Xichang is a beautiful tourism spot in southern Sichuan. It is warm in the winter, cool in the summer and sunny almost every day. Its weather is so good, in fact, that it is a satellite launch base for the Chinese space program. Qionghai lake is situated near the city center and is magnificent. There are beautiful mountains for hiking in Xichang itself and the nearby regions. And, despite its small size, Xichang is home to a community of westerners, who have moved to city and settled there, presumably for the fanstastic quality of life and weather.
The city has a yha hostel if u're a back packer looking for a place to stay. (look for Skylark hostel)
Most people will probably arrive to XiChang by train (trains arrive at night, so it can be a night sleeper to save time as well). From the train take bus 12 which begins it service at 06:30. (From the station exit take a left and you'll see a big parking lot with a bus station and many taxis). It arrives to both bus stations: 1. The first station you'll see will be the long distance bus station, it's about the 6th stop but don't take my word on it. 2. The tourist bus station is on bus 12 last stop so it's easy to find.
until the first 12 bus starts working at 06:30. (Since most trains arrive few hours before that)
If you arrive by bus to XiChang, busses 12 and 17 goes from the long distance bus station to the tourist bus station.
Most people use XiChang as a transport hub from Sichuan to Lugu Hu where they continue to Lijiang and Yunan. (or the other way around) To do this, take one of the night trains to Xichang either from Emmei shan city or from Chengdu. At 06:15 head to bus 12 stop in front of train station and get off at it's last stop - The tourist bus station. There you'll buy a ticket to Lugu Hu Zhen - it's the biggest village around the lake and it's on the Sichuan side of the lake. (Bus ticket cost about 90 yuan, the bus leaves at 08:50 and arrives the lake about 16:00) At high season there is another bus. If by small chance there are n tickets to the lake for the same day, u can spend the night at the hostel.