Jiaju Tibetan Village
Are you ready to step into "Tibetan Fairyland”? Then Jiaju Tibetan Village is the place you need to experience next.
A great destination for photography, Jiaju Village is one of the most beautiful ancient villages, as voted by the Chinese National Geographic in 2005. It is a graceful jewel, hidden among the soaring mountains of Western Sichuan. The closest big city is Chengdu, and from there it takes another 7-9 hours driving to get to Jiaju Village. However, the stunning landscapes along the way make the time fly by.
If you want to plan a longer tour, check out “How to Explore Western Sichuan: A 9-Day Tour Plan”.
Jiaju: Crown-shaped Roofs, Terraced Fields, and Fruit Groves
The village consists of about 140 Tibetan homes, each with a distinctive crown-shaped roof, red eaves and white walls. They are scattered among winding brooks like the pieces of a chessboard, with the occasional kitchen chimney puffing up smoke from a wood fire. Grove upon grove of apple and pear trees invite you to soak in their beauty in the Spring, or pick their lush fruit in the fall. Emerald terraced fields stand in stark contrast to severe mountain heights and white snow peaks.
Jiaju's Surrounding Villages
There are multiple small villages nearby sharing the same architecture and landscape. If you have time to hire a local driver, they are well-worth exploring! You may also want to consider spending a day in Danba to tour the surrounding area. There are plenty of lovely little towns a short drive from Danba, including the popular Suopo Township (梭坡乡) with its ancient watchtowers. Actually, the whole area around Danba is littered with watchtowers, which were used quite effectively to defend against invaders.
Tips for a Jiaju Trip
- Looking to capture the white blossoms of the pear orchards in bloom? Plan your trip for late-March to mid-April.
- Prefer the crisp golds of Autumn? Plan your visit between mid-September and early November. You’ll also want to check out the surrounding areas, such as Jinchuan and Dangling. However, keep in mind that this is the busiest season for tourism!
- Please plan a full 1-2 days for your visit. You won’t want to rush yourself, there’s just too much beauty to soak in. It’s also a great place to do nothing - grab a book, enjoy a good coffee, and relax into the views!
- There are a couple of viewing platforms along the road, which allow you to capture a panoramic view of the village.
- Make sure to spend at least one night in a Tibetan homestay! They can cook you dinner and breakfast. If you can get a room on the top floor, do that. Then, wake up early and enjoy one of the most amazing sunrises you'll ever see.
- Learn as much as you can from your local hosts! This is a Jiarong Tibetan area, with their own distinct culture. Hire a local guide to show you around and share their history.
- It gets chilly in the evenings and mornings, so make sure to bring enough layers!
Transportation to Jiaju
There are two options for getting to Jiaju Village from Chengdu: 1) take the bus, or 2) hire a private car.
Bus: There is a bus that departs each morning at 6:30 am from the Chadianzi Bus Station (成都茶店子车站) in northwest Chengdu to Danba (丹巴). From Danba, it is about 11 kilometers (7 miles) to Jiaju Village. The price listed online as of July 2019 is 71 RMB ($10.00). You’ll need to take a taxi to the bus station the morning you travel, since the subway isn’t open early enough to get you there on time. We advise you get your tickets ahead of time.
Chadianzi Bus Station:
- Address: 289 Xi SanHuanLu WuDuan, Jinniu Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, 611731 (四川省成都市金牛区西三环路五段289号)
- Phone: 028-87506610; 028-87507768
- Hours: 6:00am - 7:30pm
From Danba, you can either take one of their regular buses or a chartered bus to Jiaju Village. Prices range from 5 RMB to 30 RMB ($0.75 to $4.35).
Driving: Hiring your own car will get you there an hour or two faster. If you’re counting the time it takes to get to the Chadianzi Bus Station in the morning, you’ll be saving even more time! Additionally, you’ll have the freedom to stop at scenic spots along the way. Once you identify a driver, you should reach an agreement on the time and price before starting out. It is possible to rent different vehicles at different towns along the way. You can find drivers at the service desk for hotels, hostels, and tourist centers, or on the roadside at the entrance/exit areas of the smaller towns.
Consider Stopping at Siguniang Mountain Town
If you’re taking a hired car back to Chengdu, consider stopping at Siguniang Mountain Town (四姑娘山镇) on your way. Translated into English, Siguniang means “Four Sisters”, or “Four Girls”. The town, also know as Rilong Town, is at the base of the Four Sisters Mountains, which are a National AAA scenic spot reaching a soaring 6,250 meters (20,505 feet) above sea level at their highest peak. It is about a 2 hour and 40 minute drive from Danba on the way back towards Chengdu. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, and visiting local cultural sites.
Chengdu and Western Sichuan Tours
- Chengdu to Shangri-La Driving Group Tour (10 days): See the giant pandas in Chengdu, enjoy breathtaking scenery and local Tibetan culture in western Sichuan Province, and explore the lost horizon in Shangri-La.
- Chengdu to Dujiangyan Panda Keeper Program Tour (1 day): Enjoy a day in the life of a panda keeper with the Panda Keeper Program. You will get to tour the panda base free of noisy tourists, feed the pandas by hand, help clean their enclosure, and more!
- Panda Wonderland Tour (1 day): A one day exclusive tour of Chengdu that focuses on all the famous panda-related spots in and around the city!
- Panda Keeper and China Highlights Tour (2 days): Join the Panda Keeper program and tour the must-see sights of Chengdu.
- A Broad Taste of China (13 days): Savor local specialties in each of the following cities: Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Guilin, and Hong Kong!