Is Foping open to eco-tourists?

Just out of curiosity I searched for Foping Nature Reserve on Trip Advisor and Flickr.
I saw a review from April, 2014, June, 2013, and a picture of a Giant Panda from April 2012.

Does anyone have any info on this?
I would LOVE to visit Foping over the next couple of years if it’s open.

Tomer

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7 Comments on “Is Foping open to eco-tourists?”

  1. Israel Says:

    that is interesting indeed. The April 2014 review is from a visit in November 2013. There are more photos on a linked page, so the guy (a German traveller) was actually there: http://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/members-citypage/Volker682013/g1804910

    The text of his post:
    “Foping National Nature reserve is a remote area in the qinling mountains. Travelling to the place is not easy for people who are not able to speak chinese. Otherwise if you like to see golden monkeys in their natural habitat it is the best place to do. You can travel from Xi’an by bus , which takes 4-5 hours to Foping city. There the new ecological theme hotel is an excellent recommendation for staying. The hotel can arrange a pickup service for you to the national nature reserve , you even can found a wildlife expert there , who speaks english very well.
    The drive to main entrance of the reserve is about 30-45 min . Then you have to walk into a beautyful valley to see the monkeys . After one hour hiking you will find a place where rangers have adapted a group of 70 golden monkeys to human apparance by feeding them with corn one time a day. Due to this you are able to get very close to the monkeys and can photograph them in their natural surroundings”

    I was in China in 2013 (in November even!) and I couldn’t get into any golden monkey reserves because the story was that they were all off limits to foreigners.

  2. PandaSmith Says:

    Foping Panda viewing is sadly a thing of the past. There are no indications that I am aware of that it will be resuming any time soon or at all, period. I was there about a year and a half ago and the gates had not been opened in so long that they were starting to decompose…. But Golden Monkey viewing is a piece of cake and is all about tourism, so you would be welcome there. THey feed them in the morning and bring them down to locations that are actually very nice for photography. It would be very easy to see them, but there may be confusion amongst tour operators who don’t normally take tourists to such places as to its status. But it is a very touristy establishment and as of the last time I was there, it did not seem as if many tourists were actually visiting it…..still a bit undiscovered. I was the only person there for three days…. Check my trip report here and try to contact my tour operator, Jia Min, a very nice lady who can very easily arrange for a good experience there and other places in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces. She’s great. She may have information on panda sightings that periodically happen in other reserves purely by chance….

    http://cokesmithphototravel.com/sichuan-wildlife-expedition.html

  3. sjefo Says:

    When I was in China in April and August this year, I basically heard the same as what Coke is saying. This is very unlikely to reopen again for foreign tourists. And I was told that in many of the other reserves in the Foping region Chinese tourists (which won’t be that many anyway) are allowed in, but foreigners are not. In Wolong they have built a new hotel that was supposedly meant to attract high-end customers that want to do “panda treks”. It was completely unclear what that meant, either just longs walks in the forest with the hope that you bump into panda or a more sophisticated approach similar to gorilla tracking/habituation, probably closer to the former though. As far as I know the place in Wolong is not open or operational yet, but in April you could still walk up there. All very frustrating, would love to go to Foping myself.

    Tangjiahe is an attractive alternative for stuff such as takin, goral, serow (all close to guaranteed, the takin is almost impossible to miss). Both pandas, black bear and even golden cat occur, but they are almost never seen. When I was in Tangjiahe in August, we found a feeding station that appeared to be set up for golden snub-nosed monkeys. (there was a big sign with pictures of the monkeys at the entrance of the trail, which you are not supposed to enter without a guide, but hey I can’t read Chinese). I think the park offers official excursions but it looked like the whole thing wasn’t fully operational, but worth keeping an eye on if you want to see the monkeys, although the site in the Foping is the easier option if you want to see the monkeys.

    Sjef

  4. jasonwoolgar Says:

    After visiting Tibet, I am going to Labahe and Tangjiahe in October and I am hoping to ultimately set something up with a local for Foping, as I think that probably the only way to get in now will be to travel with a Chinese group, possibly researchers of some kind. I will let you know how I get on Tomer.

    Jason

  5. jasonwoolgar Says:

    The people I am speaking to believe that it will be and I certainly hope so!

  6. tomeslice Says:

    Thanks for all the replies, guys!

    Jason I would LOVE to hear about your experience there. If you do manage to go in there and see a panda,
    (1) I will be very f****ng jealus,
    (2) I would love to try to replicate your success.

    It will also be interesting to hear what you saw in Labahe and Tangjiahe, both which I didn’t have time to visit when I was with my family.

    Cheers!
    Tomer


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