Danba Area, Sichuan, China

Date of visit: October 2011
Guide book used: Lonely Planet China 11th Edition

Pictures of Danba can be seen here.

Transport. There are buses to Danba (Y120) from Chengdu (Chadianzi bus station) at 6am and 6.30 am. The web site in Chinese claims there is a 7am bus but they told me in person there wasn’t one. If as with me they claim there are no seats on a bus to Danba you can get a bus to Xiaojin 小金 (Y99). Xiaojin is about 50km from Danba and you can get a shared microvan mianbaoche 面包车for Y30.

On the return journey the bus station claimed to me there was only a bus leaving at 6.15am. However when I arrived there were three buses. One of the others was supposedly meant to leave at 6.20 but as for the third I’m not sure. The reality is that all three left at 6.30 in convoy.

Accommodation. There is no shortage of non-descript looking Chinese hotels especially in the area around the pedestrian street.

The Zhaxi Zhoukang Backpacker’s Hostel is no way as friendly as the Lonely Planet makes it out to be. There seem to be a multitude of people in what I assume is the family and many of them are only interested in the family. Having said that some are quite helpful and friendly but usually only when you ask the right questions. English seems limited.

Food: the restaurant (Wanglao wu) the LP plugs is really just so so. There are plenty of restaurants along that road and many are much better.


Suopo. If you are walking there from Danba look for the Police station along the road and then head down the track there which will take you to the suspension bridge.

Whilst there is a Y15 admission fee to the village that doesn’t mean the place is geared up for tourists. On the track to the village as it follows the river there is a building which seems to be where the fee is collected. This looks as if in the future it may become a visitor’s centre and suggests they are hoping for an increase in future tourists.

Whilst the towers are very easy to see from the other side of the valley they deceptively melt away when you try to find them due to being hidden by other buildings, trees and the general contour of the land.

I didn’t meet any other visitors wandering around Suopo. With its winding paths and lack of signposting it is not really set up for tourism. Be prepared to get lost along the paths.

In the 12th Edition Lonely Planet they claim there is a tower open to people and that the owners will come looking for you. This certainly didn’t happen.


Jiaju Zangzhai: is undoubtedly more touristy than Suopo. However, the Y30 admission gives you little in the way of tourist infrastructure. There is minimal signposting and largely you will have to explore paths to find where they lead you. The advantage with this is that you can leave the other tourists (not that there appear to be that many) behind.

A number of places offer homestays and they will often come looking for you (in Chinese). There is one near the fork in the road just down from the police station. A basic room with bathroom (squat toilet) can be had for Y80 per person including dinner and breakfast. The owner’s mobile number is 13551698761

Getting there: a car costs around Y50 each way. There are cars for hire around the bridges at both ends of Danba.

Useful information.

China Backpacker Danba page


  1. Hi Mark-Just wanted to thank you for the very helpful article you shared with the folks at Great Escapes. I am a travel writing student there and I am picking up so many helpful tips from their daily emails…including they just shared from you! I love the pics of those monkeys in the hot springs, btw! 😉
    Thanks again and keep up your great work!
    🙂 Jeannine

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