen museum, local plant specimen No.2170, bird specimen No.225, beast No. 56, insects No.700 and fish No. 6 and amphibious reptiles No.17.

Various plants

In the reserve, there are over 4,000 species of plants, which have a very conspicuous vertical spectrum of vegetation. It differs with different elevations above sea level. Let's have a look at them from the bottom to the highest point.
        The belt of broad-leaf trees.
        Mixed broad-leaf and coniferous trees.
        Coniferous trees with fir as the main plant.
        High mountain grassy marshland.
        Shifting stone shoals.
        With only snow lotus and a few other plants.
        Over 4,600 meters, nothing but snow.

Rare trees

The Wolong Nature Reserve is gifted with numerous types of ancient and precious and rare trees, some of which were imported, i.e. Japanese larch, the U.S pine, European dragon spruce etc. Among the floras are over 200 kinds of medicinal materials including the most famous ones: the bulb of fritillary, the tuber of elevated gastrodia, Chinese caterpillar fungus, the bark of eucommia etc. It abounds in bamboos which are the favorite feed of the grand panda.

A world of flowers

The Wolong Nature Reserve is also a world of flowers. Fifteen types of azalea have been discovered. In autumn, myriad blossoms and tree leaves of various colors decorate the mountains and forests like a series of brilliant and colorful paintings.

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