Shangri-la is about 375km away from Daocheng in Sichuan. Travelling from Shangri-la to Daochang is one of the most fabulous travel routes in China for independent travelers.
Usually, there are two ways for travelers to travel to Daocheng from Shangri-la.
The regular coach connecting Shangri-la to Daocheng (12 hours) zigzags in the awesome Shangri-La Gorge. However this route is often cut by landslides in rainy season (June, July, August). It cost about ￥150 in Chinese Yuan. There is only one coach leaving for Daocheng from Shangri every day. So, before your departure, you’d better check the schedule of the coach and buy the bus ticket one day in advance.
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: Shangri-la - Derong - Xiangcheng - Sangdui - Daocheng.
First take a bus from Shangri-la to Derong (5 hours), and then find a minibus to Xiangcheng (4 to 5 hours). Stay overnight in Xiangcheng and catch the morning bus for Sangdui (3.5 hours). From Sangdui, you can find a local minibus to send you to Daocheng for Y20 per person.
The road for Option 2 takes is longer than that for Option 1, but the road condition is much better. Most of it is 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 Daocheng Yading from Shangri-La by car rental is much more expensive than taking the regular coach/bus from bus station. Therefore, we will recommend you this private transfer by car rental with an experienced driver and an English-speaking guide, only if you have loose budget for you trip or you can find companians to travel with you and share the high cost.