As the saying goes, “There is no need to see any mountains after you visit Mount Huangshan, and there is also no need to see any water after you visit Jiuzhaigou.” If you want to feel like you’re in Wonderland, tour Jiuzhaigou. The water in Jiuzhaigou is so catching that you might be immersed in the beauty of the water at alone. If you have heard the call of Jiuzhaigou and if you want to tour Jiuzhaigou and see the legendary scenery of Huanglong, here is a travel guide to tour Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong.
Tour Jiuzhaigou – A Travel Guide to One of the Most Magical Places on Earth
CCL Source Jiuzhaigou in Autumn
Where is Jiuzhaigou Valley
Jiuzhaigou lies in Jiuzhaigou County (formerly Nanping County), Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, North of Sichuan Province. It’s named after the nine Tibetan villages, including Shuzheng Village, Heye Village, Zechawa Village, Panxin Village, Heiguo Village, Panyazhu Village, Guwa Village, Pengbu Village and Jianpan Village. The distance from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou is about 450 km. It will take 7-8 hours by bus if you go to Jiuzhaigou from Chengdu. But it only takes about 1 hour from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou by air.
There are four direct buses from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou departing at Xinnanmen Bus Station and two buses from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station every day. You are recommended to buy a bus ticket at least a day in advance. You can buy a ticket on self-service vending machines which are available in Chengdu Hongqi Chain stores. Besides, you can buy a ticket online.
Shuttle Bus Fee
Jiuhuang Airport – Jiuzhaigou: RMB 45 (one-way ticket); RMB 80 (round-trip ticket)
Jiuhuang Airport – Huanglong: RMB 22 (one-way ticket); RMB 40 (round-trip ticket)
Now, many cities have opened direct flights to Jiuzhaigou (Jiuhuang Airport). For example, there are about 20 flights from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou every day. The flying time is around 60 minutes. The price of the one-way ticket from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou is about RMB 1540 per person. Many people who have never been to Jiuzhaigou may think that Jiuhuang Airport is located in Jiuzhaigou. In fact, Jiuhuang Airport is 88 km away from Jiuzhaigou and it takes about 1.5 hours from Jiuhuang Airport to Jiuzhaigou. Meanwhile, Jiuhuang Airport is 50 km away from Huanglong and it takes about 1 hour from Jiuhuang Airport to Huanglong Park.
Rent a Car
Jiuzhaigou Huanglong Airport is a lateral airport intended for tourism. The shuttle buses often cannot depart on time because the passengers of a flight usually cannot meet the need of a shuttle bus. The shuttle bus does not depart until it is full of people. Sometimes, the departure time of the shuttle bus will be delayed by 2-3 hours. Therefore, it is recommended to book a car to pick you up at the airport.
It cost RMB 200-250 from Jiuhuang Airport to Jiuzhaigou.
If you do not book a chartered car in advance there are taxis and private cars available for tourists at Airport Exit. The chartered fee is about RMB 300.
Tips: It is recommended to take a formal taxi at the airport for the sake of security.
Planning Out Your Day At Jiuzhaigou
Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, which consists of 3 valleys, is Y-shaped. Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area is very big. The total length of the three valleys is more than 50 km. It is not recommended to visit all the spots in Jiuzhaigou only on foot. You can take a sightseeing bus from a spot to another spot so that you can save more time.
The ticket price of the sightseeing bus is RMB 90. The sightseeing ticket is valid for a day and you can get on a sightseeing bus for unlimited times. Here is the recommended touring route.
CCL Source Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area
Recommended Travel Route in Jiuzhaigou
It is recommended to tour along the right route at first. Then, you can go to travel the left line. At last, you can return to the entrance of the scenic area.
The attractions along the right line are the highlights. It’s recommended you spend half a day touring these, such as Mirror Lake, Pearl Shoal, Five Flower Lake, Panda Lake and Arrow Bamboo Lake. After you visit Arrow Bamboo Lake, you can get back to Nuorilang Center where you can have lunch. After lunch, you can take a bus to visit attractions on the left line (Zhawa Valley). The most attractive attractions along Zhawa Valley are Five Color Lake and Long Lake. It takes about 1.5 hours to visit these spots. Then, you can take a sightseeing bus back to Nuorilang Center.
CCL Source Arrow Bamboo Lake in Jiuzhaigou
For the following attractions along Shuzheng Valley, such as Rhinoceros Lake, Tiger Lake, Shuzheng Lakes, Reed Lake and Bonsai Shoal, you can visit on foot. After you finish visiting Bonsai Shoal, you take a sightseeing bus at Bonsai Shoal back to the entrance of the scenic area.
From 1, April to 15, November, Jiuzhaigou Ticket Office starts to sell tickets at 7:00 in the morning.
From 16, November to 31, March of the following year, Jiuzhaigou Ticket Office starts to sell tickets at 8:30 in the morning.
Peak Season (1, April – 15, November): RMB 220 /Person
Off – season (16, November – 31, March): RMB 80/Person
Sightseeing Bus Fee: RMB 90/Person
Best Time to Go
It is totally fine to visit Jiuzhaigou all year round. As one of the most famous attractions in Sichuan, Jiuzhaigou is with different sceneries in different seasons.
Best Travel Time in Jiuzhaigou in Spring
If you plan to visit Jiuzhaigou in spring, March is the best time go. In March, snow and ice are melting; water in lakes is rising; beautiful flowers are blossoming here and there. Snow Mountains in the distance are like a fairy tale world. Spring is also the most affordable travel season in Jiuzhaigou. The entrance ticket of Jiuzhaigou is only RMB 80 per person.
Best Travel Time in Jiuzhaigou in Summer
If you want to find a place to get away from the heat wave in summer, Jiuzhaigou is a great choice. Jiuzhaigou is definitely a wonderful summer resort. The average temperature for the whole summer is from 22 degrees C to 25 degrees C. If you arrive in Jiuzhaigou in July, you’ll even need to take warm clothes. The temperature difference between morning and night is very large.
Best Travel Time in Jiuzhaigou in Autumn
Autumn is the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou, since Jiuzhaigou in October is regarded as the most beautiful by tourists. From November 15th to November 25th, most of the green leaves in Jiuzhaigou turn and you’ll be regretful if you miss it.
CCL Source Jiuzhaigou in Autumn
Best Travel Time in Jiuzhaigou in Winter
Jiuzhaigou Ice and Snow Festival is held every January. If you go to Jiuzhaigou at that time, you can not only save money because of the preferential policies offered by Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, but also enjoy the most distinct folk performances which can’t be seen in theaters.
Where to Stay in Jiuzhaigou
In peak seasons, the accommodation in Jiuzhaigou is comparatively expensive. For an ordinary inn, the room price is about RMB 300 per room. If you want to live in a hotel with better living conditions, the price is up to more than RMB 500. For a 5-star hotel, the price is basically RMB 800-1400. In the off season, the room price is cheaper. Nearly every hotel has vacant rooms. And the room price is about RMB 100.
Recommended 4 Day Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou Itinerary
Day 1: Chengdu – Wenchuan Earthquake Ruins – Songpan Ancient Town – Jiuzhaigou
You set off in Chengdu in the early morning. Then, you visit Wenchuan Earthquake Ruins, Diexi Lake and Songpan Ancient Town on the way. In the afternoon, you arrive at Jiuzhaigou and check in at a hotel.
Day 2: Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area
You can spend the whole day visiting the spots in Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area.
Day 3: Jiuzhaigou – Chuanzhusi – Huanglong – Maoxian
You leave Jiuzhaigou for Huanglong in the morning. After visiting Huanglong Scenic Area, you start to move to Maoxian. You live in Maoxian tonight.
CCL Source Huanglong Scenic Area
Day 4: Maoxian – Dujiangyan Panda Valley – Chengdu
In the early morning, you leave Maoxian for Dujiangyan Panda Valley where you can do Panda volunteer job at Dujiangyan Panda Valley. After seeing pandas at Dujiangyan Panda Valley, you get on the way back to Chengdu.
I hope this travel guide to Jiuzhaigou was helpful. As one of the most beautiful places in the world, it’s something you want to do right the first time. Safe travels!