My family of 4 has just returned from a 2 week visit to Chengdu. We made a side trip to JZG / Huanglong from Chengdu.
Here's an account of our bus journey from Chengdu (Xinanmen bus station) to JZG -
Time of Departure: tickets for 7.40 am bus (bus left at 7.50 am)
Boarding of bus: about 20 min before departure
Bus: 39 seater bus (designated seats, with 2 drivers)
Bus ticket: 145 RMB per person
Toilet at Xinanmen bus station: much much better than the 4 toilet stops along the way
Toilet stops: 4 stops in total @ 10.30am / 12.10 pm (cum lunch stop) / 1.05 pm / 2.30 pm
[you have to pay 1RMB per person to use the toilet - condition of toilets: dirty and
smelly (to use only when absolutely necessary)]. At the lunch stop, the place
served a basic buffet of rice + several side dishes @ 25 RMB per pax. Edible but
not great. One can buy drinks and snacks at most of the stops. We bought
cherries at one of the stop as it's in season now.
Time of arrival at JZG bus station: 4.30 pm
It was a scenic journey along the way passing thru small towns / hilly terrains / mountain tunnels / farmlands with the road meandering close to a river. At times it can be scary with the driver trying to overtake a slower vehicle on the one lane (each way) road. There was a lot of air horn noise from the drivers of vehicles throughout the road journey (for overtaking).
There is a series of sharp S turns just before reaching JZG. One can understand the need of 2 drivers per bus for the long journey and the reason for no night driving along the long winding road from Chengdu to JZG.
Tip: Get a ticket departing as early as possible. This way you will cut down the travelling time as we encountered heavy traffic jam all the way from xinanmen bus station till the outskirts of Chengdu.
For the return trip, we depart from Songpan ( as we made a side trip to Huanglong too )