Travel from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, Ruoergai and Langmusi: Follow the Popular Northen Sichuan and Southern Gansu Route
Situated at the northern high land of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park is not so far away from Ruoergai Grassland and Hongyuan Grassland where the views are naturally charming and beautiful. This travel route from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, Ruoergai and Langmusi is called Northern-Sichuan and Southern Gansu travel route, which is one of the most popular route in western China.
Chengdup-Jiuzhaigou-Ruoergai-Langmusi Travel Route Map
Attractions along the Way from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou and Ruoergai Grassland
Starting from Chengdu, tourists should never miss the delicious Sichuan cuisine as well as the must-see highlight of Chengdu – the Giant Panda Breeding Base. Local commemorate museums like Du Fu’s Cottage and the Temple of Marquis Wu are worthy to visit. If your schedule is not so tight, Kuanzhai Alley and People’s Park are strongly recommended, for you can get close to the local life and enjoy the leisure life pace of the local people.
Cute Pandas in Chengdu Panda Base
Along the way to Jiuzhaigou from Chengdu, you would witness a change of vegetation because of the altitude difference. The sceneries are increasingly close to a natural forest. When you choose self-driving, you can manage the time by yourself so that you can take a break at Songpan, an ancient city with a history more than 2300 years.
Songpan ancient town
The views in high lands like Ruoergai Grassland, Langmusi Temple and Hongyuan varies a lot from Chengdu. Along the national highway, you can see the crowded yaks and sheep eating grass and waving tails. The sky is always blue and clear when the air is cold and fresh.
In Langmusi Temple, which is called the tiger cave in Tibetan, the peaceful natural scenery and poetical landscape attract thousands of tourists to who will feast their eyes on the beautiful scenery: adorable flowers, rich pastures and quiet devout Buddhist.
How to Get There
The journey from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou and Grassland would be an unforgettable experience. If you choose self-driving, you can enjoy all the beautiful sceneries whenever you want and stick to your own plan. You can go to wherever you like and made changes according to the weather and road condition.
You can enjoy all the beautiful sceneries if you choose self-driving
If you choose public transportation, you should pay attention to the bus schedule. And there is no other transportation being more convenient than bus in northern Sichuan. You would never worry about the car or feel too exhausted because of driving.
You would spend most of your time on car or on bus, but the sceneries along the road are incredible. You will see the rainbow, the yaks, the grasslands and the blue sky consisting a wonderful picture.
Chengdu-Jiuzhaigou-Ruoergai-Langmusi Travel Route
1. From Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou
Starting from Chengdu, tourists have at least 2 choices to go to Jiuzhaigou.
By Renting a Car with a Private Driver
Renting a car and drive to Jiuzhaigou via Dujiangyan, Wenchuan and Songpan or via Guanghan, Mianyang and Pingwu. These about 440-kilometer-long roads would cost you 8-9 hours depending on your speed and the weather condition.
By Tourist Bus
The second one is taking bus to Jiuzhaigou from Chengdu. You can start from Chadianzi Bus Station and Xinnanmen Bus Station from 08:00 in the morning to 10:00 every day. However, only the 4 buses from Xinnanmen Bus Station will arrive at the Entrance of Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area (also known as Jiuzhaigou Goukou), while the other 2 buses from Chadianzi Bus Station will drive directly to Jiuzhaigou County, which is 44 km beyond Jiuzhaigou Goukou, it is highly suggested to take the bus at Xinnanmen Bus Station. The price is about 141RMB for buses from Xinnanmen Bus Station to Jiuzhaigou Goukou, and 157 RMB for buses from Chadianzi Bus Station to Jiuzhaigou County. The time on the road is around 10 hours.
Chadianzi Bus Station
2. A Day Tour in Jiuzhaigou
You would spend 1 more day on visiting Jiuzhaigou, and rest at Jiuzhaigou for 2 nights before you leave for Ruoergai. The accommodation in Jiuzhaigou is abundant as long as you miss the peak season like October. The price of a room in a hotel or a hostel varies from 1000 RMB to 100 RMB.
The ticket price for Jiuzhaigou Park is 310 RMB (Ticket: 220 RMB and Eco-Sightseeing Bus: 90 RMB) in total in peak season and 160 RMB (Ticket: 80 RMB and Eco-Sightseeing Bus: 80 RMB) in low season in winter and spring.
3. Jiuzhaigou to Ruoergai and Langmusi Temple
Driving your car, starting from Jiuzhaigou to Huanglong and going along with National Highway 213 to Ruoergai, it would cost you about 200RMB as toll and oil cost. The condition of National Highway 213 is well, the car on the way is less and the sceneries are amazing. You can stop wherever you like and take some pictures of the high land views, so the time on road depends from 4 to 6 hours.
Then beginning from Ruoergai Grassland, you will spend 3 hours till you arrived at Langmusi Temple. Or you can separate these two into 2 days to avoid tiredness.
Renting a car or booking a taxi from Jiuzhaigou to Ruoergai is a common way for tourists. It would cost you about 200 RMB and 5 hours.
By Tourist Bus
There is no direct public transportation from Jiuzhaigou to Langmusi Temple. Tourists usually book a car from Jiuzhaigou to Songpan costing 100 RMB and 1 hour and then take a bus from Songpan to Ruoergai for 50 RMB and 3 hours. Transferring to a bus in Ruoergai station or another chartered car to Langmusi Temple in 1.5 hours would cost about 50-150 RMB.
Staying in Langmusi Town for a night to feel the local culture is necessary. You can spend half day in Langmusi Temple and enjoy the local delicious food like craft yogurt.
4. Langmusi Temple to Hongyuan Grassland
If you don’t have enough time, you can go back to Hongyuan Grassland and take the plane to Chengdu to finish your journey.
The road condition of 80 km of the 200-kilometer-long road from Langmusi Temple to Hongyuan via Tangke Town is not so well. You can feel the bumps along the 80 km road, on which is not so far but the speed is so limited that you may spend 3 hours. Fortunately, the sceneries along the way are beautiful. You can witness crowds of yaks crossing a river and goats eating grass on the sides of the road.
Fascinating sights along the way to Hongyuan
The public transportation is not very thorough, so the most convenient way to go from Langmusi Temple to Hongyuan without self-driving is renting a chartered car. It would cost 5 hours and about 400 RMB.
Near Tangke Town, the most famous view that The First Bend of the Yellow River is worthy to visit.
The First Bend of the Yellow River
5. Langmusi Temple to Gansu Province
When you have enough time to explore Gansu Province, you can drive from Langmusi Temple to the north like Zhagana continuing your vacation. The ticket price of Hezuo-Langmusi Temple is 50 RMB, and Xiahe-Langmusi Temple is 72 RMB.
Renting a car from Langmusi Temple to Gahai Lake is about 100 RMB when going to Xiahe is about 500 RMB.
Best Time to Go
Although Sichuan is attractive in every season for different beauty, the best time for visiting Jiuzhaigou, Ruoergai and Langmusi is summer. In June, July and August, the flowers in these grasslands are all blooming like stars, the grass are all green and the lakes are particularly crystal. In winter, the land would be covered by snow, so not only can’t you enjoy the beauty of flowers but also the roads are slippery.
Ruoergai Flower Lake in Summer
Things to Know before You Go
Self-driving could be excited as well as dangerous. Spare tire, oil, water and tools to fix the car is essential. Bring some coffee or tea in case the driver feels exhausted. If you chose the public transportation, you have to be extra careful about your belongings.
In the high-altitude area, the temperature difference is huge. Even in summer, you should always bring a coat or sweater. And a bottle of oxygen is necessary for people who would suffer from altitude sickness. Sun cream, moisturize, medicine and Band-Aid are needed.
The whole journey could be tired and boring since you would spend most of the time on cars or buses. Bring some food and snacks for fun as well as for emergency. Especially in the north of Sichuan Province, people like eating spicy food and beef. If you are not suitable for their habit, bring your own food.
Cash is important. In the northern Sichuan, the economy is not so developed. Sometimes they don’t accept credit card or bank card. Also because the price level there is low, you don’t have to spend 20 RMB for a lunch and pay by credit card.
Where to Live along the Way
The living conditions in northern Sichuan differ from locations. There are all kinds of accommodations in Jiuzhaigou as choices from high-end starred hotels to local family guesthouses.
In Ruoergai Grassland, there is a region named Western Pasture including Five-star hotels, Four-star hotels and youth hostels which equipped with bars and stud-farms. Some local shows are provided occasionally in the night.
In Langmusi Town, the condition of accommodation is basic. However, Langmusi Town is the only place in this route which offers western-style food so that foreign tourists would totally enjoy the feast. If you are going to Hongyuan, a four-star hotel is suggested. In the scenic spot, the hotel of the First Bend of the Yellow River is a great place to admire the majestic sunset scenery.