The Huanglong National Scenic and Historic Area doesn't only include the well known Huanglong Valley with its travertine ponds. In Huanglong's 700 square kilometer (270 sq mi) area, there are other large natural preserves such as Danyun Valley. This long 18-kilometer (11-mile) valley is a nature and wildlife preserve below Huanglong that you could visit in more solitude.
Danyun is about 19 kilometers (12 miles) from Huanglong. It is a large and relatively tranquil valley with a river that flows down from Xuebao Mountain. It is known for its fall foliage and rare animals such as red pandas that resemble a cross of cats and raccoons. There is a loud ten meter high waterfall and a dense forest. The valley takes its name from the red maple leaves that set the valley aflame in autumn. Danyun (丹云 /dan-yoon/) means 'Red Cloud'. The valley is said to take on the look of a fiery red cloud.
It is less well known that the valley is an important botanical preserve known for a number of rare orchid species. Rare trees and plants are preserved there that are disappearing from the rest of China. The valley ranges in elevation from 2,500 to 1,800 meters (8,200–5,900 ft). Together with Huanglong Valley and Xuebao Mountain, a great diversity of plant species ranging from temperate varieties to alpine varieties are protected in Huanglong Scenic Area.
Best Season: In the autumn, the trees and bushes are the most colorful with red and yellow leaves. The color contrasts in this area are the most vivid in autumn.
Best Time: To better appreciate the beautiful scenery, try to get there early in the day since Chinese tour groups often arrive around noon or in the afternoon.
Ticket Price: 40 RMB per person.
Transportation from Chengdu: From the Chengdu New South Gate, there are buses to Danyun with fares starting at 100 RMB. The trip takes 8 hours.
High season: High season extends from April 1 to the middle of November and coincides with the high season for Huanglong Valley. Some Chinese tourists see both valleys, though most wish to see only Huanglong. The days around the major public holiday dates of May 1, October 1, and the Mid-Autumn Festival are when most tourists arrive. School and university summer vacation when some students come extends from early July to the end of August.
Plan and make trip arrangements: We specialize in arranging the tickets and transportation for trips to Danyun, Huanglong and other locations according to your interests and travel constraints. We provide private vehicles, drivers, and guides for individuals and groups. We'll arrange the Chengdu hotel rooms, Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong flight tickets, and Chengdu train tickets for a great trip.
5-Day Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou Tour: Ask our tour experts to include a visit to Danyun.
You can create your own dream trip, and visit the places you specify.
For more popular Huanglong combos see our Chengdu tours.