We were in Jiuzhaigou and Munigou 4 days trip (the only one the travel office recommended as a no-shopping trip from Chengdu). The way there was informed to last 8-9 hours, but it took 11,5 hours. The second day we were in Jiuzhaigou, which was really nice. Next day the schedule said, we will stay in Munigou scenic spot for 2 hours. Before we got there, we had one hour jewellery shopping after driving only 50 minutes in the morning. Again after one hour driving we had next stop for shopping, yak meat this time. That stop didn't last one hour, but wasn't much less either. Lunch we had at 12h. At 13h we were in Munigou waterfalls, stayed there one hour and drove to Maoxian to hotel. On the fourth day we drove straight to Chengdu, being there at around 13h. The third day, I think, was totally a waste of time. We really saw only one scenic spot and that was it. The stop in Munigou wasn't quite what I expected. If you want to see Jiuzhaigou, maybe you should consider staying there one day (3 days trip) or two days (four days trip), incl. shopping stops. Don't worry about the shopping stops. We were with Chinese tourists and they took care of the shopping, really. ;)
it can't be said you will or will not suffer it. to prevent, you may take the hongjingtian capsules, with the ingredients of hongjingtian herbal medicine 3-5 days in advance before arriving jiuzhaigou/huanglong.
if hongjingtian capsule not be found, you may also try nuodikang capsule which also includes hongjingtian herbal medicine and ususally available at the big drug stores.
One hour driving from Jiuzhaigou is the source of the Ming river (see picture). Everyone who goes to Jiuzhaigou passes there. Sometimes there are local women standing there to sell things. Don't touch any of the things they sell!! Our guide said that one time one of her tourists touched something and they had a really long discussion then with the women, who said that you have to buy it if you touch it.
The Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong scenic areas are at elevations of around 3000m or more. At these elevations, the oxygen level is thin and breathing will become laboured. Most of the sights in Jiuzhaigou and Huang Long Valley are only accessible by walking - either on level ground or climbing up and down wooden steps. Walking and climbing steps for 3 - 4 hours is already strenuous enough for the average tourist, what more at such high altitudes. Some people may be susceptible to mountain sickness. The symptoms are lightheadedness, headaches, poor concentration, palpitations and nausea. For those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiac conditions, such unaccustomed physical activity can aggravate their medical condition and even result in a heart attack.
Good medical facilities are scarce in the Jiuzhaigou and Huang Long area. The nearest county hospital is quite a distance away.
Canisters of oxygen are sold at makeshift stalls along the way. No matter how fit you are, I would advise you to purchase a canister of oxygen at RMB100 per canister. Alternatively, if you feel that you are unable to complete the climb up to the coloured terace ponds, you could sit on a sedan chair. Four strong and burly men will carry you up and down for RMB200.
Try not to go out at night, as i find out from my guide, tibetian are all nice people but due to their culture, they are still quite not civialise. Especially when they are drunk, do not cross their path or else you may end up quite badly. Therefore, tried not to go out at night in order to avoid drunkers.
Even when travelling by tour on a coach, you'd still have to be careful about falling rocks. There is only one way up & one way down the mountains on the same road. You may meet some fallen rocks that would need to be removed to be able to drive on again.
Keep the driver entertained & awake!
Another option is to join a tour that actually flys there.
All of the tibetan girls are good at singing. They have talent in this field. And singing match is the folk custom at there. You may meet a beautiful tibetan girl ask you to sing with her. If you could not sing or lose the match. You were in big trouble then. You will be forced to graze for her in the 3 years later. If you don't wanna stay there for 3 years as a grazier. You should practise your sing skill more ofter before you go there... hehehe :))))
Try to avoid the China national day period in early October or else there will be far too many local tourists from other provinces in China which will affect your enjoyment of this beautiful place.