Aba Travel Guide

Aba Travel Guide

Aba Facts

Aba Map
Aba Tourist Map (Click to enlarge)

Full Name: Aba Autonomous Prefecture of Tibetan and Qiang Minorities
Chinese Name: 阿坝藏族羌族自治州 (ā bà zàng zú qiāng zú zì zhì zhōu)
Location: Aba (Ngawa) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture is situated in northwestern Sichuan Province, the eastern end of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It neighbors Qinhai and Gansu provinces in the north.

Population: 851,000
Area: 84,242 square kilometers (32,526 square miles)Nationalities: Tibetan, Qiang, Han
Administrative Division: 13 counties (Barkam, Wenchuan, Lixian, Maoxian, Songpan, Jiuzhaigou,  Jinchuan, Xiaojin, Heishui, Zamtang, Aba, Zoige, Hongyuan)

Useful Telephone Numbers:
Tourist Complaints: 0837-96927, 6224276
Weather Forecast: 121
Zip Code Inquiries: 184

Aba Attractions - Things to Do

 Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area: Jiuzhaigou is named after the nine Tibetan villages in the valley. It is widely known as a wonderland with dreamlike sceneries and unique folk customs. Located in northwestern of Jiuzhaigou County, Jiuzhaigou has opened a 60-kilometer-long (37-mile-long) scenic line dotted by several scenic zones where visitors can admire the breathtaking landscape of lakes, waterfalls, springs and alpine valleys. 

 Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area: Located in the Huanglong Town of Songpan County, 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Jiuzhaigou, this scenic area is famous for the layered calcium carbonated deposit, colorful lakes, snow clad mountains and virgin dorest.

Jiuzhaigou Valley
Jiuzhaigou Valley
Huanglong Valley
Huanglong Valley
 Wolong National Natural Reserve: Wolong is situated in the southwest of the Wenchuan County, 130 kilometers (81 miles) from Chengdu. It is well known as the home of the giant pandas. Apart from the great number of rare animals and plants, this natural reserve also boasts enthralling sceneries combining with mountains, waters, forests, caves.

 Four Maiden's Mountain: Composed of four sister snowy peaks, the mountain has three valleys with majority of the scenic spots collected in the Changping Valley. Some people call it 'the alps in China', and it is preferred by a multitude of climbers.

 Ruoergai Grassland: Located in the northwest of Sichuan Province, Ruoergai Grassland  is the vast home of Zang (Tibetan) People who mainly live on stock farming.

 Flower Lake: It is a wetland in the vast Ruoergai Grassland. Its name comes from the small but beautiful flowers in the lake. This is also the origin of its name.

 Wenchuan Special Tourism Zone: On May 12, 2008, a most damaging earthquake occurred in Wenchuan county. It was the 21st deadliest earthquake of all time and caused great loss of lives and property. The Chinese government did the best to help people to overcome the difficulties. Many foreign nations, international and domestic organizations as well as common people also offered quick assistance to the victims. After the earthquake, Wenchuan Special Tourism Zone was established to commemorate the victims of the earthquake, create more employment opportunities for the survivors and make more people learn of the culture of the Qiang and Tibetan ethnic minorities.
Temple in Songpan
Shangniba Temple in Songpan
Mutuo Qiang Stockaded Village
Mutuo Qiang Stockaded Village in Maoxian

How to Get to Aba

Wolong Panda Reserve
Wolong Panda Reserve

1. Jiuhuang (Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong) Airport is 12 kilometers (7 miles) north of the Chuanzhusi Town, Songpan County. The airport is 88 kilometers (55 miles) from Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, and 43 kilometers (27 miles) from Huanglong. Air distance from Jiuhuang Airport to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is about 240 kilometers (149 miles) for about 40 minutes' ride. There are dozens of flights daily from Jiuzhaigou to Chengdu, but much fewer in winter.

2. If visitors don't want to miss the natural beauty on the way, the best way is taking buses. Chengdu has two bus stations operating lines to Jiuzhaigou, Barkam, Zoige, Songpan, Zamtang and the Four Maiden's Mountain.

3. Visiting Aba, including Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, spring or autumn clothing is necessary in summer for the temperature varies greatly during a day.



Climate of the prefecture is complex and varied for the complicated geography and landform. The northwestern tableland area has a continental plateau climate with long and chilly winter and cool humid summer. The annual average temperature is 0.8-4.3C (33 -40F). The Aba weather of the southeastern alpine valleys ranges from the temperate to the frigid climatic types with annual average temperature of 1-5C (34-41F). 

Some people say that paradise is distributed everywhere in Aba. The fact is that different sceneries here show their best in different seasons although visitors can visit this wonderland at any time. For instance, the best time to Huanglong is from April to November, to Jiuzhaigou is from September to October and to the Four Maiden's Mountain is in July and August.

Aba Travel Tips

Ruoergai Grassland
Ruoergai Grassland

 History: For thousands of years, a multitude of Chinese ancient ethnic minorities, including Qiang, Sienpi (Xianbei), Tubo and Hui, had worked collaboratively on the development of Aba, leaving the land abundant culture accumulations of ethnic minorities. The prefecture was changed into Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in 1955 and Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in 1987.

 Physical Features: Tableland and alpine valleys make up the main landform of the prefecture. Parts of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the Hengduan  Mountains extend to its territory. Alpine valleys are mainly distributed in the southeastern part, while its northwestern land is plateau region. Minjiang River and Dadu River, tributaries of the upper Yangtze River, flow across this area which is the only place in Sichuan Province having the Yellow River flow through.

 Local Highlights: Festivals and folk customs of the Tibetan and the Qiang constitute the highlights of the prefecture. In addition, the International Panda Festival will be held in every September.

 Special Local Products: verbal medicine, Tibetan knives, embroidery of the Qiang ethnic minority

- Last modified on Dec. 28, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Aba Travel
Asked by NTNNGA | Mar. 10, 2019 21:53Reply
Hello, I plan to visit Aba Prefecture this summer. My initial plan is to visit Chengdu
then Wenchuan (Wolong Panda Base), Jiuzhaigou (and Huanglong), Ruoergai, Songpan, Rilong (Mt. Sigunianng) and then back home from Chengdu. Is it possible to get public transportation? Which places do I have to take private car? Should I visit Langmusi from Ruoergai? Which town has the Amdo specialities in Aba Prefecture? Thanks.
Answers (2)
Answered by Abigail from DENMARK | Mar. 14, 2019 23:17

Well, the public transportation is not that convenient in these areas.
CD to Wenchuan: Take a coach from Chadianzi Bus Station to Wenchuan directly. The ticket fare is CNY50 per person.
Wenchuan to Jiuzhaigou: There is no coach. You are suggested to hire a private car to tour around Jiuzhigou and Huanglong Scenic area.
Jiuzhaigou to Ruoergai: Take a private car or share a car with other tourists. Yes, you can visit Langmusi Temple from Ruoergai.
Ruoergai to Songpan: Take a private car to go back to Songpan.
Songpan to Rilong: No direct coach. Hire a private car.
Rilong to Chengdu: Hire a private car.
Answered by NTNNGA | Mar. 15, 2019 01:06

Thanks for your info.
Asked by Lek | Dec. 25, 2018 22:29Reply
Is Songpinggou closed inJan?
Someone told me Songpinggou is closed in winter because difficult driving so go to Bipenggou instead. Is it correct?
Answers (1)
Answered by Clara from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 28, 2018 00:25

Well, Lek, I searched on the internet. And I didn't find any information about this. The scenic area will still open at that time.
Asked by TeeRee | Nov. 25, 2018 22:32Reply
Compare about cost of entrance, ski, scenery view between Xiling snow mountain and Bipenggou
My plan is going to Maoxian/Songpingou - Heishui/Dagu glacier - back to Chengdu 3 Days/2 Nights by public bus and hire car. Another 2 days will go to Xiling snow mountain to play snowboard and see rime trees. If Bipenggou can play snowboard, has rime trees and cost cheaper than Xiling I may change my plan.
Thanks for any information
Answers (1)
Answered by Kevin from USA | Nov. 26, 2018 16:46

Yes, you can also play snowboard, watch rime tress and cost less in Bipenggou. So you can consider visiting Bipenggou with less crowded than Xiling Snow Mountain.
Asked by Rieng | Nov. 22, 2018 04:04Reply
Can we visit songpinggou in Jan?
Between songpinggou and bipenggou which place is more beautiful and easier to go in Jan from Maoxian?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nathan from FRANCE | Nov. 22, 2018 19:20

Songpinggou is located at Maoxian and Bipenggou is located at Lixian. So Songpinggou is easier to go if you set out from Maoxian. Both are beautiful and attractive. But Bipenggou is more popular and fun and you can also ski there.
Asked by PS from MALAYSIA | Aug. 16, 2018 23:03Reply
Need help, I will from Chengdu to Rilong, after visit mountain any bus from Rilong to Danba?
Answers (1)
Answered by Clair from USA | Aug. 20, 2018 19:50

Sorry but there is no bus available, maybe you can hire a local car, and the fare is 200-300rmb.
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