Tuesday, January 7, 2020

A WEEKEND IN JIUZHAIGOU

Two days after getting back from our glacier trip, myself and 5 friends (Sadaf, Jasmine, Darcy, Vanessa and Jacquelin) endured a 10-hour bus journey through the mountainous province of Sichuan and arrived at Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟). This nature reserve has acquired national fame over the years because of its stunning sceneries, having lush forests, pearl waterfalls and lakes with the clearest water I have ever seen. The landscape changes from season to season, with autumn having the contrasting blue water and the red and orange colours of the trees and the end of the year seeing the park transform into a winter wonderland; hence why it has been on my list of places to go in China for a while now! 


We set off early in the morning of the 3rd of January and arrived in the evening. Because it is off-peak season in the park, we were able to get bus tickets (there and back), hotel fees and entrance fees to the park at a very reasonable rate (I will list all prices at the end of this post). The next day was just for Jiuzhaigou. It is very big and has many parts, so it took the whole day to navigate. Included in the price of the entrance to the park, is the use of the buses that take you to different points within the reserve. 

The aim of this blog post is not only to continue to show the natural wonders of China, but to inform and educate. The geography and climate of China is so different to that of England and most places in Europe I have seen. I hope to display that in the photos and information below. Enjoy! 

The first stop of many in the park is at the Mirror Lake (镜海). Because of its calm waters, it perfectly reflects the mountains on either side, imitating a mirror. On our trip, most of this lake was frozen, making it even more magical. 

The Mirror Lake (镜海) 

The Mirror Lake (镜海)

Five-colour pond (五彩池) is the smallest pond in the park and is known as the “eye of Jiuzhaigou.” Because of its underground flow, it does not freeze over in winter. Algae, sunlight and travertine contribute to its colour. 

Five-Colour Pond (五彩池) 

Five-Colour Pond (五彩池 

The Five-Flower Lake (五花海) has the richest colour of all the lakes. With the reflection of the benthic travertine, algae, aquatic grass mixed with the reflection of the blue sky, white clouds and green forests, light yellow, emerald green, sky blue, dark blue and navy blue are formed. It is said to resemble the tail of a peacock from above!   

The Five-Flower Lake (五花海)  

The Five-Flower Lake (五花海) 

Pearl Shoal Waterfall (珍珠滩瀑布) is the biggest waterfall in the park while also being the loudest. Located in a beautiful spot, the area here is also very rich in oxygen.  

Pearl Shoal Waterfall (珍珠滩瀑布)  

Pearl Shoal Waterfall (珍珠滩瀑布 

On the 8th of August 2017 at 9:19pm, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Jiuzhaigou area, causing a lot of damage and destruction to the park. This 320-million-year-old rock, broke away from the top of the mountain and fell 272 meters into the valley. It has been labelled as a reminder that we should revere the power of nature. 

The 8/8 rock (8/8 石) 

Tiger Lake (老虎海) is so named because of the colours reflected in the water seem to resemble the stripes of a tiger (although that was hard to see when we went)!

 Tiger Lake (老虎海)

Rhinoceros Lake (犀牛海) got its name as according to legend, a venerable monk who was very ill, rode a rhinoceros into the lake to drink from the scared spring. 

  Rhinoceros Lake (犀牛海) 

On our next day we visited another national park, two hours away, called Huanglong (黄龙). This park is a lot smaller so has no buses to help you get to places, so we had to climb up ourselves which left us exhausted but satisfied with more breath-taking views! The main attraction here was the colourful ponds which we were able to see from the top, 3,600 meter high.  






Return bus fare to Jiuzhaigou = 316 RMB (£34.50)
Hotel for three nights = 255 RMB (£27.90)
Entrance fee to Jiuzhaigou = 160 RMB (£17.50)
Entrance fee to Huanglong = 60 RMB (£6.60)

Another phenomenal trip that I had the wonderful pleasure of going on! It’s trips like these with the amazing sceneries and wonderful company which make me realise how much I will miss China. Special thanks to Sadaf, Jasmine, Darcy, Vanessa and Jacquelin for an unforgettable time!


And now it’s time to plan for my next trip in two days! 

Thank you for reading! 

B x   
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