Called Dzitsa Degu in Tibetan, Jiuzhai Valley or Jiuzhaigou National Park is located in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, South Western China. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and it belongs to the category 5 in the IUCN system of protected area categorization. Jiuzhai Valley literally means “Nine Village Valley” and is named after the nine Tibetan villages scattered throughout the park. There is evidence of people living in the national park up to 3,000 years and the local people still hold onto many of their traditional ways of life. The human population of the park is just over 1,000 which comprises of over 110 families.
The superb landscapes of Jiuzhai Valley are particularly interesting for their narrow conic karst land forms and spectacular waterfalls and lakes. There are over 220 bird species found in Jiuzhai Valley as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey and the Sichuan takin.
Jiuzhai Valley is part of the Min Shan mountain range on the edge of the Tibetan Himalayan Pletau and stretches over 720 sq km (72,000 hectares) with an extra buffer zone of 598 sq. km(60,000 hectares). The Min Mountains are one of South West China’s most important biodiversity typezones. The elevation of the national park ranges from almost 2,000m (6,500 feet) at the entrance to over 4,500m (14,760 feet) on the mountain peaks and the series of forest ecosystems are stratified by elevation.
Sitting between 1,980 and 3,100 meters above sea level, the main tourist area of JiuZhaiGou consists of three gullies, the Rize, Shuzheng, and Zechawa set out in the shape of a Y. Inside the three gullies you will find 114 lakes,17 waterfalls, 11 rip currents, and 5 travertine beaches, some of the most stunning in China.
Throughout JiuZhaiGou you will also find a number of Tibetan villages, Bon Buddhism prayer flags, chortens and prayer wheels, powered by the current of the rivers. The more impressive lakes and waterfalls in the park are: Promising BrightBay Waterfall (Nuorilang Puba), MirrorLake, PandaLake, Pearl Shoal Waterfall, Shuzheng Stockade, and Shuzheng Waterfall to name just a few.
SPRING - JiuZhaiGou in spring is both radiant and enchanting. With the ice and snow beginning to melt, the water levels rising, and the mountain flowers blooming you will be in awe of the natural beauty before your eyes.
SUMMER - A welcome retreat from the summer heat, you will feel very comfortable walking through the forest and around the lakes. JiuZhaiGou will be drenched with lush green forests, and beautiful lakes reflecting the clouds above.
AUTUMN - With colorful autumn leaves, forests reflecting in the sparkling lakes, and a bright clear sky, autumn is the most magnificent of all seasons to be in JiuZhaiGou.
WINTER - In winter, with the mountains and forests covered in snow, lakes frozen over, and water gushing between the iced waterfalls, JiuZhaiGou turns itself into a winter wonderland.
**Off-peak Season Ticket
During the off-peak season(Nov 16th-Mar 31st) the second day ticket costs 20 RMB. When purchasing your ticket you will be asked if you would like to enter the park for one or two days. If you would like to spend two days in the park you need to pay for the second day together with your first day’s ticket. Your photo will be taken on entry to the park to validate your second day’s ticket. If you pay for a one-day ticket and decide that you would like to re-enter on the second day you must tell the park staff on the way out, before you exit the park. This offer is only valid for two consecutive days in the off peak season.
Visitors must have valid identification.
Situated in the north-west of Sichuan Province, the Huanglong valley with its series of travertine lakes, waterfalls, forests and mountain scenery is a superlative natural property. Topped by permanently snow-capped peaks rising from a base of 1,700 m up to 5,588 m, these include the easternmost glacier in China. Covering 60,000 ha, this area located within the Minshan Mountains also includes spectacular limestone formations and hot springs. Its diverse forest ecosystems provide the home for a number of endangered plants and animals, including the giant panda and Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.
With the FuYuan Bridge serving as the Yellow Dragons tail, and the Five Colored ponds as its head, the body of the dragon is around 3.6km's long, with a drop of 400meters. Close to Huanglong Valley is Xuebaoding, a mountain sacred to the local Tibetan's.
Fuyuan Bridge is located at the entrance of Huanglong Valley. Walk along the trails from here to the Five Colored ponds, taking in the waterfalls, temples, and lakes whilst listening to the birds singing and humming.
XISHEN (BODY WASHING) GROTTO
The second terrain of Huanlong Valley lies around 1,273meters from Fuyuan Bridge. The Grotto is 1.5 meters wide, and 1 meter high, with the entrance covered with flowing water. Buddhist and Taoist Monks have been frequenting the grotto since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to fulfill there religious desires.
HUANGLONG ZHONGSI MONASTERY
Constructed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Zhongsi Monastery is a Buddhist temple around 3,456 metres from Fuyuan Bridge. With five halls named after Buddhist masters, the architecture of the temple shows a co-existence between Taoist and Buddhist cultures.
SUMMER-The ice on the mountain begins to melt, making the waterfalls all the more richer and impressive. A beautiful time to visit Huanglong.
AUTUMN- The tree leaves are turning red, the flowers are blooming, and the lakes and mountains are a beautiful color in the autumn sunshine.
WINTER-During Winter Huanglong will be blocked due to snowfall. During this time you can visit Munigou instead.
SPRING- With the flowers in full bloom, and rich in color, and the mountains reflecting in the lakes, Spring is a very impressive time to visit Huanglong.
The best time to visit Huanglong is between July and October. At this time, Autumn is on its way, the tree leaves will be turning red, and the flowers very colorful. It is the most beautiful season in Huanglong.
As Huanglong is situated between 3,000 and 3,500 meters above sea level, you need to take it easy at first to adjust to the altitude.
▶There are buses from XinNan Men Bus Station and Cha Dian Zi Bus Station, is there any difference?
Yes, there is a big difference and it's the arrival station in Jiuzhaigou. The bus from Xin Nan Men arrives in Pengfeng Village where the national park is. XinNan Men Bus station is only 2 mins walk from our hostel.
The bus from ChaDian Zi Bus Station only have a stop at Pengfeng village, as it's not the last stop. The last stop is 40mins away from the national park. ChaDian Zi Bus Station is on the 3rd right road and it' away from the city center.
▶How long it takes to Jiuzhaigou by bus?
It takes about 8hrs/one-way by bus, and from Xin Nan Men Bus Station, there are direct buses to the national park.
▶I heard there is a new high-way to Jiuzhaigou and takes 5hrs only, Is it ture?
It's ture, but it's still under the constuction. Hope it will be completed in 5 years. If you can not stand with the long distance buses, you may stop in Songpan(6hrs from Chengdu) and visit Huanglong first. Afterwards, travel onward to Jiuzhaigou from where it's only 2.5 hrs. Or take a flight for 45mins only, but the airport is 1.5hrs away from Jiuzhaigou.
▶I saw on the internet that there are night buses to Jiuzhaigou, is it ture?
It's right, but it's not ture. You can see on the internet that the timetable says the last bus leaves at 7:00pm, but no actural bus for that time. There are morning buses only and the departure time is at around 8:00am.
▶Is there a direct bus from Chengdu to Huanglong Park?
There is no buses to Huanglong from Chengdu, and there is no bus station in Huanglong neither. You may take the bus from Chengdu to Chuanzhu Si from where it's only 1hour to Huanglong park. Or you can go to Jiuzhaigou first, and then take the round-trip sightseeing bus to Huanglong.