Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park
Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park is rumored to be one of the most beautiful places in China, and for a country of roughly 9,59,8094 square kilometers (or 5,963,979 square miles) that’s really saying something. After spending a day there in late October — peak season for foliage — we would have to agree.
- Jiuzhaigou is EXPENSIVE. And not just by our standards. A regular ticket will set you back about $40. If you buy a bus ticket, that’s an additional $10 or so.
- A student ticket, however, is only about $20, so bring your ID. The first cashier we tried our (old) IDs with gave us a hard time because they weren’t dated, but eventually we managed to find someone more laid back.
- Escape the crowds and save money by forgoing the bus ticket. The walk into the park is nice and peaceful because all of the Chinese tourists (who account for like, 99% of everyone there) are on the bus. Once you walk about 10-15 kilometers (yes, we walked 10-15 kilometers!) to the center of the park, you no longer need a ticket for the bus. Hop on the bus to get to the far corners of the park/back to the entrance.
- And if you’re REALLY cheap, some Chinese backpackers told us that you can sneak into the park around 4 am.