Shaanxi Attarctions

Foping National Nature Reserve

Foping National Nature Reserve lies in Foping County, Hanzhong City in south Shaanxi Province. Covering an area of 72,253 acres , the reserve is about 158 km to the northeast of Hanzhong and 215 km southwest of Xian. The reserve has been described as the “Natural Animal and Plant Gene Base”.

What to see?

Foping National Nature Reserve is richly endowed with varied landforms and a complex ecosystem containing many rare animals and plants. Pandas have lived there for millions of years, which is contrary to what you might believe that giant pandas are exclusive to Sichuan. Actually, neighboring Shaanxi Province is also home to an important habitat for pandas like the Foping Nature Reserve.

Foping Pandas Valley

Giant pandas in the Qinling Mountains are a little different from those in Sichuan. Their chests are dark brown and their abdomens are a lighter shade of brown. The Sichuan pandas’ chests are dark black and their abdomens are white. Compared to those in Sichuan, Qinling pandas look like cats with round heads and big teeth. Some say they are cuter than their Sichuan cousins. They are also praised as the “Beauties of National Treasure”. 30 percent of them live in the reserve in Foping, numbering at least 100. This valley, close to the reserve, is open to visitors. Only one panda and a number of golden monkeys can be found in the valley.

Foping Panda1.jpgpanda valley.jpg

Brown Giant Panda – Dandan

In March, 1985 an unusual brown-white giant panda was found and saved in Foping. She was named “Dandan”. When she was found, Dandan was about 13 years old and on her last legs. Doctors spared no effort to rescue her. Dandan recovered gained more than 44 pounds (20 kg). Dandan’s ears, eye sockets, eyelashes, nose, mouth and body stripes were all light brown. With her bright fur, Dandan was praised as “Blonde”, the most beautiful all over the world.

Rare Animals & Plants

Some 300 kinds of wild animals live in the nature reserve. About 100 giant pandas live there, along with more than 600 golden monkeys considered to be a “Second National Treasure”. Other rare animals include takins, leopards, golden eagles, forest musk deer, lesser pandas, black bears, barking deer, gorals, golden pheasants, Reeves's pheasants, and giant salamanders. Insects, amphibians, reptiles and fish species are a major part of the fauna, as well.

The reserve is also rich in various plants. There are about 1,583 kinds of plants, of which bryophytes number 30, ferns 71, gymnosperms 20, and angiosperms 1,459. No less than 20 kinds of plants are state protected plants. Larix chinensis, eucommia ulmoides, sinowilsonia henryi, abieschensiensis, Euptelea pleiospermum, ashtree, coptis chinensis and gastrodin are considered key protected rare plants in China. These rare plants have both economic and medical value. All kinds of rare plants allow nature lovers to enjoy the reserve and learn more about new species.

Travel Tips

  1.  At present, Foping National Nature Reserve is not open to the public. Currently, it only acts as a base for scientific research and environmental preservation.

  2. Transportation :
    From Xian:   Take Xian-Foping bus at Xian Bus Station (Shuisi Bus Station) and get off at the gate of Foping Panda Valley. There are two buses a day respectively departing from 9:00 and 14:30.
    From Hanzhong:    Take coach from Hanzhong City to Foping County. And then take sightseeing line to the destination.

  3. Entrance Fee: CNY 60

    Opening Time: 08:30-17:30

Foping National Nature Reserve - Shaanxi Attractions, What to see in Shaanxi - Zhangjiajie China Tours, China Travel Guide

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