Yunhe Centre Guided Tours / Half Day

Yunhe Centre Guided Tours / Half Day

This special half day program introduces participants everything about the Yunhe Centre: an innovative facility which holds the distinction of being the first nature education and community development centre in the Tibetan region in China. You’ll learn about how our practice in responsible tourism, natural education and community development projects to address a variety of social and environmental issues that the village faces. Our instructor will also take you to see the architectural and sustainable living practices we are implementing for a sustainable facility that incorporates indigenous knowledge from the local region.

Culture Experience Program / 2 DAY

Culture Experience Program / 2 DAY

Interested in coming to a Tibetan village that is redefining traditional tourism in China? This program provides you with an exciting opportunity to live like a local during your stay in our Yunhe Centre, located in the scenic Tibetan village of Zhonglu. The 2 day program combines the most popular courses we offer at the centre Additionally, this course gives you the chance to participate in activities and ceremonies the locals have practiced for generations such as the holy mountain reverence ceremony, paying a visit to Zhonglu’s temple, learning to cook a local dish, and even climbing one of the villages ancient watchtowers. You will also experience a weaving and embroidery workshop, farming in the agricultural fields and joining in a Tibetan guozhuang dance around an open campfire.

From the Farmland to Grassland Camp / 7 DAY

From the Farmland to Grassland Camp / 7 DAY

A rare opportunity to explore the Hengduan Mountain and Eastern Tibetan plateau in 7 days! This camp will take you to the heartland of the giant panda’s habitat in Sichuan’s Wolong National Nature Reserve. At the reserve, participants will have ample opportunity to get the perfect nature photo. From Wolong our group will venture across the vast countryside of Ganzi to witness the diverse variety of Tibetan communities in this landscape. In particular, our programs focus of the duality between agriculture villages and nomad settlements; our examples are Zhonglu (agriculture village) and Tagong (nomad settlement). We will observe how the difference in regional culture, altitude and ecosystem influences the language, clothing, architecture, and lifestyles of the people who call these places home. Additionally we will see the contrast between rural and urban lifestyles in Tibet when we visit the Tibetan city of Kangding, which since antiquity has been considered the gateway between traditional Tibet and Chinese culture.

Harvest workshop

Harvest workshop

Project length available:1 week – 1 month
During 1978-2010, China’s urbanization rate had rapidly increased from 17.9% to 49.9%. Approximately 500 million rural people have migrated to cities, resulting in villages like Zhonglu facing the problem of depopulation and higher average communal age. The work previously done by younger demographics in the village are now handled by the communities’ older population. During the harvest season, many families lack enough the necessary labor force people to handle the work. In this program, you will assist local families, especially the elders in their busiest season of the year!
Age Requirement: 18-60
Background Requirement: None
Project Period: Jun – Aug
Project Length: 1week – 1month
Accommodation: Dormitory
Meals: Self-prepared


Reference
1.Volunteer certificate
2.Letter of reference for participation
Knowledge Obtained:
1.Culture, nature, and history about Kham Tibetan Area, Gyalrong Tibetan Area
2.The wisdom of Thousands of Years of Sustainable Living
3.Organic farming
4.Ancient Tibetan waste-free methods of cultivation.
5.Biodynamic practices
Volunteer work
Volunteer tasks vary by season. During June to August, the tasks may include:
1.Wheat Farming (Wheat harvesting, drying, threshing, baling stalks, grinding wheat into flour)
2.Corn Farming (collect corn cobs, tear corn husks, bundling up corn husks, grinding corns into flour)
3.Sichuan Pepper Farming (Picking Sichuan Pepper, drying, screening, pitting, bagging)
4.Composting and land fertilizing
5.Keep recording the project and make a final presentation
Click here to find out more about our volunteer system.

Tibetan Architecture and Watchtower Conservation

Tibetan Architecture and Watchtower Conservation

Project length available:1 week – 1 month
The nuisances of Tibetan architecture have attracted scholars from around the world. As a fairly remote village in Eastern Tibet, Zhonglu has maintained a variety of distinct architectural features such as Tibetan houses, watchtowers, temples, watermills, and stupas; all tangible emulations of the villages’ past. In particular, the watch towers are a prized hallmark of the local cultural aesthetic and are listed as one of China’s National Historical Relics. In this program, you will contribute to the preservation of the Tibetan architecture and watchtowers through a combination of research and collaboration with our team.
Age Requirement: 18-60
Background Requirement: None
Project Period: All year round
Project Length: 1week – 1month
Accommodation: Dormitory
Meals: Self-prepared


Reference
1.Volunteer certificate
2.Letter of reference for participation
Knowledge Obtained:
1.Culture, nature, and history about Kham Tibetan Area, Gyalrong Tibetan Area.
2.Knowledge of Tibetan dwellings, village layout, important public spaces, etc
3.Knowledge about Tibetan Watchtowers (historical background, stone craftsmanship, functions, etc.)
4.Knowledge of nature construction in the area (local material utilization, environmental integration, minimal impact on the environment, etc.)
5.Academic materials study and collation, local villagers interview, research, mapping, GPS app utilization
6.Deep thinking about the sustainable development path of Tibetan areas
Volunteer work
1.Conduct local surveys, draw maps of the village, and mapping important public spaces, ancient roads, etc
2.Learn history, construction techniques of local Watch Towers, search for relevant materials and study
3.Collect and record the oral history and related legends of the selected Watch Towers. Note its location on GPS, and its degree of damage
4.Make a sign based on the above information for the village
5.Keep recording the project and make a final presentation
Click here to find out more about our volunteer system.

Ancient Tibetan Trail Restoration

Ancient Tibetan Trail Restoration

Project length available:1 week – 1 month
In antiquity, Zhonglu Village had its own ancient stone trail system. This trail system not only accommodated basic traffic, but also connected people and places in the village. As more and more villagers left Zhonglu to seek opportunity in the cities the task of maintaining the trail system became increasingly difficult. This lack of upkeep has left many parts of the trail in poor condition, reducing some segments to being riddled with trash. This has resulted in drastic changes to how communication and general lifestyle is conducted in Zhonglu. We recognized this keystone issue and decided immediate attention was necessary to restore the trails. We hope that through the restoration of the trail system, local people will be empowered to recognize the beauty inherent in their tradition. This project is an important first step in furthering the agenda of sustainable ecotourism development and cultural revitalization in Zhonglu..
Age Requirement: 18-60
Background Requirement: None
Project Period : Year round
Project Length: 1week – 1month
Accommodation: Dormitory
Meals: Self-prepared


Reference:
1.Volunteer certificate
2.Letter of reference for participation
Knowledge Obtained:
1.Culture, nature, and history about Kham Tibetan Area, Gyalrong Tibetan Area
2.History of the ancient trail
3.US/Taiwan trail restoration case
4.Ancient trail stone laying techniques
5.Development of Eco-Tourism in ethnic minority region in China
6.How social enterprises empower community development
7.The China national rural revitalization strategy
Volunteer work
1.Learn stone trail repair techniques under the guidance of the craftsman
2.Brainstorm and sort out the key elements of the project
3.Interview the villagers about their idea of the trail
4.Mapping the existing ancient trial
5.Left-behind elderly care: Help the elders to harvest food, feed cattle, pigs and other livestock, collect crops, cook, clean. Care and accompany the local elders
6.Keep recording the project and make a final presentation
Click here to find out more about our volunteer system.

LNT course

LNT course

Available course lengths: 45 minutes, 2h, 4h
Tibetan region has one of the most precious nature and culture heritage that we all share. Preserving the beauty of this landscape requires mindfulness and discipline. Our organization is an avid promoter of the “Leave No Trace” philosophy. By following the principles of the LNT mindset, we can leave the environment the way we found it (or even better than we found it). In order to minimize our ecological and social impacts, we encourage visitors to learn about LNT principles before entering the beautiful nature in Zhonglu and the surrounding Tibetan region. After learning these basic principles, you can apply them anywhere you go!
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Learn the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace
2.Join group activities to practice with the principles.

Waste Treatment

Waste Treatment

Available course lengths: 45 minutes, 2h, 4h
With the ever-increasing impact of modernization, tourists and industrialized products have flooded into the Himalayan mountains; resulting in waste treatment becoming an urgent topic. Zhonglu is one of the typical villages that faces this crisis. Non-degradable waste (usually plastic bottles and bags) are frequently thrown away by locals and tourists and can be found in many different parts of the village. These waste items are difficult to process in such large quantities in this pristine landscape. In this program, you will be introduced to the issues of waste treatment that the village is facing, and what we all can do to help.
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Learn about the waste problem the Tibetan region is facing.
2.Learn about different waste treatment methods.
3.Participate in a trash sweep while hiking in the village.
4.Deal with the waste according to the 3R principle in a creative way.

Plant Hunter

Plant Hunter

Course length available: 2h, 4 h
In addition to the region’s rich culture, Yunhe Centre is also located in one of the top 35 biodiversity conservation hotspots in the world — the Hengduan Mountains. This mountain range is located on the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. It is world-renowned for its extensively large plant communities, and has enriched the world’s gardens ever since the first visits of international botany enthusiasts. In this program, you will follow in their footsteps and explore the flora of this pristine ecosystem.
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Observe and collect local plants on foot.
2.Learn the different plant features in the area.
3.Learn how to make botanical specimens.
4.Create observational drawing of the plants.
5.Participate in a think-tank for the future preservation of the area’s ecosystem.

Tibetan Guozhuang Dance

Tibetan Guozhuang Dance

Course length available: 45m, 2h
Guozhuang is an especially unique ceremonial dance that is endemic to the region. It features dancing in a circle with singing and is unaccompanied by instruments. The dance was initially developed to be performed around a campfire in either a house or tent, and later became a staple of Tibet’s unique culture. The lyrics of the melodies the dancers will sing borrow inspiration from the local environment and reflect the animistic qualities of the region’s tradition. There are more than 300 variations of Guozhuang in Gyalrong alone, and Zhonglu features a specific variation found nowhere else in the world. In our Tibetan Guozhuang Dance program, you will have the chance to learn traditional Guozhong dance in Zhonglu, and dance with the locals around a campfire!
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Learn movements and lyrics for one Tibetan Guozhuang dance.
2.Enjoy the campfire night with local dancer, try and learn different Gouzhuang dances.