Jiuzhaigou National Park is the world's cultural and natural heritage located in Sichuan Province, China, more than 500km north of the provincial capital of Chengdu.
The best time to travel to Jiuzhaigou National Park
Jiuzhaigou open its gate all year round to guests with its own different characteristics throughout every season. However, the ideal time to visit Jiuzhaigou as well as the nearby attractions is on the last days of October, when the forest begins to turn red and the first snowflakes begin to fall.
Nevertheless, you should never choose to travel during the Golden Week of China because of the crazy amount of people visiting here. Additionally, the expenses on these days are much more expensive than ordinary days.
Choose to visit right after the Golden Week and during this time, domestic tourists reduce dramatically. Moreover, the temperature is from about 8 to 18 degrees Celcius with a touch of warm sunshine.
In early November, Jiuzhaigou begins its "hibernation" where the yellow leaves gradually replaced by the white snow. The temperature is very low - below 0 degrees Celcius. Thus, it is not very convenient for tourists to go sightseeing.
How to get to Jiuzhaigou National Park
There are many ways to go from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou and each has its own convenient points.
If you have a group of 8 or more, you can totally rent a private car to travel from Chengdu to the Jiuzhaigou Tourist Area. Do not hesitate to contact with travel agencies, hotels and motels in Chengdu to inquire as well as negotiate package car rental.
Renting a private car is quite costly in comparison to booking a tour bus; nevertheless, you can be completely enjoy the place on your schedule, stopping at the sights or seeing the beautiful sceneries on this more than 500 km route.
Buses from Chengdu to Jiuhuang only take CNY140/person throughout a journey. This is considered as a cheap and safe way for backpackers. However, the travelling time on buses will be longer than private cars. In addition, you cannot stop at any desired sites.
Flying from Chengdu International Airport to Jiuhuang Airport (80 km away from Jiuzhaigou) takes less than an hour. This is the fastest way for travelers. However, due to weather conditions, flights between the two destinations are often postponed because of weather factors. Round-trip fare from Chengdu - Jiuhuang is quite expensive and almost has no promotion.
There are plenty of ways to discover the Jiuzhaigou National park, depending on your time and health. Normally, backpackers often choose to stay here for 2 days so that they can enjoy all the sceneries, relax and take many beautiful pictures as well.
The ticket price and the cost of a one-day bus at the national park is around CNY310 (ticket price: CNY220 + travel fee: CNY90). If you present your student card when purchasing a ticket, you will receive a price reduction up to CNY100.
The Jiuzhaigou National park is divided into two branches, similar to the shape of the letter Y. The right branch has more sights than the left one, so tourists often choose the right branch to go sightseeing on the first day.
Normally, the bus of this national park will take you up to the highest place, the last station of each branch. From there, you can go down freely as well as stop at any destinations you like.
On the right branch, you should visit the Mirror Lake. Best hours to visit is around 8 to 9am as the surface of the lake will reflects the surrounding scenes in the morning. If you visit in the afternoon, due to the influence of sunlight and other natural conditions, the lake no longer keeps its tranquility and translucent color.
All the attractions in Jiuzhaigou National park are worth stopping by and exploring. Among them are the primeval forest, Long Lake, Five-color Pond, Nuorilang Waterfall, etc.
Therefore, in order to enjoy Jiuzhaigou, you are advice to carefully arrange your schedules. It is not a great idea to only pay attention to one place and have insufficient time to visit the other nearby attractions.