Fifteen-day Sichuan Photography Tour

Daocheng Zunsheng Pagoda001a.JPG  Sichuan Province is rich in sightseeing resources, such as Jiuzhaigou National Park, Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve, Siguniang Mountain and Hailuogou Glacier. Now, you may get an opportunity to explore those most beautiful places within a single tour.


The Fairy Land Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong National Park

The Last Pure Land on the Blue Planet, the Paradise on the Earth, Daocheng Yading

The Wonderland Siguaniang Mountain

The Amazing Glacier and Forest National Park, Hailuogou

The Authentic Tibetan Culture and Chengdu Folk Custom

The Lovely Giant Pandas

The Gorgeous Night View in Chengdu, Kangding, and Daocheng

USD3460p/p base on 2 persons/people
USD1650p/p base on 10 persons/people

Suggested Itinerary:

  • Day1Drive to Moxi Ancient Town, Visit Guanyinge Tea House and Huanglongxi Ancient Town

        In the morning, your guide and driver will go to pick you up from your hotel, then drive to Pengzhen Town to visit a traditional styled tea house. The tea house is called Guanyinge. It is quite famous in the world. The tea house shows what the daily life of Chengdu people was like. Nowadays, more and more photographers go to visit Guanyinge Tea House. The tea house is located in Pengzhen Town. It is about 25 kilometers(15.5 miles) away from downtown Chengdu, taking about 40 minutes to get by a car. Read more about Guanyinge Tea House.

        At 11:00 A.M., you may ride your private car to Huanglongxi Ancient Town. It is about 40 kilometers(25 miles) away from the tea house, taking around one hour to get to the town by a car. After lunch, you can walk around the town to look for good shooting angles. Huanglongxi Ancient Town is well-known for its old buildings, old streets, and old trees. It is considered as the most picturesque and impressive old town in Chengdu. Read more about Huanglongxi Ancient Town.

        At 2:30 P.M., you will leave Huanglongxi Ancient Town for Moxi Ancient Town. The distance between the two towns is 265 kilometers(165 miles) in total. The ride takes around four and a half hours.

  • Day2Tour in Hailuogou Glacier and Forrest National Park and Transfer to Kangding

        Hailuogou Glacier is located in Luding County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is a unique modern glacier, which is rarely found in the world due to its relatively low latitude and altitude. Its lowest point is only 2,850 meters(9,350 feet) above sea level. Its wonders include the grand glacier cascade, virgin forest, wild animals, hot spring, Tibetan and Yi Minorities’ folk custom. Read more about Hailuogou Glacier.

        In the morning, you will ride a sightseeing shuttle bus to the Camp No.3, and then take a cable car to the Camp No.4. The bus ride takes about 50 minutes. The Camp No.4 is the best place to view the summit of Minya Konka, the highest mountain in Sichuan Province. Minya Konka or Gongga Mountain is nicknamed as the King of All Mountains in Sichuan. After taking photos at the Camp No.4, you will take the cable car down to the restaurant at the Camp No.3. Afterwards, ride the shuttle bus to the Hailuo Temple Stop, and walk into the virgin forest along a winding path. The path leads to Caohaizi Wetland Stop. The possibility to encounter monkeys and rare birds is quite high in the virgin forest. The path is about 2 kilometers(1.2 miles) in length, taking about one hour by foot. You will take the shuttle bus for the exit at Caohaizi Wetland Stop.

        At 3:30 P.M., you will leave Hailuogou Glacier and Forest National Park for Kangding City. The distance between Kangding City and the park is about 90 kilometers(56 miles). The ride takes about two hours to get to Kangding City from the park. It is named as the Provincial No.434 Road. Only cars and mini-buses are allowed to go along the road, because it is quite narrow and winding. The coaches have to be driven along the expressway between Luding and Kangding. It also takes about two hours to get to Kangding from the park along the expressway. On the way to Kangding along the road No.434, you will pass by the famous Red-stone Valley. The stones by the stream are covered by orange-colored algae.

        Kangding is the capital city of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Its night view is gorgeous. In the evening, you may walk around the city taking photos. Our guide will show you ideal spots where you can get good angles for your shooting. Read more about Kangding.

  • Day3Visit Mugecuo Lake, then Drive to Yajiang County

        In the morning, you may start your tour at 8:00 A.M.. Mugecuo is the largest high mountain lake in western Sichuan. Its elevation is 3,780 meters(12,402 feet) above sea level. The scenic area lies in the northeast of Kangding, 17 km(10.6 miles) away from the city proper. It covers an area of 350 square kilometers(86,487 acres). Sightseeing shuttles are operated by the scenic area for transferring visitors from the entrance to the lake. The must-see sightseeing spots in the scenic area include Mugecuo Lake, the Azalea Valley, the Medical Hot Spring and Qise Multi-colored Lake. Read more about Mugecuo Lake Scenic Area.

    In the afternoon, you will leave Mugecuo Lake Scenic Area for Yajiang County. The distance between Yajiang and Mugecuo is 160 kilometers(99 miles) in total, taking around three and a half hours by riding a car.

  • Day4Drive to Shangri-La Town

        It is about 354 km away from Yajiang County to Shangri-la Town, taking around 7 hours by a car. The landscape along the way to Shangri-la is picturesque. You will pass by several beautiful sightseeing spots, like the Eighteen Curves of the Road Leading to Sky, Kazila Mountain Pass, Litang Grassland, Rabbit Mountain Pass, Haizi Mountain Lakes, and Daocheng Zunsheng White Pagodas. The road you will travel along is called National No.318 Road. It is considered as the most beautiful road in the world.

  • Day5A Whole Day Tour in Yading National Park

        In the morning, you may set off for your tour in Yading National Park at 8:00a.m.. Yading Scenic Area consists of three holy mountains, three beautiful lakes, pastures and a lamasery. The three holy mountains are Chenrezig Mountain, Jampayang Mountain and Chenadorje Mountain. The three mountains are considered as the incarnations of the top three Bodhisattvas, Manjusri, Avalokitesvara and Vajrapani. The three lakes include the Pearl Lake, the Multicolored Lake and the Milk Lake. The lamasery is Chonggu Monastery. The pastures are called Chonggu and Luorong by locals. Visitors usually spend two days to visit all of the above sightseeing spots. The lamasery is served as the hub of the two routes. The tour to the Pearl Lake is called the short route, and the tour to Luorong Pasture, the Milk Lake and the Multicolored Lake is called the long route. Due to the timing available, you may try the long route on the fifth day.

        In the golden hour or sunset, you may take photos at Chonggu Pasture. You will spend a night in Yading Village. Even though the accommodation is not as good as the hotels in the towns, but it offers you an opportunity to shoot the starry sky.

  • Day6Half a Day Tour to the Pearl Lake, Drive to Daocheng County

    The Pearl Lake lies at the foot of Chenrezig Mountain. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Yading National Park. Compared with the long route, the hiking to the Pearl Lake is relatively easy. It takes around 5 hours to finish the tour. Then, you may ride your private car or coach to Daocheng County, taking about one and a half hours.

    In the town of Daocheng, you may walk along the Daocheng River. The night view along the river is quite beautiful.

  • Day7Leave Daocheng County for Xinduqiao Town

        In the morning, you may start your trip to Xinduqiao Town. The total distance between Daocheng and Xinduqiao is 343 kilometers(213 miles). The ride takes about seven hours. Xinduqiao Town is quite famous in the world for its nickname, the Paradise for Photographers. It is quite beautiful, when the trees completely turn yellow and red in the autumn. On the way to Xinduqiao Town, you may make stops for photographing at the places passed by on the fourth day.

  • Day8Transfer to Danba County, Pay a Visit to the Sightseeing Spots along the Way

        Danba County is located in east of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. The road between Xinduqiao and Danba is 146 kilometers(91 miles) in length, taking around three and a half hours to travel by a car. Danba County is well-known as the Valley of Beauties. It is occupied by Jiarong Tibetans. There is a popular saying about Danba. It goes that Kangba Tibetan is famous for its handsome men, and Jiarong Tibetan inhabiting in Danba County is noted for its pretty women. The main sightseeing spots in Danba include Jiaju Tibetan Village, Suopo Defending Towers, Zhonglu Tibetan Village and some other villages surrounded. Most of the villages are built on mountain slopes, overlooking rivers flowing by. Among those villages, Jiaju Village is the most typical one showing the architectural practice of traditional Tibetan folk house. The defending towers in Suopo Village are amazing architectural works of ancient Tibetans.

        In the morning, you will set off for Danba at 8:30. On the way to Danba, you may make stops and take photos at the following sightseeing spots, Tagong Lamasery, Tagong Pasture, Huiyuan Lamasery, and the Yak Valley. Huiyuan Lamasery used to be the palace of the Seventh Dalai Lama. It is also the birthplace of the Eleventh Dalai Lama. Both Tagong Lamasery and Huiyuan Lamasery are magnificently built. Tagong Pasture and the Yak Valley, both are ideal places for photographers to take photos of the holy Yala Mountain. Yala Mountain is one of the most sacred mountains in Tibetan area. Yala is a Tibetan word which means white yak in English. The summit of Yala Mountain is 5,884 meters(19,304 feet) above sea level.

        Usually, you may arrive at Danba County at 4:30 P.M.. You can directly ride your private car to Jiaju Tibetan Village. Please try to catch the golden hour and the sunset for shooting in the village.

  • Day9Leave Danba County for Siguniang Mountain and Pay a Visit to Changping Valley

        In the Morning, you will ride your private car to Siguniang Mountain from your hotel at 8:00. The distance between Danba and Siguniang Mountain is about 110 kilometers(68 miles), taking around two and a half hours by a car.

        Siguniang Mountain Scenic Area consists of three valleys, namely Shuangqiao Valley, Changping Valley and Haizi Valley. Changping Valley is the best place to have a view of the Four Sisters Mountain. It is also a wonderful place for visitors to have a relaxed trek. Walking along the path which leads to the thick forest, you can hear birds singing and streams murmuring, and admire the unique beauty of the Four Maidens Mountain. The No.4 Maiden Peak is the second highest in Sichuan Province, 6,250 meters(20,505 feet) above sea level. With her pointed summit, the No.4 Sister Peak is just like a pretty lady standing gracefully, attracting a large numbers of climbers from all over the world. It is purported that the peak is the greatest challenge for climbers in the whole world, even more dangerous to climb than the Everest due to the shape of its precipice. But your tour in Changping Valley is quite relaxing and easy. It takes maximum 8 hours to get to the end of the path and return to the hotel. If you love both nature and sports, it will be a wonderful day of yours. But there is no restaurant in the valley, so it is highly suggested to prepare some food for your trek in advance.

        Siguniangshan Town is situated nearby the scenic area. It is not a big town. There are some 4-star hotels in the town, but you may have other choices. Some of the inns run by locals even much better than the so-called 4-star modern hotels.

  • Day10Drive to Visit Shuangqiao Valley and Transfer to Maerkang City

        In the morning, you will leave your hotel for Shuangqiao Valley at 8:00. It usually takes about three and a half hours to tour in the valley. Sightseeing shuttle bus operated by the scenic area administration makes your tour much easier.

        Shuangqiao Valley is considered as the most beautiful one among the three valleys. It is just like a painting composed by the nature with its virgin forest, verdant pasture, snow-capped mountains and mirror-like lakes with reflection of sapphire sky and white clouds. The highlight of Shuangqiao Valley is Sigunacuo Lake. Siguna is a Tibetan word. It refers to the four maidens. Cuo means lake. It is the most ideal place in the valley for photographers to make a shot of mirror-like lake, if you can get to the lake before 10:00 A.M.. It usually becomes windy after 10:00 A.M., and ripples sparkle on the surface of the lake.

        After lunch, you will ride your car to Maerkang City. Maerkang City is the capital of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Ethnic Group Autonomous Prefecture. The distance between Siguniang Mountain and Maerkang City is about 180 kilometers(112 miles). It takes around three and a half hours to get to the city from Siguniang Mountain. On the way to Maerkang City, you may pass by Mengbi Mountain. The mountain pass is 4,114 meters(13,497 feet) above sea level. It was the second highest snow-capped mountain the Red Army climbed during their long march in 1935.

  • Day11Drive to Visit Zhuokeji Tibetan Village and Tangke Scenic Area

        In the morning, you will leave the hotel for Ruo’ergai County at 8:30. You will travel along the picturesque Provincial Road No.209. The distance between Maerkang and Ruo’ergai is 328 kilometers(204 miles) in total, taking around five and a half hours by a car. On the way to Ruo’ergai County, you will visit Zhuokeji Tibetan Chieftain’s House and Tangke Scenic Area.

        Zhuokeji Tibetan Chieftain’s House is located 10 kilometers(6 miles) to the east of downtown Maerkang. Zhuokeji means supreme power. It was originally built in 1718, during the reign of Emperor Qianlong, the Qing Dynasty. In July, 1935, Chairman Mao and the Red Army soldiers spent a week in the house. In 1936, the chieftain’s house was damaged by fire. The reconstruction started in 1938 by the chieftain, Mr. Suoguanying. It was completed in 1940. Zhuokeji Chieftain’s House is considered as one of the most amazing and impressive wonders among Tibetan traditional buildings. It was added to the list of National Key Historical and Cultural Relic Sites under Protection in 1988. It takes about one hour to tour in the chieftain’s house. Read more about Zhuokeji Chieftain’s House.

        At 10:00 A.M., you will leave the chieftain’s house for Tangke Scenic Area. On the way, you may have lunch at a restaurant in Hongyuan Town. It is about 180 kilometers(112 miles) to get to the restaurant in Hongyuan Town from Zhuokeji Chieftain’s House, taking around 3 hours by a car. After lunch, you will ride your car to Tangke. The distance between Hongyuan Town and Tangke is about 80 kilometers(50 miles), and the ride takes around one and a half hours.

        Tangke Scenic Area is also called the No.1 Bend of the Yellow River. It is said that the Yellow River flows through nine bends, the first bend offers visitors the most gorgeous and picturesque landscape. Read more about the No.1 Bend of the Yellow River.

    After your tour in Tangke Scenic Area, you will ride your car to Ruo’ergai County. It is 71 kilometers(44 miles) away from Tangke, taking about one and a half hours to get to your hotel in Ruo’ergai by a car.

  • Day12Visit Huahu Lake and Drive to Jiuzhaigou Valley

        You will leave the hotel for Huahu Lake at 8:30 in the morning. Huahu lake lies in the north of Ruo’ergai County, about fifty kilometers(31 miles) away from your hotel, taking around one hour to reach by a car. Huahu means flower lake in English. It is the second largest grassland in China. Its altitude is 3,468 meters(11,378 feet) above sea level. The lake is quite vast. It offers an ideal resting place for the wild migrating birds.

        After your tour around the lake, you may drive to Zhangzha Town where the entrance of Jiuzhaihou National Park is located. The distance between Huahu Lake and Jiuzhaihou Valley is 280 kilometers(174 miles). The ride takes about five hours.

        You will spend two nights in the same hotel recommended below.

  • Day13A Whole Day Tour in Jiuzhaigou Valley

        You may meet your guide and driver at your hotel at 8:00am. Then drive around twenty minutes to the parking lot near the entrance of Jiuzhaigou Valley. The valley consists of three gorges. It embraces 114 beautiful lakes and several rushing waterfalls. The must-go sightseeing spots include the Five Flower Lake, the Pearl Waterfall, the Long Lake, the Multicolored Pond, Shuzheng Lakes and Shuzheng Tibetan Village. Some other lakes and waterfalls are also beautiful, like the Mirror Lake, the Rhinoceros Lake, the Tiger Lake, Nuoriang Waterfall and Shuzheng Waterfall. It takes around 6 to 8 hours to finish the visit for the must-go spots. The whole scenic area covers an area of 80 square kilometers(19,768 acres). The sightseeing shuttle buses are operated by Jiuzhaigou Administrative Committee. The three gorges lie in the shape of the letter “Y”. The entrance gate is situated at the bottom of the letter “Y”. Its altitude is about 2,000 meters(6,562 feet) above sea level. The shuttle buses start from the entrance to the higher sightseeing spots. The route is randomly arranged by the transportation controller’s office, based on the real-time data of visitor flow. It usually directly goes to one of the upper gorges, drops off visitors at the last stop. Then, visitors can visit the sightseeing spots by walking and taking buses. The walking paths are well paved, and the bus stops are set nearby each of the sightseeing spots.

        The building of Nuorilang Visitor Centre is situated at the fork in the road. A buffet lunch can be arranged in the visitor centre. After you finish your tour in the valley, your private guide will escort you back to your hotel.

  • Day14Tour in Huanglong National Park

        After breakfast and check-out in the morning, you will be escorted to Huanglong National Park for a visit. Driving from your hotel, it takes two and a half hours to get to the national park. There are more than 3,000 pools scattered in Huanglong Valley. The highlight is called Multicolored Pools. It shares the same name in Chinese with the one in Jiuzhaigou Valley, but the view is different. The one in Huanglong should be renamed as Terraced Multicolored Pools. It lies at the highest point you may reach during your tour. Its altitude is about 3,900 meters(12,795 feet) above sea level. The weather in Huanglong changes momentarily. There is a high possibility to get a good weather between 11:00am to 1:00pm in a single day. Since there is no restaurant inside Huanglong Scenic Area, an early lunch near the entrance is recommended. It is highly suggested to take cable car up, then walk to the top of the valley, due to the high altitude. It takes around 40 minutes to get to the Terraced Multicolored Pools by walking from the upper cable car station. You can wander around the pools. Afterwards, you will step down along the well-paved path to the exit. On the way to the exit, you will pass by some other beautiful pools. It usually takes about four hours in total to complete your tour in Huanglong Valley. When you tour in Huanglong, your guide will accompany you, and help you to take photos.

        Your tour in Huanglong is supposed to be done before 4:00P.M.. It takes about three and a half hours to get to your hotel in Maoxian County. The county seat of Maoxian is not that big. We recommend you the local best one.

  • Day15Pay a Visit to Dujiangyan Panda Base and Drive back to Chengdu

      Leave the hotel for Dujiangyan Panda Base at 8:00am. It takes about two hours to drive from Maoxian County to the Panda Base. After lunch, move back to Chengdu. You may get back to Chengdu at 4:00pm. Your guide and driver will escort you to either your hotel or the airport. You may also go to visit some places in the city of Chengdu, like Jinli Old Street, People’s Park, and the Wide and Narrow Alleys.

Services Included:

√ On-line professional consultancy

√ Hotel accommodation with breakfast

√ Sightseeing shuttle bus in Jiuzhaigou

√ Helpful local guide

√ Well-trained professional driver and comfortable vehicle with ample space

√ Mineral water(one bottle of mineral water per person per day)

√ Entry to all attractions listed on your itinerary

√ 24-hours helpline covering the whole of your tour

What's excluded:

Cable car in Huanglong and sightseeing mini-bus in Dujiangyan Panda Base

Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

Personal expenses


Travel Tips:

  1. The altitude in the west part of Sichuan is quite high, ranging from 3,000 meters(9.843 feet) to 4700 meters(15,420 feet) above sea level. Sometimes, people may suffer from Altitude Sickness, when they travel on a high plateau. Click here to learn more about the Altitude Sickness.

  2. The average temperature in both the western Sichuan and the north Sichuan is much lower than that in Chengdu. Even you make your tour in summer, you still need to pack some thin down jackets for your tour.

  3. The peak season of tourism in Jiuzhaigou is from July to August, and the long holiday of China’s national day.

Author: Tina Luo


Daocheng Yading
Daocheng Yading
Siguniang Mountain
Siguniang Mountain
Hailuogou Glacier
Hailuogou Glacier
Huiyuan Lamasery
Huiyuan Lamasery
Tagong Pasture
Tagong Pasture
Choekhorling Monastery
Choekhorling Monastery
Huahu Lake Ruo'ergai
Huahu Lake Ruo'ergai
Jiuzhaigou Valley
Jiuzhaigou Valley
Huanglong National Park
Huanglong National Park