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All reviews absolute panda these guys panda base arranged everything sichuan opera natural habitat panda bears chinese culture an amazing experience face changing philip wildlife bella adventure companies company itinerary
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Reviewed January 2, 2014

The service Absolute Panda provided (Phillip and Lily) was phenomenal, from the first time emailing them for their service to the end of our tour when Phillip dropped us off at the hotel. Traveling with Phillip had us worried free the whole time; he had everything covered for us. Phillip speaks perfect English, has great manners and knows a lot about Pandas, Birds and Chinese Culture/History. We wanted a perfect Panda experience and he gave us one at the Bifengxia Center in Ya’an. Phillip has done so many Panda tours, all the staff at the location knows him…which is good because he was able to provide us the best experience possible. We did the volunteer program, played with pandas and hugged a panda; Phil was alongside with us the whole time for translation and explaining the procedures. After our tour at the Bifengxia, he took us to an ancient town in Shangli for an amazing lunch with the locals. We shopped, took pictures and learned more about the Chinese culture. We couldn’t ask for more from Phillip, he definitely exceeded our expectation. The tour was priced well, the service is great and Phillip will always go out of his way to make the perfect experience for you. If you go to Chengdu, look into booking with Absolute Panda, you will not be disappointed.

Date of experience: January 2014
4  Thank xrage4200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

Initially, I contacted Philip to arrange Panda interactions for my father and me...what he delivered was better than I could have imagined! From the onset, the staff at Absolute Panda was keen to learn of our likes and dislikes in order to plan a trip best suited to our interests and needs. Everything from the basic itinerary to accommodations and transportation were carefully planned to maximize our short time in Chengdu--arguably, very significant steps for any quality tour company. Not to mention, he was prepared with a car phone charger, extra battery, camera and hard drive, which were all useful! However, Philip's exceptional ability to listen, his commitment to customer satisfaction, his desire to share his extensive knowledge and his passion for his work, simply created an experience much greater than an outlined itinerary. Through our conversations, Philip developed a further understanding of us. He took this information and created relevant activities that were extremely enjoyable, educational, and beautiful. Thank you, Philip and Absolute Panda, for so enthusiastically and graciously sharing so many facets China!

Date of experience: November 2013
3  Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We were interested in travelling through China in a personalized and flexible way, being sure to be safe and avoiding any “banal touristic places”. Last but not least, we would like met pandas and interact with them.
We found Absolute Panda on Trip Advisor and we read the excellent opinions on them. So we wrote to Philip He. Since the first contact, Absolute Panda met our expectations fully. We were positive impressed about Absolute Panda proactove and custmer oriented approach: before our leaving, Philip tried to understand our needs and expectations, and then sent us a detailed and personalized trip plan, that excited us immediately. Later we were invited to fulfill a form, by e.mail, with our food requirements and some information.

Since our arrival at Chengdu airport and for the whole trip, we had a guide and a driver at our disposal and we travelled with them for about 15 days in the Sichuan zone, seeing wonderful natural places, the authentic Chines and Tibetan villages, far away from the usual western touristic routes. Being in a personalized tour, we were flexible to see and stop wherever we liked.
Yang, the guide during our first part of the trip, was an excellent birdwatcher and showed us plenty of birds, even rare; but most of all, he was a competent trip manager, very proactive to anticipate our needs and authentically friend with us. So we completely enjoyed our trip, feeling among “competent and sincere friends”.
On the other hand, Philip, who took us during our second week, is very expert about Chinese and Tibetan History, cooking traditions and social matters: thanks to him we could better understand and appreciate a such complex and “western different” Country like China. Philip is also an excellent photographer, trip manager able to face up with difficult situations, that otherwise may treats some trips. He’s very helpful in many ways (he even lent us his personal photocamera, more professional than ours, and, last but not last, took for us some wonderful photos ).
Lastly, Absolute Panda fully met our expectations at same as regard as the hotels, the restaurants and all the other services (experienced driver, clean and comfortable car, …): all was the best possible, according to the local standards, at a fair price.
We really thank Absolute Panda for having introduced us the Authentic China and having allowed us to loving it.
We would like to come back to China, specially to the Tibetan zone, and, sure, will be with Absolute Panda again!

Date of experience: October 2013
4  Thank serena71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2013

My father and I made a quick trip to Chengdu to see the Pandas; from the first time I contacted Absolute Panda, they were responsive and accommodating. Philip who usually conducts tours was not available for our date but he arranged Helena to take us on our tour in his place. Lilly & Philip carefully explained the plan for the day and promptly answered all my (many!) questions. One the day of the tour, I went to the lobby of my hotel and Helena was waiting for us. There was also a driver in a very clean car stocked with snacks and bottled water.

Helena actually works at the Panda base (and has since the base opened), so she was an expert on which viewing areas we should head to first v. later in the day. She also answered all our questions and told us tons of information about the base and the adorable pandas!

More over, we had a delicious lunch at a local restaurant and had wonderful conversation about Chinese life and cultural. After our time exploring some local city sights, Helena and the driver generously brought us directly to the airport for our flight. The people at Absolute Panda made Chengdu my favorite city on my 10 day trip to China. Thank you!

Date of experience: May 2013
4  Thank annemariev460
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

My husband and I wanted to visit a specific, remote region of the Qinling Mountains, hiking, birding and exploring traditional villages. We contacted Absolute Panda and received an immediate, enthusiastic response from Philip, our guide and the founder of the company. Right away, he asked several questions about our priorities and our abilities, and promised to cater a trip within our budget. Over the course of several months, he was in touch often, updating us on his research of the area, asking questions about preferences, and alerting us to possible inconveniences along the way (such as there being no toilet facilities, permit restrictions, etc.). It was very clear that he wanted this trip to be the best for us that it could be.
And it was! From the moment we arrived at the airport, Philip was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He scouted the area before we arrived and established relationships with villagers that made all the difference. For a week, he showed us a region that few foreigners have seen and was so attuned to our experience, that he made several adjustments without us even having to ask. In this way, within a day, he was able to perceive the balance of hiking and birding that we preferred. He was also very cautious as a baseline, but willing to be adventurous when we wanted to be. He dealt easily and effectively with the inevitable quarrelsome officials, and was a tireless, wonderful translator as we weaved our way from village to village, asking questions and sharing meals with villagers.
What really makes Philip and Absolute Panda stand apart from other great tour services, is their perception of travelers’ needs and flexibility. Philip could tell from early on that my husband and I were very adventurous and willing to stray from the detailed itinerary he had sent beforehand if unique opportunities arose. In this way, he suggested small alterations, such as a visit to a local sorghum vinegar factory and an evening making dumplings with a village family, that proved to be highlights of the trip. And I know that if we were the type of people who wanted to stick strictly with the itinerary, he would have done so, happily.
Philip certainly knows his birds, and moves so easily between the roles of birding expert, hiking guide, translator and trip manager. He was an equally wonderful guide to the city, showing us X’ian for a day and even treating us to a blind massage in the Muslim Quarter after days of roughing it in the mountains. All the staff he hired along the way (drivers, hosts, local guides) were competent, lovely people, all of whom we remember fondly. Four months after our trip, we still miss Philip, as a guide and friend, and are hoping to take another trip with him soon. We know that wherever we choose, he’ll make it fantastic.

Date of experience: September 2012
4  Thank ZumaZelig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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