Sichuan and Qinghai, China – October/November 2023

The report of our long-awaited, COVID-delayed trip to Sichuan and Qinghai which finally happened in October and November 2023.

Ian Thompson and Tracey Watchurst

China Trip Report – October/November 2023

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Ian Thompson


  • Ralf Bürglin

    Great report! This must be one of the most successful trips (in terms of species numbers) for that region. And very entertaining writing too! My favourite: “It was difficult to avoid taking pictures of Tibetan macaques without their breath fogging up the camera lens.”

  • tomeslice

    Great report Ian!!
    We’d already discussed your trip in length, but it was still very entertaining to read it, and see the pictures as well!

    I have heard several horror stories of the bathroom experiences in Sichuan so we’ll see if I can top your misadventures 🤣 (I hope not! lol)

    Thanks again for sharing – very very cool!

  • Lennartv

    Nice to read so short after I’ve been myself. Guess there is plenty to go back for! The Holiday Inn is actually very close to Shuangliu Airport and indeed quite far away from Tianfu (about 1 hour). Well done getting the hotel transfer from there though. It took me an hour to get them to Gate 11 at Shuangliu and that is only 5 minutes driving away… They kept insisting on having my phone number while I was shouting at them (through the phone of a helpful English speaking Chinese) to just come get me. Those arriving at Tianfu would be more covenient with staying at the Joyhub Cheer Hotel. It is about the same price as Holiday Inn and actually connected to the airport. You can just walk over there. You might miss the legendary breakfast at the Holiday Inn though which is indeed something to behold. Never have I seen a greater variety of food at a hotel breakfast.

  • chasingwildlife

    Great Report. Glad to see you saw so much. I will hold on to it for the time I get to go there myself. I would have loved to have had the time to travel in November.

  • PaintedTraveler

    Love this report

  • Miles Foster

    Hi, Ian, Lennart,

    my wife and I are heading for Chengdu later this year and weighing up the hotel options. Can you tell me if it is possible to get dinner at the Holiday Inn Express that you stayed at? And if not, where did you eat? We need to be ‘near’ Tianfu but not on top of it.


    Miles Foster

    • Lennartv

      Hi Miles, if you arrive at Tianfu and just have to stay for the night I would really recommend the Joyhub Cheer Hotel. It seemed like a very comfortable hotel, probably with everything you need. There aren’t any other hotels close to there. It’s not on, but it is on some other booking sites. The Holiday Inn is good, but on the other side of the city and it’s also a typical airport hotel. It mostly makes sense to stay there if you arrive at Shuangliu. You can get dinner there though. If you want to explore the old city of Chengdu a bit more there are better situated hotels I think which would make that more convenient.

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