Every December, PDX Wildlife shifts into high gear in order to prepare for the upcoming Giant Panda internships, which take place in Ya’an, Sichuan, China. We recently selected two Panda interns for the upcoming winter breeding season and will be opening up to new applications for the following Spring/Summer Panda Internship, so check back in the following weeks for more infomation.
Traveling into China can be a daunting task the first time around, but with this being our 5th year of traveling to the far east, we have learned a few tricks to make the transition a breeze. Here are a few tips:
- Plan and prepare early. It pays to do your research on how to apply for the visa and what to say in order to receive the longest visa duration as possible. This last year was the first time that we were allowed a 1 year, multiple entry visa. This saved us quite a bit of money with multiple trips to/from the USA and China.
- The price of flights can often vary all over the place. Coincidentally, we usually travel during the Chinese New Year, which drives the cost up 20%. Try to travel outside of the holidays to save some dough.
- The time between your flights can make all the difference. If you give yourself 45 minutes to navigate the Beijing airport and customs agents, you could be in for a long night of bench sleeping. When you switch countries, try to give yourself at least 1.5 hours. We’ve personally seen it take as much as 3 hours.
We could spend hours on how to make the journey as simple and carefree as possible. But what really makes the difference is understanding that things WILL and DO go wrong. Relax, sip some Chinese tea, and you will make it to your destination. Feel free to send us an email if you have any questions about traveling in China.