Jiuzhaigou Travel Guide

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This park is about the scenery, scenery that takes your breath away, scenery that begins with the flight over dramatic snow-capped mountains, forested canyons, rivers, and lakes to land at Jiuzhaigou Airport, itself perched on the mountaintop.

Jiuzhaiguo means "Valley of the Nine Villages", and the nine villages remain spread around the valley within the Park, home to about 110 Tibetan and Qiang families. Agriculture is not permitted so the locals mostly work either for the Park itself, or with the nearby hotels.

The Park covers a little over 700 sq km and there's a further buffer zone of just under 600 sq km. It lies on the northern border of Sichuan Province, and is part of the magnificent Min Shan mountains on the edge of the Tibetan plateau. Jiuzhai Valley first became a Park in 1978, although it would be 14 years before it earned World Heritage listing, during which time work was aimed mainly at restoration and halting logging activities.

It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, and in 1997 awarded the status of UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve, and has since received many other, well-deserved listings.

The sides of the valleys are covered in dense vegetation. The wildlife here is shy, but the range is equally impressive, including 27 protected rare and endangered species like the giant panda, golden monkey, gnu, white-lip deer, black-neck crane, swan, lovebirds, red-belly golden pheasant, snow leopard, forest musk deer, and otters. However, visitors are more likely to spot some of the 141 bird species than one of the very few pandas remaining in the park.

Also read: The Five Best Places to Visit in the Cool October (including Jiuzhaigou)

Possible Altitude Sickness

  • At Jiuzhaigou, the altitude changes a lot in different areas. For example, the entrance of the valley is at about 2000 meters, while the airport is at about 3500 meters.
  • The altitude sickness varies from person to person, so it is suggested that you consult your doctor. Visitors with heart disease and high blood pressure should be careful and precautious when traveling at Jiuzhaigou.
  • When at Jiuzgaigou, do not do any strenuous exercise, or drink wine. Keep warm and eat more vegetables and fruits.
  • Take some common medicines with you, or a small oxygen bottle just in case

It is an extravaganza of natural wonders, a pure unspoiled land which contains waterfalls, alpine lakes, tranquil grasslands, snowy mountains views and Tibetan villages. You won't know what the area will offer until you have been there. Jiuzhaigou is incredibly picturesque particularly in autumn when the mountains, valleys, lakes are shrouded in autumn colors. Warm days, cool nights, and great vistas of saturated yellows, reds, and green mixed with the blue lake water are autumn scenes of Jiuzhaigou.  It is one of the best places to see fall colors in China.

The Park did not suffer any major damage during the 2008 earthquake, and is very definitely open for visitors.

It takes its conservation and sustainability role extremely seriously, and has sister park relationships with Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Yosemite, Yellowstone and Olympic National Parks in the USA.

Outside the Park there's a range of accommodation options, including 3, 4 and 5 star hotels. In the evening the local music and dancing shows are tremendous, and great fun. Usually Tibetan themed, they feature wonderful costumes, song and dance, with a mixture of ethnic performance and popular music. In some cases local audiences can be as enjoyable as the show,(depending on where you go) and often rush up to drape a singer with the hada (a white silk scarf that is presented to everyone on arrival), and pose for photos, with the singer continuing all the while. A truly memorable experience.

Continue to read How to Arrange Your Schedule in Jiuzhaigou Valley

Questions and Answers About Jiuzhaigou Travel Guide

Veron Lee 2014-04-01
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Hi we (8-10 pax) plan to visit Juichaigou in Sept/Oct 2014, please advise what is the best form to travel, hotel etc... to plan with local travel agents in Juichaigou or agents in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.


Welcome to Jiuzhaigou. For a comfortable tour, a private one with local travel agency is highly suggested. We have office there, and I am glad to help your tour there. September and October are the highest tourtist seasons there.

How many days would you want to stay in Jiuzhaigou? Is Jiuzhaigou you only destination this time? Would you want to included the pandas' hometown, Chengdu, into the itinerary?

Please let me know more information about the tour. I would like to tailor one that you really want.



Coco Yang replied on 2014-04-01
Paul 2014-03-04
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hello, I heard that chinese pople is travelling a lot for labour day period, beginning of may. when exactly (date) JiuHaiGou will be back to normal tourist traffic? I can plan to go there for 2 or 3 days for the period from 3rd to 7th of may. what is your advice to avoid the big crowd? xie xie.
Hi Paul, the Labour Day holiday in 2014 is May1-3, so you can avoid these days to come. The Jiuzhaigou will go back to normal after May3. If you need any tour service, please feel free to contact me. We have been in this line since 1959. We are happy to offer any assistance. Whitney Liao replied on 2014-03-05
Joanna Wong 2013-12-16
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i plan to visit Jiuzhaigong on 31 January 2014 . Howe is the weather at that time
Dear Joanna, It is very cold during that period, the average temperature is below 4℃(39.2℉). Somtetimes it snows. You'd better take down jacket and thick sweaters. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-12-16
Ricon 2013-11-20
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HI, if i only have 5 hours to visit jiuzhaigou,may i have the suggestion on how should i travel inside the jiuzhaigou park in early of december, and how long time does the taxi needed to take from Jiuzhaigou park to the airport in early december?thank you.
Dear Ricon,
If you already in Jiuzhaigou and have 5 hours to visit Jiuzhaigou, time is OK for having a quick visiting. If you just stop over Jiuzhaigou, time is not enough for sightseeing there. It takes 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Jiuzhaigou to airport one way.
Nancy Deng replied on 2013-11-21
Erica 2013-10-11
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Hi, u mention Huanglon area will be closed in November till next year April, is it from 1/11/2013 or end of Nov.? Can I know the exact date?

The Huanglong area is usually closed  from Middle of Nov to next April, It depends on the weather, it may be closed earlier if there is heavy snow.

It is winter already in Jiuzhaigou in Nov, it may have snow then, the whole valley was covered by white snow and Ice,just like the Alice's wonder land.it will be different beauty .

Lily Guo replied on 2013-10-11

The Huanglong area is usually closed  from Middle of Nov to next April, It depends on the weather, it may be closed earlier if there is heavy snow.

It is winter already in Jiuzhaigou in Nov, it may have snow then, the whole valley was covered by white snow and Ice,just like the Alice's wonder land.it will be different beauty .

Lily Guo replied on 2013-10-11
April Offer $25 Coupon
  1. Send your inquiry before Apr. 30, 2014, and we will email you a $25 coupon.
  2. The coupon is valid till Dec. 31, 2014, for paying tour packages worth $250 or up.
  3. The coupon cannot be used for paying flight tickets, train tickets, hotel rooms and day trips.
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