Shaanxi Foping National Nature Reserve

Shaanxi 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 reserve lies in Foping County, Hanzhong City in south Shaanxi Province. Covering an area of 72,253 acres (19,240 ha), the reserve is about 98 miles (158 km) to the northeast of Hanzhong and 113 miles (215 km) southwest of Xi'an. The reserve has been described as the “Natural Animal and Plant Gene Base”.

Rare Animals

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.

Foping Panda Nature Reserve

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.

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 Plants

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.


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.

Foping Panda Valley

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.

 Transportation :
1. From Xi'an:
   Take Xi'an-Foping bus at Xi'an 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.
2.  From Hanzhong:
   Take coach from Hanzhong City to Foping County. And then take sightseeing line to the destination.
Admission Fee CNY 60
Children below 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) and seniors over 65 years old are free of charge.
Opening Hours March to November: 08:00 - 18:00
December to February: 08:30 - 17:30
- Last updated on Dec. 25, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Shaanxi Foping National Nature Reserve
Asked by Joseph from USA | Jan. 10, 2018 20:03Reply
Hotels for Foreigners in Foping?
I have had some trouble finding hotels willing to accept foreigners in around different parts of China. Is there a hotel or hostel that accepts foreigners regularly?
Answers (1)
Answered by Eglise from FRANCE | Jan. 11, 2018 21:41

Well, my friends told me that Jiaozi Grand Hotel in 48 Hedi Street is good, so I guess they may accept foreigners.
Asked by Sara from USA | Mar. 20, 2017 12:46Reply
I was to take a taxi or private transport from Xi'an to Foping National Nature Reserve.
Around how long would it take and about how much would it cost? I would really like to see the golden monkeys. Are there any pandas present now as well?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nord from CANADA | Mar. 24, 2017 02:28

1. It would take around 3 hours to get there. If you charter a car to the scenic area, it may cost CNY300-500.
2. Yes, you can see the pandas in the this nature reserve.
Asked by Vicky from USA | Nov. 09, 2016 18:20Reply
Planning a trip to Foping Panda Valley to see one and only Brown Panda.
I cannot find much info about it and hoping someone here can guide me through the process...
- how do i get to the Panda Valley from Xi'an?
- would it be better to stay somewhere closer to the valley than Xi'an?
- are there any websites that tell you more about viewing the brown panda?
Thank you all in advance!!!
Answers (1)
Answered by Cheryl from UNITED KINGDOM | Nov. 10, 2016 01:56

Take a bus to Foping (FP) from Xi'an South Bus Station. The bus departs at 14:20, and the fare is CNY 69.5. Upon arrival, take a taxi to the valley for about CNY 50.

You may stay at FP County. There are many hotels available. For instance, the Jiaozi Hotel at No. 48, Hedi Street is a nice choice. The hotel provides clean environment and nice service. A standard room costs about CNY 160. Have a try!

I am sorry that I have no idea of the website.
Asked by Dylan from USA | Sep. 28, 2016 09:58Reply
Questions about viewing pandas
I am unclear about the notices listed below. Does this mean that if we visit, we will only see one panda in the valley?

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.

Foping Panda Valley
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.
Answers (1)
Answered by Sally from USA | Sep. 29, 2016 04:54

As I know, you will see several pandas there. Have a good time! ;)
Asked by Anja from GERMANY | Aug. 05, 2016 06:11Reply
How long does it take to walk from entrance to Golden Monkeys Grand Canyon?
Hi, I am wondering how long the walk takes and how steep/ difficult it is? Thank you!
Answers (2)
Answered by Juana from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 09, 2016 03:12

It is not that steep, but the roads are not flat and have many rocks. The seniors and kids are suggested to take a alpenstock or something like this to keep balance. I remember we took an hour or so from the entrance to get to the golden monkeys. You may go and have fun!
Answered by Anja from GERMANY | Aug. 09, 2016 06:26

Sounds great! Thanks Juana :-)
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)