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How to Get to Daocheng Yading

There is an incredible place reputed as “the Last Pure Land on our Blue Planet” located in the southwest Sichuan, bordering with Zhongdian Shangri-La in Yunnan. Yes, this is Daocheng Yading (稻城亚丁), the last Shangri-La in China that scenery here can be compared with the waterscape of Jiuzhaigou Valley. Numerous travelers have been planing their trips to this wonderful land to personally witness the three sacred snow-capped mountains, forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers and glacier-fed lakes...Now, it is time to figure out how to get to Daocheng Yading and make clear how to get from Daocheng Yading Airport to Yading Nature Reserve. Go!

Where is Daocheng Yading in Sichuan, China?

Daocheng Yading is located in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in the southwest of Sichuan Province, about 683 kilometers away from Chengdu - the capital of Sichuan. Daocheng Yading is situated in the east of Tibet Plateau, well linking with Shangri-La in Yunnan Province, Lijiang and Lugu Lake in the south, Litang (理塘) in the north.

From - To Distance Estimated Time Needed
Chengdu - Daocheng County 683 km around 12~12.5 hours
Shangri-La - Daocheng County 331 km around 7.5~8 hours
Kangding - Daocheng County 420 km around 8~8.5 hours
Xinduqiao - Daocheng County 343 km around 6~6.5 hours
Litang - Daocheng County 151 km around 2.5~3 hours

Actually, Daocheng Yading is not one place. Daocheng is a county of Garze which includes Yading Village and Yading Nature Reserve. Since Yading is the unmissable destination of Daocheng, that we usually put them together.

From - To Distance Estimated Time Needed
Daocheng Yading Airport - Daocheng County 50 km around 1 hour
Daocheng Yading Airport - Shangri-La Town 123 km around 2~2.5 hours
Daocheng Yading Airport - Yading Nature Reserve 128 km around 2.5 hours
Daocheng County - Yading Nature Reserve 81km about 1.5~2 hours
Shangri-La Town - Yading Nature Reserve 6 km about 15~20 mins

Get to Daocheng Yading by Air

Daocheng Yading Airport

Altitude: 4411 meters

Location: 217 National Rd, Sangdui Village, Daocheng County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province (四川省甘孜藏族自治州稻城县217省道)

Daocheng Yading Airport (稻城亚丁机场) is the highest civilian airport in China. Opened in 2018, this airport has flights linking with Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Luzhou, Kunming, Xian, Kangding. In the future, it will have flights from/to Shanghai and Beijing and more cities. Many travelers choose to land in Chengdu first and then take flights from Chengdu to Daocheng. Usually, 1 or 2 daily flights are serving between Chengdu and Daocheng. It takes around 1 hour or within 1.5 hours.

Useful Tips: To try to avoid high altitude sickness, it is suggested to don’t do strenuous activities after arrival. The average temperature of each month is around -9℃~9℃ and please keep warm to protect yourselves.

Taking a car is another common way to reach Daocheng Yading. Many travelers choose to start from Chengdu and take the car with long drive to get to Daocheng. The driving distance from Chengdu to Daocheng County is 683 kilometers and it needs 12~12.5 hours without stop along the way. So, Kangding or Xinduqiao is served as the rest stop that you can both enjoy sightseeing in each of the two destinations and have a good rest of your body. Let’s view Chengdu Daocheng Yading driving route map to get more clear idea.

Section Road Condition Distance Estimated Time Needed
Chengdu - Ya’an City highway 147 km around 2~2.5 hours
Ya’an - Luding highway 112 km around 2 hours
Luding - Kangding cement road 56 km around 1.5 hours
Kangding - Xinduqiao asphalt road 77 km around 2 hours
Xinduqiao - Litang asphalt road 196 km around 4 hours
Litang - Daocheng County asphalt road 151 km around 2.5~3 hours
Daocheng County - Shangri-La Town asphalt road 75 km about 1.5 hours
Travel Tips: Since the long direct driving between Chengdu and Daocheng Yading, it is highly recommended to go as Chengdu - Kangding - Daocheng Yading - Xinduqiao - Chengdu. It means you can spend one day exploring in Xinduqiao or Kangding which both are worth your time with stunning scenery and culture.

Chengdu to Daocheng Yading

The distance between Chengdu and Daocheng County is 683 kilometers. Chengdu is served as the most popular gateway city reaching Daocheng Yading. There are three ways getting to Daocheng from Chengdu.

By Air: Direct flights have been connecting Chengdu with Daocheng. 1 or 2 daily flights are available. It takes about 1 hour.

By Coach / Long Distance Bus: If you are independent travelers, you can take coach or long distance bus from Chengdu to Daocheng. Travelers can take coach from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station to Daocheng County. Only 1 coach is available everyday. This long distance bus will stop in Kangding. It takes about 25 hours in total which is time-consuming.

By Private Car: It is highly recommended to travel with China Discovery to travel between Chengdu and Daocheng. Since the long journey on the way, it is a good idea to make a stop in Kangding or Xinduqiao and then head to Daocheng.

Shangri-La to Daocheng Yading

The distance between Shangri-La and Daocheng County is about 331 kilometers. Some travelers may travel from Shangri-La to Daocheng Yading after their Yunnan tour.

By Coach: There is only one coach from Shangri-La Bus Station to Daocheng. It takes about 10 hours. It is also time-consuming.

By Private Car: If you need a private transfer service between Shangri-La and Daocheng, you can contact us and we’ll try our best to arrange the licensed comfortable private car for you.

Kangding to Daocheng Yading

The distance between Kanding and Daocheng County is about 420 kilometers. Kangding is the middle stop on the way of Chengdu to Daocheng. If you want to have a tour in and around Kangding and then for Daocheng, yes, it is recommended. Usually, there are two ways from Kanding to Daocheng - by air and by coach.

By Air: Kangding has an airport called Kangding Airport with limited flights to Daocheng. The flights and schedules sometimes are not fixed and it is not recommended to take flights to Daocheng.

By Coach: In Kangding Bus Station, it has long distance bus from Kangding to Daocheng. Only one daily bus is available. It needs about 9~10 hours.

Travel Tip: Getting from Kangding to Daocheng is chosen by fewer travelers. Instead, they add Kangding as the middle stop for a rest and sightseeing.

How to Get from Daocheng to Yading Nature Reserve

Daocheng Yading Airport - Yading Nature Reserve: The distance from Daocheng Yading Airport to Yading Nature Reserve is about 128 kilometers. There is no direct shuttle bus running from the airport to Yading Village or Yading Nature Reserve. Travelers should first get to Daocheng County and then take the bus to Shangri-La Town.

Daocheng County - Yading Nature Reserve: It is about 81 kilometers between Daocheng County and Yading Nature Reserve. Usually, there are two buses (one is at around 10:00 and the other is at around 14:00) running from Daocheng County to Shangri-La Town. It takes about 2 hours. Buses are a lot from Shangri-La Town to Yading Nature Reserve.

If you want to learn more about Yading Nature Reserve, holy mountains and crystal lakes, trekking route, sightseeing bus and battery car in this scenic area, you can turn to Yading Nature Reserve for detailed information.

How to Plan Your Daocheng Yading Tour?

Pearl Lake of Yading Nature Reserve

The transportation network of Daocheng is not well developed at present. The most popular way getting to Daocheng Yading is by air. And the second choice is by driving. If you just want a simple Daocheng Yading tour in China, you can go with us. BUT, it is highly recommended to go from Chengdu to Daocheng Yading by air. Shangri-La is also connected with Daocheng Yading, that you can add Daocheng Yading after your Yunnan tour.

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