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Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, Which Is Better to Visit

Most tourists who are going to visit China, would like to know more information about Jiuzhaigou and Zhangjiajie, because this two places are so famous and so beautiful. Thus for those travelers who would like to visit one of them, we make a sharp contrast of Jiuzhaigou and Zhangjiajie from several aspects, please keep reading.

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Table for Jiuzhaigou VS Zhangjiajie

zhangjiajie and Jiuzhai on China map



  Jiuzhaigou Zhangjiajie
Location north of Sichuan, close to Chengdu west of Hunan Province, close to Changsha
Tour days 2-3 days 3-5 days
Best time to visit July, August, September, October from April to October
Best places to visit Jiuzhaigou National Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon

Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park


crystal waters, waterfalls, stunning lakes

colorful forests, pristine valleys

unique peaks, mountains

deep valleys, stone pillars

Things to do photography, cultural show, hiking hiking, mountain ropeway ride, glass bridge
Transportation Chengdu → Jiuzhaigou Changsha → Zhangjiajie
Package Chengdu+Jiuzhaigou+Huanglong Zhangjiajie+Fenghuang


Choose Jiuzhaigou Or Zhangjiajie

Jiuzhaigou- Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

Choose Jiuzhaigou Over Zhangjiajie

  • If you are a photographer or a photography lover, Jiuzhaigou is the best place for you to shoot.
  • Jiuzhaigou has superb scenery which consists of pristine forests, crystal blue waters, fascinating waterfalls, and stunning lakes.
  • If you want to visit Chengdu to see Chinese Giant Panda, please go to Jiuzhaigou for its closeness to Chengdu.
  • Visiting China in September, October, Jiuzhaigou would be most tourists' pick.

Choose Zhangjiajie Over Jiuzhaigou

  • Zhangjiajie is well known to the world for its fantastic views of karst peaks, stone pillars, grand valley, and glass bridge.
  • If you are a thrill seeker, Zhangjiajie has cliff-hanging walkway and transparent glass skywalk, mountain elevator and the longest mountain ropes for you to overlook this incredible forest.
  • If you are a hiker, Zhangjiajie has stone-steps up to mountain, and treks among mountains for you, and you could hike 3-5 days in Zhangjiajie.
  • If you visit China in spring or summer, you are welcome to visit Zhangjiajie, but not recommended to visit on foggy days .


Jiuzhaigou VS Zhangjiajie: Best places to visit

Best places to visit in Jiuzhaigou: Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic Area

Jiuzhaigou Map-Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic Area is very large, covering about 72,000 hectares, and it is renowned for rivers, waterfalls, lakes, and pristine forests for tourists to visit.

Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area is in a shape of Y, and is divided into 3 valleys, Rize Valley on the top left, Zechawa Valley on the top right, and Shuzheng Valley under the fork. Rize Valley is the essential part, with the pristine forest, Swan Lake, Arrow Bamboo Lake, Pearl Shoals Falls, Mirror Lake, and Nuorilang Falls. Zechawa Valley has 3 famous places, Long Lake, Multi-color Lake, and Upper Season Lake, while Shusheng Valley has Tiger Lake, Shuzheng Falls, and Double Dragon Lake.

In Jiuzhaigou, tourists usually visit Jiuzhaigou Valley for 1-2 days. For 1 day tour, you  are advised to make use of sightseeing buses shuttling in the scenic area. Sightseeing buses have stops in each small places from the entrance to Long Lake and to the pristine forest, and you can get on or get off any of those places. For 2 days tour, you could do a lot hiking for sightseeing. Jiuzhaigou Valley has picturesque scenery, fresh air and pristine forest, making it a good place for hiking.

Best places to visit in Zhangjiajie: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park.

Zhangjiajie attractions-Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the most popular one, famous for its unrivaled mountain scenery. It consists of 8 parts, and the essential parts are Yuanjiajie, Tianzi Mountain, Yangjiajie, and Golden Whip Stream. Considering it covers a big space, you may need 2 days for sightseeing if you are a hiking lover.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is close to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and well-known to the world for its glass bridge. Lots of people come to here to challenge their bravery.

Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park is close to Zhangjiajie Airport, and famous for Tianmen Cave, the longest mountain ropeway with a length of 7455 meters and a fall of 1279 meters and the cliff hanging glass walkway on a height of 1430 meters.


Jiuzhaigou VS Zhangjiajie: Things to Do

Things to do in Jiuzhaigou

  • go hiking in this fairyland, and explore pristine forest.
  • Watch beautiful lakes, captivating waterfalls, and colorful forests, and take beautiful pictures.
  • Experience local minority culture by joining activities and watching shows.


► Things to do in Zhangjiajie

tianmen mountain ropeway-Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

  • Visit Zhangjiajie attractions, see stunning peaks, and explore those forests.
  • Walk on the cliff-hanging skywalk in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and challenge the transparent glass bridge in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon.
  • Ride the longest mountain ropeway of 7455 meters in Tianmen Moutain National Forest Park and see the most winding mountain roads from  the air.
  • Take a ride on Bailong Elevator, which is a glass elevator on a mountain cliff, and it brings tourists from mountain food to the top.
  • Enjoy your hiking in this beautiful wonderland, including mountain climbing and treks in mountain path, along streams, and valleys.


Jiuzhaigou VS Zhangjiajie: Location & Transportation

jiuzhaigou-Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

► Jiuzhaigou Transportation

Jiuzhaigou Valley or Jiuzhaigou National Park, is a famous attraction in Jiuzhaigou, which is a small city in Sichuan province, about 420 km away from Chengdu, within a driving of 8 hours.

Transporation route: Chengdu-Jiuzhaigou-the scenic area.

How to get to Jiuzhaigou from Chengdu:

1. Charter a car. It is very expensive to charter a car from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou.

2. Take bus. There are buses available from Xinnanmen Bus Station in Chengdu directly to Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic Area. The buses leave at 08:00 AM, 08:05 AM, AND 08:20 AM, and the ticket is about 160 yuan.

3. Take a flight. Everyday, there are flights from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou. When arriving Jiuzhaigou Airport, take bus or taxi to Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area.


► Zhangjiajie Transportation

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon-Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

Zhangjiajie is a small city in the west of Hunan Province, close to Fenghuang Ancient Town, about 320 km from Changsha.

Transportation route: Changsha-Zhangjiajie-attractions.

How to get to Zhangjiajie: 

1. Flight to Zhangjiajie. Take a flight to Zhangjiajie from Changsha, or other cities with nonstop flights available like Shanghai.

2. Train to Zhangjiajie. If you head to Zhangjiajie from cities like Chongqing, Changsha and Guilin, you could take train to save money.

3. Take bus or charter a car to scenic areas. You could take bus at Zhangjiajie Bus Station to those three attrations.


Jiuzhaigou VS Zhangjiajie: Best Time to Visit & Weather

► Best time to visit Jiuzhaigou: July, August, September, October.

Jiuzhaigou-Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

Visit Jiuzhaigou in December, January, February and March: to see snow peaks snow scenery and a spotless white world, but the scenery in Jiuzhaigou Valley is not so good in this time. Jiuzhaigou weather in December , January, February and March: sunny days,  a bit cold,  low temperature below zero degree Celsius, and dry air.

Visit Jiuzhaigou in April, May and June: to see spring scenery. During this time, Jiuzhaigou Valley enters a warm time, and plants get green. Jiuzhaigou weather in April, May and June: warm days with comfortable temperature around 20-25 degrees Celsius, and it also has some rainy days.

Visit Jiuzhaigou in July, August, September, and October: to see lush greenery, splendid waterfalls, and crystal lakes in July, August, and September, and to see azure lakes, clean waters, and multi-colored forest in October. Jiuzhaigou weather in July and August: hot summer days in rainy season, with temperature around 25-30 degrees Celsius. Jiuzhaigou weather in September and October: sunny days with cool temperature around 20-25 degrees Celsius.

► Best time to visit Zhangjiajie: from April to October.

tianzi mountain-Jiuzhaigou or Zhangjiajie, which is better to visit

Visit Zhangjiajie in December, January, February and March: Zhangjiajie gradually enters to a winter time, and the weather becomes cold, with the lowest temperature falling to minus 2 degrees Celsius, but it rarly snows. Still, it also have some rainy days in winter.

Visit Zhangjiajie in April, May, June, July, August:  Spring and Summer would be better to see its lush greenery. Zhangjiajie weather in this time: warm days with temperature below 30 degrees Celsius, and many rainy days in spring. Hot days in summer with temperature around 33 degrees Celsius, and it has heavy rainy days in summer due to its rainy season.

Visit Zhangjiajie in September, October and November: most sunny days with cool temperature from 18-25 degrees Celsius, and few rainy days.


Jiuzhaigou VS Zhangjiajie: where to stay

► Where to stay in Jiuzhaigou

Tourists could book hotels close to the entrance of Jiuzhaigou National Park, and there are many hotels including 4 star hotels, 3 star hotels and international youth hotels. Of course you could also look for a hotel in Jiuzhaigou county, but we don't recommend this to you, because it is a bit far away from the scenic area, about 40 km.

► Where to stay in Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie is a tourist city, with so many hotels available from 3 star hotels to 5 star hotels, including apartment hotels and youth hotels. You could book hotels in downtown and also hotels around those 3 famous attractions. For travelling in Zhangjiajie, you could stay 1 night in Zhangjiajie downtown on the day before you head to attractions, then stay close to scenic areas.

Here we also recommend you 3 great China tour packages:

If you are interested in any China tour, please feel free to contact us.