Daocheng Yading is a national level reserve in Daocheng County, in the southwest of Sichuan Province, China. It is about 375km away from Shangri-la.
Travel from Daocheng to Shangri-la is one of the most fabulous travel routes in China for independent travelers. If you are adapted to Shangri-la's altitude, you would have no difficulty in Daocheng.
Usually, there are two ways for travelers to travel to Shangri-la from Daocheng.
The regular coach connecting Shangri-la and Daocheng (375km, 12 hours) zigzags in the awesome Shangri-la Gorge. This route is often cut by landslides in rainy season (June, July, August). The coach only departs at 6:00 a.m. every day from Daocheng Bus Station (North Street, Jinzhu Township, Daocheng County). The ticket is sold only for the next day and is sold from 2:00 am to 8:00 pm.
If the direct coach service between Shangri-la and Daocheng is suspended or you miss it, take an alternative route although it looks more complicated: Daocheng- Sangdui- Xiangcheng- Derong- Shangri-la.
First take a coach from Daocheng to Xiangcheng, then transfer to another coach at Xiangcheng to get to Shangri-la via Derong.
The road in Option 2 is much longer than Option 1, but the road condition is much better. It is almost asphalt road.
Car rental together with a driver and a tour guide is a common way for traveling in Sichuan Province, for the public transport there is not so convenient and developed. And your trip would be more flexible and comfortable. But traveling to Shangri-la from Daocheng Yading by car rental is much more expensive than taking the coach/bus from bus station. If you have loose budget for you trip or you can find someone to travel with you to share the expensive, chartering a car is a highly recommended way. Top China Travel can offer this kind of car rental, together with an experienced driver and an English-speaking guide. If you need, please inform us of the details via firstname.lastname@example.org.