Ya'an Travel Guide

Ya’an Facts

Chinese Name: 雅安 (yǎ ān)
Population: 1,541,000
Area: 15,046 square kilometers (5,809 square miles)
Location: in the central area of Sichuan Province, southwest China
Administrative Division: 2 districts (Yucheng, Mingshan); 6 counties (Yingjing, Hanyuan, Shimian, Tianquan, Lushan, Baoxing)   
Area Code: 0835
Zip Code: 625000
GDP (2019): CNY 72.379 billion (USD 10.491 billion)

Highlighting Bifeng Gorge Panda Base & Profound Tea Culture

Ya'an lies in the center of Sichuan Province on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, on the western edge of Sichuan Basin, and below the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is bounded to the east by Chengdu, by Ganzi to the west, with Liangshan and Aba bordering south and north. Ya'an is 120 km (75 mi) away from Chengdu. A lot of people visit Ya’an for the Bifeng Gorge Panda Base where visitors can see not only lively pandas but also beautiful canyons covered by waterfalls and lush trees.

Another highlight of Ya’an is the tea culture. Ya’an is the birthplace of Tibetan tea and also one of the earliest areas in China to plant tea trees since 2,000 years ago, producing the Mengding Mountains green tea, which is one of the best Chinese tea. Picking tea leaves or seeing the sea of clouds and sunrise in Niubei Mountain will offer an unforgettable experience. Besides that, the Old Town of Shangli with many stilted buildings and arch bridges in various forms tells the history of the city. In the evening, the brightly lit Covered Bridge on the Qingyi River is the most bustling place in Ya'an.

Ya'an Attractions - Things to Do

 Bifeng Gorge Panda Base: It is about 136 kilometers from Chengdu, with ninety percent of its territory being covered with forest. This ecological tourist recreational resort contains ecological zoo, area, extreme sports center, forest oxygen bar, forest exploration area, precious plants zone, ecological agriculture zone, the zone of Nuwa culture, the base of Chinese herbal medicine as well as China Giant Panda Research Center.

 Ya'an Covered Bridge (Lang Qiao): Over the Qingyi River, it is an integral part of the city's townscape. It represents a pseudo-classic construction, consisting of both two and three tiers. Blending in with the beer street, tea houses and the Qingyi River, the bridge is a romantic attraction of this elegant city.    

 Old Town of Shangli: It is located 27 kilometers (17 miles) north of Ya'an City, and is one of the ten famous old towns in Sichuan. Over ten old bridges, three stone archways, Baima Spring, pagodas and building complex of the Han's compounds are all the highlights of the old town. 

 Other Scenic Spots: Jiajinshan Scenic Area, Jinfeng Temple, Erlang Mountain, Baizhang Lake

How to Get to Ya'an

Ya'an is 130 kilometers (81 miles) from Chengdu and only fifty minutes' drive from the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. It links central Sichuan to the three ethnic minority prefectures (Garze, Aba and Liangshan).

The city does not have an airport or docks, and Wusihe Railway Station in Hanyuan County is the only railway station. Road transportation is especially important here. Through the Chengdu-Ya'an Expressway, the city can be reached from the center of the province Chengdu in only one hour. Buses are available in the New South Gate Bus Station at 57, as well as Linjiang Lu of downtown Chengdu.

After reaching Ya'an, visitors can find buses to its scenic spots and buses back to Chengdu in these bus stations:
Ya'an Bus Station: 68, Hebei Jie, Yucheng District
Ya'an Tourist Station: 17, Ximen Bei Lu, Yucheng District

See more Chengdu - Ya'an Train

 Ya'an Earthquake 2013: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake attacked the Lushan County of Ya’an City in Sichuan Province at 08:02 am on April 20, 2013. According to Xinhua News Agency, 196 people were killed and 11,470 injured in the quake region. 



The city lies in the subtropical climatic zone where humid, monsoon-like conditions can exist.  The Ya'an weather in northern and southern DaXiang Ling varies greatly and the climate differs as the terrain changes. Its annual average temperature is around 16℃ (60.8℉). It is truly a rain city. There is rain 180 days of a year. Despite the humid conditions, the city is still a year-round tourist destination. However, it is a good idea to be cautious during the rainy season in summer, as accidents caused by floods can occur.

Ya'an Travel Tips

 History: Ya'an was long considered to be the territory of the Qingyi Qiang Kingdom, which was established in 816BC by a tribe of the ancient Qiang minority in western Sichuan. The city has more than two thousand years of history since the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC). During the early years after China's liberation, it was officially designated as the capital of Xikang Province.

 Physical Features: The region is situated on the western fringe area of Sichuan Basin, lying in the transition zone from Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to Chengdu Plain. It has complex landforms and the terrain rolls intensely. Daxiang Ling (or Niba Mountain) traverses the center of the city.

 Local Highlights: In 1868, a French missionary first discovered the giant pandas in Ya'an. Today the area is home to the Fengtongzhai Nature Reserve and Chinese Giant Panda Preserving Base of Bifengxia Station. Both were built here for scientific research and panda breeding. The region also has two thousand years of tea planting history, being the tea city of the province. The Mengding Tea of Menngshan Mountain is an especially high quality beverage. 

 Special Local Products: tea, bamboo shoots, Ya Fish (scientific name: Schizothorax prenanti), Chinese mushrooms, Chinese gooseberries, snow pears, cherry wine of Hanyan County, the root carvings of Lushan County, and black pottery of Yingjing County
- Last updated on Jul. 12, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Ya\an Travel
Asked by Ellie from GERMANY | Sep. 24, 2019 07:56Reply
How can you get to Jiajinshan from Ya'an?
We are planning to go out for a day trip to JiaJinShan, is that possible from Ya'an?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sean from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 26, 2019 19:46

The distance is around 130km and there is no public transport. You might need to hire a car and start off early in the morning.
Asked by Jose from SPAIN | Jun. 30, 2019 06:24Reply
How to get Erlangshan from Chengdu?
Answers (1)
Answered by Jessica from NEW ZEALAND | Jul. 01, 2019 00:12

You can take take bus from Chengdu Shiyangchang Bus Station to Tianquan County and then hire a car to the Erlangshan. The bus from Chengdu departs from 9:30 to 17:30 with an interval about 1 hour and it takes about CNY62.
Asked by Micheal Ross from USA | Apr. 16, 2019 22:35Reply
How to get Hailougou from Ya'an or Emeishan by bus?
Answers (1)
Answered by Madelyn from FINLAND | Apr. 21, 2019 20:28

As I know, there is no direct public transportation from Ya'an or Emeishan. You are suggested to go back to Chengdu first. Then you can find direct bus to Hailuogou from Xinnanmen Bus Station.
Asked by Jess from UNITED KINGDOM | Mar. 10, 2019 03:08Reply
How can you get from Ya’an to jiajinshan National Park?
Answers (1)
Answered by John from USA | Mar. 11, 2019 02:31

Hi, you need to take a bus from Ya'an West Bus Station to Baoxing first. The bus departs from 7:15 to 17:40 with an interval about 40 minutes. Then take a taxi or hire a private car to the park.
Asked by Tantip D. from THAILAND | Feb. 13, 2017 06:31Reply
From Shuangliu airport, I will stay at Emei Mountain for 1 night.
And after that will go to Ya'an. How can I get there?

Answers (2)
Answered by Claire from NEW ZEALAND | Feb. 14, 2017 21:22

From Emei Mountain, you can hire a private car or get a taxi to get to Jiuzhu Bus Station first. After arriving, you will find several direct coaches to the destination. The schedules are from 08:10, 10:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15:10 and 17:20. The ticket fare is CNY 45 per person.
Answered by Tantip D. from THAILAND | Feb. 14, 2017 21:59

Thanks for your answer. :)
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