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Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou: Bus, Train and Flight Simplified: Travelling from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou can be confusing. As popular as Jiuzhaigou National Park is to visit within China, travelling to Jiiuzhaigou national park isn’t as straight forward as you’d like. Read on and we’ll explain how to get to the hidden treasure which is Jiuzhaigou from Chengdu independently, instead of taking a Chengdu Jiuzhaigou tour.
More articles on China:
- How to get to Huanglong National park
- Tips for planning a trip to China
- Where to find Cherry Blossoms in China
- Day trips from Shanghai
- Free things to do in Shanghai
- Traditional Chinese medicine in Beijing
| Chengdu To Jiuzhaigou: Bus, Train And Flight Simplified |
What Is Jiuzhaigou National Park?
Jiuzhaigou, outside of China as a tourist site isn’t that famous, with practically no one knowing of it’s existence. However within China, everybody knows of it. Jiuzhaigou is not only one of the most famous national parks, but it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of China. The thing which makes Jiuzhaigou National Park stand out are it’s neon blue clear water and serene forests.
The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou National Park is during Autumn, where the vibrant gold, red, and oranges of the season are contrasted with the vibrant blue water of the park. During each season the Jiuzhaigou takes on a different personality and a completely different look. It’s quite interesting how different Jiuzhaigou can look during each of the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Peak season is from September to November.
Jiuzhaigou National Park is situated in the province of Sichuan which is in the South West of China. The largest city closest to Jiuzhaigou National Park is Chengdu which is famous within China for being the home of pandas and tasty and spicy food.
Chengdu To Jiuzhaigou Bus
There are a few ways to travel from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, so we’ll start with the most common.
While the Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou bus option is the longest time wise, it is also the cheapest. This is the option many Chinese nationals decide on, as the only currently viable option, flying, is generally too much for the average person. In comparison a flight from Chengdu to Jiuhuang Airport is around 1,300 RMB, while the bus from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou is from 120 to 160 RMB. The average wage for China is around 3,000 RMB/$435 USD a month.
Things to consider are that you can only buy tickets for the bus from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou 1 day prior to departure. This can make things quite troublesome, and very frustrating, especially if you’re planning on visiting Jiuzhaigou National Park during Chinese New Year/Spring Festival. So be wary of this.
There are two bus stations in Chengdu which can take you directly to Jiuzhaigou. We strongly recommend taking a bus from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou from Xinnanmen Bus Station due to the frequency of buses on offer compared to the single bus from Chadianzi Bus Station.
The bus ride is fairly straight forward, but it’s a long ride, between 8 – 10 hours on average. The bus can take up to 12 – 14 hours depending on traffic, so be prepared for a long day of travel. There is not a Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou night bus, but perhaps there might be in the future.
Things to consider are that there are no toilets on board. The bus does make several toilet breaks during the journey, generally every 2 hours. Around lunch time the bus will stop for around 30 – 40 minutes for everybody to have a chance to eat. The choice of food available at each stop is very limited, with it mostly being a local dish or a BBQ.
For the journey we recommend bring a book, a prepacked lunch, some form of entertainment like music or a movie. Otherwise you could take a sleeping pill for the duration of the journey and sleep for the entire duration of the trip.
From Xinnanmen Bus Station (新南门车站) in Chengdu
- Location: 2 km South East of Tianfu Square (city center)
- Departure times: 07:10, 07:30, 07:50, 08:00, 08:05, and 08:40 am.
- Price: Around 140 RMB
- Taxi Ride From Tianfu Square: 10RMB
- Duration: 8 – 10 hours
From Chadianzi Bus Station (茶店子车站) in Chengdu
- Location: 8 km North West of Tianfu Square (city center)
- Departure time: 08:00 am.
- Price: Around 120 RMB
- Taxi Ride From Tianfu Square: 25 RMB
- Duration: 8 – 10 hours
Chengdu To Jiuzhaigou By Train
Currently getting from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou by train isn’t available. However from 2019, there may be a high speed rail connecting Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou by train. This new train line which is currently being built will cut the arduous 8 hour bus ride, to a manageable 2 hour trip.
This means for those who are short on time on a quick holiday to China and the Sichuan Province, could easily turn a visit to Jiuzhaigou National Park into a manageable day trip from Chengdu. In contrast by catching the bus you’ll need at least 3 days – 1 day for travel with staying in a hotel close to the park, 1 day for visiting the park, and another for the return journey back to Chengdu.
Chengdu To Jiuzhaigou Flight
While the ride from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou isn’t too dangerous, it is long. So if you can’t handle long distances on buses (yes, there are toilet breaks), consider spending more for the flight.
Currently this is the most efficient and convenient option available to those who are short on time, or if price isn’t a factor. By flying into Jiuhuang (Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong) Airport, you’ll save yourself an entire day worth of travel. The Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou flight takes slightly less than an hour, and is around 88 kilometers/55 miles from Jiuzhaigou National Park, while Jiuhuang is only 55 kilometers/33 miles from Huanglong National Park.
From Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou flights are around $160 USD/ 1,300 RMB with there currently being only two flights leaving from Chengdu Airport to Jiuhuang Airport daily. The first flight leaves at 11:15 arriving at 12:10, while the second leaves at 15:25 and lands at 16:15.
The major hubs within China which fly to Jiuhuang are – Chengdu, Chongqing, Xian, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Getting From Jiuhuang Airport To Jiuzhaigou
As is the case with most airports, they’re usually quite far out from the main attraction of the city, with Jiuhuang Airport being no different. Unfortunately with Jiuhuang Airport there aren’t a lot of options in regards to getting to the park, since the area is a little remote.
However with that said, there are three options you can take:
1: Airport Shuttle Bus To Jiuzhaigou – This is a fantastic option as it is significantly cheaper than the taxi. Shuttle buses generally wait, and are timed to the two daily flights with arrive into the airport. The cost for the shuttle to Jiuzhaigou is 22 RMB / $3.20 USD, or 40 RMB / $5.80 USD for a return ticket.
The shuttle station is at the end of the terminal exit. It’ll take around 90 minutes to reach Jiuzhaigou. It should be noted that the airport shuttle bus can drop people off at their hotel on the way to Jiuzhaigou.
2: Take A Taxi To Jiuzhaigou – A taxi from Jiuhuang to Jiuzhaigou will cost around 200 RMB during the day, while at night you could be looking at 260 RMB. A handy option if you miss the shuttle bus. At least this option will always be there, and you will have your own private car.
3: Hotel Shuttle Bus To Your Hotel in Jiuzhaigou – If you’re only in Jiuzhaigou for a short while and aren’t staying the night in the town, than this option won’t be available to you. If you are staying the night in town, one thing you can do is purposely book a hotel which does offer an airport shuttle pick up. Not all hotels do, but it’s worth to consider even if you have to pay slightly more for the hotel, is the peace of mind knowing that you’ll have a connecting mode of transport to Jiuzhaigou.
Where to Stay in Juizhaigou
Jiuzhaigou is not possible as a day trip, so you’re going to have to stay there for a night or two. I will say that if you’re going all the way over there to see Jiuzhaigou, you may as well visit Huanglong while you’re there. So make sure you have two full days – one for each national park (you can arrange a day trip to Huanglong at your hotel or outside Jiuzhaigou).
Here are my suggestions for where to stay in Jiuzhaigou:
- Luxury: If you have a bit of money to splurge, the Sheraton Jiuzhaigou Resort is a great place to stay during your visit to Jiuzhaigou. Click here to see the latest prices. The hotel has a swimming pool and operates an airport shuttle.
- Other options: At the moment, not all of the hotels have reopened just yet (Sep 2018) after the earthquake. So for all other options I recommend checking this link (click here) for updated hotel choices for different budgets.
What if there’s an accident or something goes wrong?
That’s what travel insurance is for! In case you get into an accident or something gets stolen, broken or lost, its good to know you’re covered, especially in countries where you don’t speak the language. I personally recommend and use World Nomads, because they seem to offer a lot for the price when compared to other insurers.
You can get a free instant quote above, or by clicking here: Travel Insurance. As with any insurance policy, make sure you read the terms and conditions as to what’s covered, and how it’s covered.
See the full version of the Jiuzhaigou vlog here:
| Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou: Bus, Train and Flight Simplified |
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