Immerse yourself in the ethereal beauty of Jiuzhaigou - China

 Jiuzhaigou travel to visit a famous scenic spot in the northwest of Sichuan province, China that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Is a picturesque wonderland, featuring charming natural scenery of colorful lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and majestic green mountains.

There is a folk saying: "There is no need to see any mountains after you visit Huangshan Mountain, and there is no need to see any water after you visit Jiuzhaigou." If you want to feel like you are in a wonderland, visit Jiuzhaigou.  The water at Jiuzhaigou is so clear that you can immediately immerse yourself in its blue color. If you want to travel to Jiuzhaigou and see the legendary scenery of Huanglong Park, this is the Jiuzhaigou travel guide for you. 

About Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhai Valley National Park is a magnificent complex of natural wonders, a pure wilderness with waterfalls, alpine lakes, tranquil grasslands, snowy mountain views and Tibetan villages. You won't believe the magical beauty of this area until you go there and see it for yourself.

The park takes its role in conservation and sustainability extremely seriously, and has relationships with Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia , Cradle Mountain in Tasmania and Yosemite, Yellowstone and Olympic National Parks in the United States. 

In 1992, Jiuzhai Valley National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 1997 it was awarded the title of Man and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Since then, it has received many other well-deserved attention.

Jiuzhaigou Valley or Valley of Nine Villages is located in northern Sichuan province . It is known as "China's most beautiful underwater landscape", "Wonderland", 5A National Park. Everyone who has been to Jiuzhaigou knows all of these reputations match reality. It is also known as "Paradise for Photographers".


Jiuzhaigou is a famous tourist destination - China Jiuzhaigou TravelJiuzhaigou is a popular tourist destination @hannah.v27


Jiuzhaigou means nine Tibetan villages in an area where seven villages are still inhabited. These villages now sell handy crafts to the thousands of visitors who explore the park daily. To get the real Tibetan feel you need to visit Lhasa in Tibet . The former is a remote area and was first explored by the Chinese half a century ago when a lot of logging took place. Fortunately, the government quickly intervened and turned Jiuzhaigou into a national park and a Chinese tourist attraction .


Jiuzhaigou can be explored in 2 days - China Jiuzhaigou TravelJiuzhaigou can be explored in 2 days @maryy_mei


The park consists of large buffer zones with an area of ​​more than 1300 square kilometers in the southern region of the Mingshan Mountains, elevations from 2000 meters to a peak of nearly 5000 meters. Jiuzhaigou Valley lies between 2000-3000 meters. Mixed forest covers the park, of which a large area is primary forest. These plants have been around for ages and during the seasons they change color. In the fall they are green-yellow-brown but in the summer they are all green. In winter Jiuzhaigou is covered with snow.


Jiuzhaigou in Winter - China Jiuzhaigou TravelJiuzhaigou in winter. Photo: @tamsukan


Hidden away like a mysterious land and never bothered by outsiders until it was found in the mid-20th century, Jiuzhaigou keeps the wildness of nature very well. All the forests, lakes, waterfalls, terrain are the best gifts of mother nature.


Detailed Jiuzhaigou travel guide

Where is Jiuzhaigou? How to get to Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhaigou is located in Jiuzhaigou County (formerly Nanping County), Aba Tibet and Qiang Autonomous Province, north of Sichuan Province. It is named after 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 get to Jiuzhaigou from Chengdu. But it only takes about 1 hour from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou by air.


Visitors can visit Jiuzhaigou all year round - China Jiuzhaigou TravelVisitors can visit Jiuzhaigou all year round @dorisliu_food_travel


- By bus:

There are four direct buses from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou departing at Xinnanmen bus terminal and two buses from Chengdu Chadianzi bus terminal each day. You should buy bus tickets at least a day in advance. You can buy tickets on the self-service vending machines available in the Chengdu Hongqi Chain stores. Alternatively, you can buy tickets online.

+ Jiuhuang Airport - Jiuzhaigou: 45 RMB (one-way ticket); RMB 80 (round trip ticket)

+ Jiuhuang - Huanglong Airport: 22 yuan (one-way ticket); RMB 40 (round trip ticket)

- By plane:

Now, many cities have opened direct flights to Jiuhuang Airport. For example, there are about 20 flights from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou every day. Flight time is about 60 minutes. One-way fare from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou is about 1540 yuan per person.


Jiuhuang Airport - China Jiuzhaigou TravelJiuhuang Airport


Many people who have never been to Jiuzhaigou may think that Jiuzhaigou Airport is located in Jiuzhaigou. In fact, Jiuhuang Airport is 88 kilometers from Jiuzhaigou and from Jiuhuang Airport to Jiuzhaigou takes about 1.5 hours. Meanwhile, Jiuhuang Airport is 50 km from Huanglong Park, and it takes about 1 hour from Jiuhuang Airport to this park.

Note: Altitude can affect health

Elevation varies greatly in different areas of Jiuzhaigou. For example, the entrance to the valley is about 2,000 meters, while the airport is about 3,500 meters.

The susceptibility to altitude sickness varies from person to person. Those with heart disease or high blood pressure should be careful and take precautions when traveling to Jiuzhaigou.  While there, you shouldn't do any strenuous exercise or drink alcohol. Stay warm and eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink water

Carry some daily medication with you or a small bottle of oxygen just in case.


Jiuzhaigou Lake opening hours and ticket prices

- Business hours

+ From April 1 to November 15, Jiuzhaigou Box Office starts selling tickets at 7:00 am.

+ From November 16 to March 31 next year, the Jiuzhaigou Box Office starts selling tickets at 8:30 a.m.

- Fare

+ High season (1, April - 15, November): 220 RMB/person

+ Out of season (16, 11 - 31, 3): RMB 80/person

+ Sightseeing bus fee: 90 RMB/person


The best time to travel Jiuzhaigou

Visitors can visit  China's Jiuzhaigou all year round. As one of the most famous attractions in Sichuan, Jiuzhaigou offers different views in different seasons.

- The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou in spring

If you plan to visit Jiuzhaigou in the spring, then March is the best time. In March, the ice is melting; the water in the lakes is rising; beautiful flowers are blooming. The Snowy Mountains in the distance are like a fairy tale world. Spring is also the most reasonable season to travel to Jiuzhaigou . The entrance ticket to Jiuzhaigou is only 80 yuan / person.


Jiuzhaigou in Spring - China Jiuzhaigou TravelJiuzhaigou in Spring @upnupapp


- The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou in the summer

If you're looking for a place to get away from the summer heat, this is a great choice, a great summer getaway. The average temperature in the whole summer is between 22 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius. If you go to Jiuzhaigou in July, you will have to bring warm clothes. The temperature difference between morning and night is huge.

- The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou in autumn thu

Autumn is the most suitable time to visit Jiuzhaigou, because October is considered the most beautiful by tourists. From November 15 to November 25, most of the green leaves change color and you will regret missing out.


Jiuzhaigou - China Jiuzhaigou TravelAutumn Jiuzhaigou @wnt15


- The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou in winter

Jiuzhaigou Ice and Snow Festival is held every January. If you come here at that time, you will not only save money by the preferential policies of Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, but also enjoy the most unique folk performances that cannot be seen in theaters.


Staying while visiting Jiuzhaigou

During the high season, accommodation in Jiuzhaigou is relatively expensive. For a normal hostel, the room rate is about 300 yuan/room. If you want to stay in a hotel with better conditions, the price goes up to more than 500 yuan. For a 5-star hotel, the base price is 800-1400 yuan. In the off season, room rates are cheaper. Nearly every hotel has rooms available and room rates are around 100 RMB.


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel - China Jiuzhaigou TravelThe Ritz-Carlton Hotel


Having developed tourism for decades, Jiuzhaigou offers pleasant accommodation from economy class to luxury class. Outside the park there is a wide range of accommodation, including 3, 4, and 5 star hotels and international hotels such as Sheraton, InterContinental, and others. Most hotels have Tibetan-style houses equipped with modern amenities.

Note that most hotels in the area are not equipped with air conditioning, because of the cool weather. In winter, every hotel has an electric blanket to help you stay warm at night. High-end hotels are equipped with air conditioning for heating.


Accommodation at Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou - China Jiuzhaigou TravelRooms at Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou


Example: Banyan Tree Jiuzhaigou: No. 1 Baohai Road, Baohua Town, Jiuzhaigou County, Aba, Sichuan, China 623400. Large rooms and suites feature spacious balconies and stunning mountain and valley views. or golf course.

Must-see places in Jiuzhaigou Nature Park

Now let's explore the Y-shaped Jiuzhaigou Nature Park by taking the shuttle to the last stop of the Rize valley. This is the right junction of the Y-shaped valley. Hiking is possible but I recommend taking two days or just visiting the Rize valley.

- Jiuzhaigou Stop #1: Primeval Forest

The primeval forest is just like the name of an old forest. There was a short hike uphill which was very pleasant with fresh air and in the fall there was some snowfall. The view of the mountains and cliffs is beautiful.

- Jiuzhaigou Stop #2: Swan Lake & Grass Lake

Next stop is Swan Lake and then pass by Co Lake. Co Lake has more vegetation and is quite special. Swan Lake is famous for its swans but you'll have to come at the right time of year to see them (not autumn).


Travel to Jiuzhaigou ChinaSwan Lake @tourjiuzhaigou


- Jiuzhaigou Stop #3: Panda Lake & Waterfall

Panda Lake gets its name from the panda that uses the lake as a water source. However, this place has not been seen for many years. If you want to see a panda, you must go to Chengdu and visit the Panda Center. Water from the lake flows along many streams 70 meters long downhill to form Panda Falls.

- Jiuzhaigou Stop #3: Lake of the Five Flowers

Da Sac Lake or Ngu Hoa Lake is one of the most beautiful spots in Jiuzhaigou . It is a lake whose colors range from green, yellow and turquoise. The bottom of the lake is dotted with fallen trees giving the whole lake an alien appearance.


Travel to Jiuzhaigou ChinaFive Flowers Lake @leo_digitaltrek


- Jiuzhaigou stop #5: Pearl Shoal & waterfall

Pearl Shoal is a limestone area over which a thin layer of water flows due to a slight slope. These springs join together at the over 300 meter wide Pearl Falls. It is the most beautiful waterfall system in Jiuzhaigou Nature Park. It is not comparable to the Iguazu Falls in South America which is more than 2 km wide but is still a must-see. On a crowded day, it was hard to take a good photo of the falls as it was very crowded.

- Jiuzhaigou stop #6: Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake is very quiet but it has some small ripples and you should know that in the morning the water is usually calmer. So if you want to capture the perfect mirror, make a short stop at Mirror Lake before heading to the Primeval Forest.


Mirror Lake - China Jiuzhaigou TravelMirror Lake @arthurpiccc


- Jiuzhaigou Stop #7: Long Lake & Five Color Lake

At the end of Zechawa Valley there are two places to visit: Long Lake and Five Color Lake. It's best to get off the shuttle at Long Lake and walk down the path to Five Color Lake. Five Color Lake looks even stranger with the name Multicolored Lake. It has a wonderful turquoise color at the bottom and because of the crystal clear water is visible all below. The Five Colors Lake is definitely the most crowded place of the day with hundreds of Chinese tourists taking pictures 

- Jiuzhaigou Stop #8: Nuorilang Falls & Lake Hồ

First you stop at Nuorilang waterfall as beautiful as Pearl Waterfall. Across the street is Lake Rhinoceros whose mirror image resembles that of Mirror Lake. 


Nuorilang Waterfall & Lake - China Jiuzhaigou TravelNuorilang Falls & Lake @christravelblog


- Jiuzhaigou Stop No. 9: Shuzheng Waterfall & Lake

Shuzheng Falls is a series of waterfalls and streams located between two lakes. These lakes are all formed by glaciers and the dams that separate them. What a fun hike with the falls and stream right next to it. Just across the road is Shuzheng Village, one of the seven remaining Tibetan villages.


Shuzheng Lake & Waterfall - China Jiuzhaigou TravelShuzheng Waterfall & Lake @chinahighlights


Featured activities in Jiuzhaigou should be tried

Enjoy delicious Tibetan food: Tibetan food culture has a long history. Typical dishes in Tibetan cuisine are beef, roast lamb, tsamba, yak butter tea and highland barley wine.

The taste of Tibetan food is very strong. The traditional reception includes six types of food: milk tea, broken rice, vermicelli stuffed with soup, hand torn lamb, stewed vegetables and yogurt. If you visit Jiuzhaigou, here are some Tibetan dishes that you should try: Tibetan Hot Pot, Sausage, Walnut Flower Salad, Jiuzhaigou Mushroom Pot, Gastrodia Pigeon Soup, Potatoes with Ciba, Grilled whole lamb, Jiuzhaigou pink cake, Pickled noodles, etc.


A table of Tibetan food in Jiuzhaigou - China Jiuzhaigou TravelA table of Tibetan food in Jiuzhaigou


Try on Tibetan clothes: The people of Jiuzhaigou pay great attention to their clothes. If you come here, you can rent Tibetan costumes from shops in the scenic area and try on and take pictures for your memorable trip.


Wearing Tibetan clothes for a photo shoot - China Jiuzhaigou TourismWearing Tibetan clothes for a photo shoot @seasea.overseas


Cultural dance performances: Performances are the most popular nightlife activities in several theaters and hotels outside the valley, mainly themed on the culture and history of the two ethnic groups living - Tibet and Qiang. The most famous shows are: Gaoyuanhong, Zangmi, Spanish King Dinner Show, ... 


Travel to Jiuzhaigou ChinaShow at Jiuzhai Romance Park @TripAdvisor


Tibetan Cultural Performance in Jiuzhaigou - China Jiuzhaigou TravelTibetan cultural performance in Jiuzhaigou @mytravelinterests


Jiuzhaigou tourism is not really visited by many Western tourists even though it is less than an hour's flight from Chengdu. This place is surreal, magical and a wonder on earth.