Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟; Jiǔzhàigōu) is one of the most beautiful National Parks in China. It is located in Jiuzhai County in the Min Shan mountain range, around 450 kilometers away from Chengdu, which is the capital of Sichuan province. Jiuzhaigou is full of beautiful, calm turquoise colored lakes and wild waterfalls. Beside spectacular landscapes, organization of the National Park is excellent. There are about 80 km of clean, ecofriendly wooden trails all the way through Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park. Buses in the park are modern and air-conditioned. Even those who have travelled the whole world and seen numerous national parks can claim that this is one of the most beautiful, since the nature in it is dreamlike and at times it is hard to believe that something like that exists on Earth. The lakes and wild waterfalls seems to be embraced and hidden by the surrounding mountains, which are full of greenery and trees, so from whatever point you look at it, it seems completely amazing. The water at some places is completely transparent, so you may just sit and enjoy the view on the fish and their calm motions. This paradise on Earth offers much more than you can imagine, so be prepared for the breathtaking landscapes, rich flora and fauna, and unique Tibetan customs that you will not get the chance to see otherwise. The literal translation of its name – Jiuzhaigou – means Valley of Nine Villages, and the main reason for such name are nine ancient Tibetan villages in the ravine, which altogether make the area completely unrealistic and fairytale-like. Among these villages only two of them, Guodu and Hejiao, are not inhabited anymore, while the other seven are still quite active, where locals sell different souvenirs, handicrafts, and other items of cultural importance, in order to survive, since agriculture is not permitted anymore, to save the natural environment. There are more than 1,000 people permanently inhabiting the villages. Quite typical for this national park are giant pandas, which can be marked as living icons of this area. These incredible creatures are not visible all the time, but seeing them is one of the most precious experiences that you may get by visiting this area. There are only around twenty of them, since they are considered to be quite endangered, due to tourism development.  Taking all this in consideration, natural, historical and cultural beauty of Jiuzhaigou, it is not surprising that this area was declared a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1992.

Explore Jiuzhaigou National Park with our step by step walking tour:

  Jiuzhaigou Walking tour

Service info
There is a great map of the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area on the official park site: http://www.jiuzhai.com/language/english/pdf/jzv_visitor_map.pdf

Be aware that this map is turned upside down; north is down, while south is up.

Clean, modern, eco-friendly buses operates most of the scenic area. Fare for buses is on daily basis (CNY90). With daily bus ticket you can hop in, or get out of the bus at any bus station, without limitations. Because of the size of the park it is recommended to use buses.

Dining options in the park are limited to few expensive options. Restaurant at Nuorilang have buffet dining, while on stalls overpriced snacks are offered. If you have time, you can also have traditional dining experience in one of the minority villages, such as Shuzheng village (树正寨; ShùZhèng Zhài), and Heye village (荷叶村; Hé Yè Cūn). At Xiaobu Snack restaurant (小布小吃), near the park entrance, you can taste reasonably priced traditional Tibetan and Sichuan food. If you bring food and drinks, you can even have private lunch, with the most beautiful natural setting you can imagine.

There are a lot of steps and uphill walkways in the park, so Jiuzhaigou is not wheelchair friendly. It is not impossible for the people with disabilities to visit Jiuzhaigou, but it can be quite challenging task.

There is medical center at the park entrance, with oxygen supplies available for purchase.

ATMs can be found near the park entrance. Credit card are accepted for paying the tickets.

There are toilets around the park. They are eco-friendly, and mostly clean. Being rustically and modern, toilets in the Virgin Forest are probably the best one.

Most of the area is covered by mobile network.

Location: Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan
Web address: www.jiuzhai.com
Phone number: 773 9753
Opening hours: May to 15. November 7:00-19:00; 16. November to April 8:00-18:00
Entrance fee: April to 15. November CNY220; CNY110 for students and seniors; CNY90 daily bus ticket. 16. November to March CNY80; CNY40 for students and seniors; CNY20 for second consecutive day; CNY80 daily bus ticket
Recommended time for a visit: at least one whole day