October 2011
Road from Chengdu to Jiuzhai Valley

The new "tunneltastic" road from chengdu (as described by the Lonely Planet China 2011) has not yet been completed and as of November 2011 the journey takes about 8 hours by bus in normal weather and traffic conditions. As work continues on the road and new tunnels and bridges continue to open it is claimed that times will be reduced by a number of hours.
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August 2011
Jiuzhai Valley Blogs in the New York Times:

The below blogs give an insight into some of the ongoing research by the Jiuzhai Valley science department. The blogs were written by Amanda Schmidt, an assistant professor of geology at Oberlin College, who was based in Jiuzhai Valley National Park's Sceince Department for 10 months during 2010.
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August 2010
Weather update:

Jiuzhai Valley National Park has experienced no affects of the bad weather that has devestated other parts of China during the summer. There have been no mudslides or landslides in the national park or the area outside of the park where visitors will stay. Click here for more information.
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5 June 2010
World Environment Day:

On the 5th of June we celebrated World Environment Day 2010. The United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity and the theme of this year’s World Environment Day was “Many Species. One Planet. One Future.” It echoes the urgent call to conserve the diversity of life on our planet. A world without biodiversity is a very bleak prospect and this is something that we in Jiuzhai Valley National Park are very aware of.
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June 2010
Summer 2010 in Jiuzhai Valley:

Jiuzhai Valley National Park is open from 7am every morning. We advise you to enter the park as early as possible to get the most from your experience. It’s a great time of year to take part in one of our eco-toruism hikes. For more details click here.
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May 2010
Jiuzhai Valley featured on Tides of Time:

For the third consecutive year, UNESCO have partnered with the International Herlad Tribune and Jaeger-LeCoultre to raise awareness and funds for the preservation of endangered ecosystems. View the features on Jiuzhai Valley on UNESCO's website and on Jaeger LeCoultre's.
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17 May 2010
Zharu Eco-tourism on Reuters:

Hiking into the heart of Tibetan “Paradise”. Jack Li, our eco-tourism manager accompanied this journalist and her family into Zharu Valley in April. Read her account here.
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5 June 2009
World Environment Day:

Jiuzhai Valley National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be supporting UNEP World Environment Day on June 5th. The theme of this year’s World Environment Day – “Your planet needs you” – is meant to inspire all of us to do our part.
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1 June 2009
Children’s Day:

June the 1st is International Children’s day and on that day all children under the age of 14 will enjoy free admission to Jiuzhai Valley National Park.
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12 May 2009
The busiest day in the history of Jiuzhai Valley National Park.:

A big thank you to all the friends and guests who came to Jiuzhai Valley on the 12th of May 2009. It was the busiest day in the history of Jiuzhai Valley and provided a much needed boost to the local economy.
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12 May 2009
Earthquake anniversary ceremony:

To cememorate the devestating Sichuan earthquake and those who lost their lives, Jiuzhai Valley will offer free entry to everybody on May 12th 2009.
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Spring 2009 Update
Spring time has arrived in Jiuzhai Valley and so the park’s opening hour’s will be 7am – 6:30pm from May 1st.
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1 April 2009
2nd day ticket from April 1st 2009:

From April 1st until June 30th 2009 your entry ticket is valid for two days (bus ticket is valid for one day).
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Eco-Tourism 2009
Eco-tourism, including hiking and camping is close to being opened in the park for the first time this year.
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1 March 2009
Jiuzhai Valley in the March ‘09 issue of the National Geographic Magazine.
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Park Information

History, culture and Religion

The total population of Jiuzhai Valley National Park is just over 1,000, comprising of over 110 families.

The nine Tibetan Villages of Jiuzhai Valley are He Ye, Jian Pan, Ya Na, Pan Ya, Guo Du, Ze Cha Wa, Hei Jiao, Shu Zheng and Re Xi. Although not officially discovered by the government until 1972, the earliest human activities have been recorded as dating back as early as to the Yin-Shang Period (16th - 11th Century B. C.).

The main villages that are readily accessible to tourists are He Ye, Shu Zheng and Ze Cha Wa along the main routes that cater to tourists, selling various handi-crafts, souvenirs and snacks. There is also Re Xi in the smaller Zha Ru Valley and behind He Ye village are Jian Pan, Pan Ya and Ya Na villages. The Valley's no longer populated villages are Guo Du and Hei Jiao.

The main religion practiced by the locals is the pre-Buddhism Bon or Benbo-Sec religion. It was introduced to the Aba Prefecture in the 2nd century B.C. It was integrated with primitive local wizardry into the Benbo Sec and became dominant in the 6th Century. In the 7th century, Tibetan Buddhism was introduced to the region. Although through numerous conflicts Buddhism did become prevalent, the Benbo Sec religion has survived and developed, and is now recognised as one of the five sects of Tibetan Buddhism while maintaining unique religious cultural features. There are over 60 Benbo monasteries in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture.

The Benbo and Tibetan Buddhists worship and make sacrifices to natural Gods. Stupas and prayer wheels (hollow cylinders that contain religious scriptures) can be seen throughout the park, evidence of the local belief that the soul is inherent in all things, including mountains. Prayer wheels come in different sizes and some are turned by hand and others turned by flowing water. One rotation of a prayer wheel equals 100 recitations of religious chants.

Longda can be pieces of cloth (many small pieces of cloth connected by string) or paper with scriptures written on them. The paper longda are thrown in the air, while the cloth ones flutter in the wind or by rivers. The idea of both the longda and the longer guoda is that the wind or water will set the prayers free.

Prayer Flags

Religious banners or “guoda” in local Tibetan, for different purposes, vary in length from a few to dozens of metres. These are blue, white, red, green and yellow each representing the sky, clouds, life, the natural world (plants, trees, grass) and soil according the five element theory. It is said that families of service men in the Tufan Period (617-907 AD) hung them as army banners on their gates to honour the family. Later these army banners became to bear religious implications and prayer scriptures were written on them. These religious banners are common in the Amdo Tibetan regions and represent an integral combination of the five-element theory and, a proud representation of Tibetan Buddhism.

Food and Drink

Food and drink are important elements of Tibetan culture. In and around Jiuzhai Valley visitors will have the opportunity to sample many of these culinary delights. The most common drink that visitors to Tibetan houses / home-stays will have is yak butter tea.

Yak Butter Tea

This comes in various forms but is mainly comprised of tea, yak butter, condensed cheese, barley, and salt or sugar. Traditionally it is drank with salt but many "first timers" prefer sugar or honey. It is also common to add walnuts at certain times of the year in this area. Depending on the type of tea you have you may have to eat part of it with the chopsticks provided! Although many westerns are not used to the taste it is the experience that is important. As is the case in many parts of China, finishing the cup means that you are ready for more so if you don’t like it, don’t finish it!


This is a traditional Tibetan staple. It is prepared from mainly from barley flour and other ingredients may include wallnuts (common in Jiuzhai Valley), tea, pea and oat powder, depending on where you get it. Tibetans will take this doughy type cake when going out to herd yak or hike for long periods. It is a convenient fast food full of energy which is particularly welcome in sparsely-populated and food-scarce areas.

Barley Wine

Very common for big occasions and welcoming guests, barley wine (chang in local Tibetan) is made by boiling washed barley, adding yeast and leaving it to ferment it in a ceramic jar.

Yak Meat

All types of yak meat from all parts of the yak are available in Jiuzhai Valley and other Tibetan areas. It can be cooked, dried, preserved, hot or cold. Served on it’s own or as part of a meal, this is the most popular meat in these parts.

Timeline of Jiuzhai Valley National Park:

1978: Part of the area was protected as a nature reserve after heavy logging which began in 1975. The State Council issued its approval document for the Report on Strengthening the Works of Conservation and Domestication of Giant Pandas, and the report on establishing the Nanping-Jiuzhai Valley Nature Reserve.

1982: The site was proposed as an area of Scenic Beauty and Historic Interest (National Park) by the State Council of the Chinese Government.

1984: Jiuzhai Valley National Park Administration Bureau was established.

1992: UNESCO experts concluded that Jiuzhai Valley “is an incredible place of great natural beauty. It meets the full standards and terms for the Natural Heritage” and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1994: The Chinese government named Jiuzhai Valley a state level Forest and Wildlife Nature Reserve and state level Nature Reserve.

1998: Jiuzhai Valley National Park was issued with the Man and Biosphere credential by UNESCO.

2002: Jiuzhai Valley National Park passed the authentication of the Green Globe 21.

2002: Jiuzhai Valley National Park suffered no physical damage in the May 12th Sichuan earthquake but the local economy was badly affected by the resulting downturn in tourism.


The locals people of Jiuzhai Valley are Tibetan and thus speak the Tibetan language. The local Jiuzhai Valley Tibetan dialect is different to the Lhasa and Amdo Tibetan dialect of the grasslands. The dialects are so different that local people who only speak the local dialect would find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate (verbally) with people from Lhasa, Aba Town or Qianghai who are not familiar with the Jiuzhai Valley dialect. As the area is increasingly exposed to the outside world, middle-aged and younger people have begun to speak mandarin Chinese. A few Tibetan words will still be lots of fun during your visit.