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|Jiuzhaigou is located in the north of Sichuan Province and is known far and wide as "a fairyland." The name Jiuzhaigou came from nine Tibetan villages scattered throughout the valley. Its attraction lies in its simple, idyllic beauty; a fairyland, primitive and natural and still in its pristine state. With majestic and unrivalled emerald lakes, layered waterfalls, colourful forests, snow peaks and Tibetan folk villages, all blending in harmony with each other - it is nature's jewel set into the mountains. Jiuzhaigou lies in a transitional area where northern and southern flora and fauna meet. A natural botanical and zoological garden, it is a home of densely growing conifers and broadleaf trees, and of rare and endangered animal species such as the giant panda, golden monkey, and white-lip deer. Recently, UNESCO has recognized the Dujiangyan Dam as a world cultural heritage site..
Landscapes - Four Seasons in Jiuzhaigou
When spring is coming, the ice and snow begin to melt and spring water begins to rise. The Jiuzhaigou Valley is radiant and enchanting. The air is filled with the fragrance of wild blossoms. The bright mountain flowers are in full bloom, and the spring sun kisses the lakes. The spring is soft and gentle, you cannot help becoming enveloped in its natural beauty and cast under its magical spell.
In summer the Jiuzhaigou Valley becomes drenched with verdant green, layers upon layers of dragon spruces, it seems that the colour is dripping from the trees.
There are many beautiful lakes, which are pure and unblemished. The lush forest is alive, and the clear green waters reflect the violet clouds floating above, adding to the summer charm of the Jiuzhaigou. Where summer in most places is so hot, in the Valley you can feel very cool and comfortable when you are walking through the forest. You can say that wherever there are places like this, there lies inspiration for poets to create beautiful verse.
Autumn is the most magnificent season of all in the Valley. The breeze is intoxicating, while the leaves turn crimson on the trees. The colorful red autumn leaves and woods are reflected in the sparkling translucent lakes - the fallen petals float in the water. The remote sky is clear and bright. Your eyes are filled with the most beautiful view of the natural world.
In winter, the Valley becomes especially quiet and full of a quality suggestive of poetry or painting. Mountains and woods are coated in snow, and the waterfall and lakes are as clear as ice and pure as gems. The color of the ice layer on the blue lakes changes throughout the year, according to the range of temperatures. Between the iced waterfalls, the rippling water makes refreshing sounds. Enjoy the magical world of winter in the Jiuzhaigou Valley. The distant forest is like a dark green curtain of thin silk, while the mountains nearby are like its emerald hairpin. Birds are singing happily in the quite woods and the sky appears more distant in the clear weather.
Shuzheng Gully occupies a major position in Jiuzhaigou Valley. The main paths and roads are flat and have been newly paved with asphalt.
The scenic spot of Shuzheng Qun Hai (Shuzheng Lakes) is the entrance to magnificent Jiuzhaigou. With a total length of 13.8 kilometres, Shuzheng contains over 40 different lakes, occupying 40% of the total area in Jiuzhaigou. The water is bright blue and crystal clear. The clay-colored calcium dykes are elegant and defined, with a lot of weeping willows, pines, cypresses and China firs growing on them. Waters of the upper reaches of the lake leap over the bushes and trees of the dyke in a cloud of white spray, forming many charming water screens.
The whole lake group is clearly steeped in blue water and green trees, making visitors wonder whether they have stepped into a fantasy world. The waters overflow the banks between the lakes, which are covered with willows, pines and cypresses, and the overflows become a succession of waterfalls. On the dykes of these lakes there is a kind of plateau bush that puts its roots down deeply; these plants add to the many special native plant groups, which provide a marvellous natural spectacle. The nearby Shuzheng stockaded village has preserved two primitive stone mills and one wooden bridge; they are simple and rough and enhance the rustic charm of the locale.
Shuijinggong (Crystal Palace) Lake lies in the lower reaches of Shuzheng Gully; the most rippling lake covers an area of 1,000 acres, and is 40 to 50 meters in depth. In the 10 meter-depth of the centre bottom, there is a milky yellow dyke composed of carbonic acid calcium; it resembles a dragon crouching below the lake. When the wind is blowing across the lake, the dragon seems to be squirming with the billowing water.
Treasure Mirror Cliff
Treasure Mirror Cliff is a gigantic cliff rising 800 meters from ground level. Its surface is as smooth and slippery as a mirror. Capped with pines and China firs, the cliff top resembles a human head with cropped short hair and curly beard, which according to local mythology, was left over by Zhayiga, the Ancester of mountains to keep the evil spirit under control.
Potted Landscape Lake
On the Lake's shallows, a few dozen miniature-potted-landscape-like bushes of azalea, poplar, metasequoia and other varieties are scattered about. They assume various forms; some in the shape of a fierce spread eagle and others a galloping steed.
Luwei Hai (elevation 2,140 meters) is actually a semi-marsh lake, where reeds abound and birds fly freely. A clear brook zigzags its way through the marsh, where waterfowls are seen hovering overhead. When the reeds come into bloom, the green meandering brook presents a striking contrast to the yellow spread of reeds. Layers of the down-like flowers ripple, seducing many wild ducks and egrets to come and visit. Reed Lake is suffused with color and exudes a thriving and flourishing vitality.
Shuanglong Hai is situated among the bushes below the waterfall of Huohua Hai (Sparking Lake). It was named after two biological calcium dykes, which lurk under the water. Possibly due to the peaceful environment and the blessing of the two huge "dragons", there are many beautiful swans and mandarin ducks that are without fear of humans. Lucky visitors may catch a view of the ducks swimming in groups and swans dancing in the air.
Huohua Hai - Sparkling Lake (elevation 2,187 meters) with a total area of 36,352 square meters, and a depth of 9 meters. The water is blue and crystal clear. When the fog has dispersed in the morning and the sun has risen, there seems a lot of sparkles flashing and twinkling on the lake's surface. Sparkling Lake, overwhelmed by jade greens all around, looks like a great jadeite dish full of marvellous pearls and jewels. The western hills command a spectacular view of the sparkling reflections of bright sunlight upon the lake's deep blue surface.
In summer, wild flowers bloom in brilliant reds and purples. The morning dew compliments the sparkling surface of the lake, and leaves a great deal for visitors to savour.
Wolong Hai (Sleeping Dragon Lake)
Sleeping Dragon Lake (elevation 2,215 meters) covers an area of about 61,838 square meters with a depth of 22 meters. In the middle of the lake, submerged, is a dimly visible yellowish "Lying Dragon" in some 20 meters of water. When a gentle wind from the mountain whips up ripples on the lake's clear surface, it looks as if the "Dragon" were stretching herself, and once the wind increases intensity, the "Dragon" begins to shake her head and wag her tail, as if poising for take off. Sometimes the dragon appears as if it will jump out of the water, but suddenly it may disappear totally.
Shuzheng Falls stretches several kilometres. Far from the waterfall, you can hear an astonishing thundering noise; water cloud and colorful rainbows reach to the sky to form a wide and dynamic water screen of grandeur. Blue water and clear sky, the singing birds and swaying reeds present you with a wonderful vista.
Tiger Lake (elevation 2,298 meters) where tigers used to drink water is directly above Shuzheng Falls. The serene and secluded Tiger Lake builds up great momentum, which explodes in the vitality and excitement of Shuzheng waterfalls.
Rhinoceros Lake (elevation 2,315 meters) has a depth of 12 meters, and covers an area of over 200,000 square meters. The Lake is broad and deep blue. The volume of water is static all year round. It was said that peaceful Rhinoceros Lake was endowed with a mysterious power. Far into the distance is Mount Goddess Woluosemo. Rhinoceros Lake is also the only place in Jiuzhaigou that provides boat-renting services to travelers.
Nuorilang Waterfall has a drop of 30 meters, and is 180 meters wide. It is one of China's largest calcium falls.
The massive water current washing over the cliff top overgrown with willows, drops some 30 meters down and forms a number of spectacular waterfalls of various shapes and sizes. Some water drops straight to the ground, in other places it dashes against protruding rocks midway and explodes into millions of colorful tiny beads. The name "Nuorilang" means "magnificent and splendid" in Tibetan language; the fall is famous for its broadness and grandeur. When the sun is shining you will be enchanted by the magical and wonderful rainbows rising above.
During winter, it becomes a dazzling white curtain of solid snow hanging from the top of the cliff. At the bottom, you can see icicles, some of which are more than 2 meters in length, which greatly resemble swords or spears used by martial arts exponents of yore.
Walk to the southwest of Nuorilang waterfall, you will reach Rize Gully, where there are many scenic spots. Compared with the delicacy of the Shuzheng Lakes, and the charming views of the Norilang area, the scenic attraction of the hardly traversed Sword Cliff region is more understated, wilders in nature, and has a primeval tranquility. It seems that you have suddenly passed through the time-space continuum, and stepped into time immemorial.
Precipitous cliffs covered with dense forests, which have remarkable multi-layers, surround Mirror Lake. Every time the sun breaks into a rosy dawn, the lake looks exactly like a mirror; still and smooth, reflecting its surroundings flawlessly; blue sky, white clouds, distant mountains and trees nearby. It is really a gorgeous view. Mirror Lake also features the magic view of "fish swimming in the air, and birds flying at the bottom of the lake."
On the bank of the lake, there is a long cane with the thickness of a bowl. It climbs up a towering old tree, the two are intertwined and depend upon each other, and they will never separate. So people gave Mirror Lake another romantic name "Park of Love."
Pearl Shoal (elevation 2,433 meters) is a huge fan-shaped calcium beach, where there is scattered a great variety of biological species due to the unique Karst topography. A stream rushes down a 20 degree slope into the shoal, splashing water about like millions of bouncing silver pearls, and then goes on down to form fantastic waterfalls of various shapes with a thunderous roaring echoing throughout the deep valley.
Golden Bell Lake
Golden Bell Lake (elevation 2,435 meters) is composed of two closely connected lakes. The lakes were named after their bell-shaped outline. Overlooking Golden Bell Lake, you will be intoxicated with the sight of the indigo-blue water. The lakes appear to be even more delicate and exquisite with thick forests all around.
Five Flower Lake
Five Flower Lake (elevation 2,472 meters) is 5 meters deep. It is the pride of the whole Jiuzhaigou area. Due to the varying depths of the water and the silts forming on the bottom, the lake's waters assume a variety of colors, such as light yellow, dark green, deep blue, and jadeite. Under the sunlight, reflecting in the exquisite lake, the colors imitate the beautiful hues of the peacock's feathers. Looking down to the lake's bottom, you can see water bubbling out of a deep well.
Panda Lake (elevation 2,587) is 14 meters deep, with an area of 90,000 square meters. This is also the hunting place of the giant panda. They love to eat arrow bamboo and drink water here. The rocks on the bank are interesting with intricate veins running through them. Under the water there is a white rock with several black veins, looking exactly like a giant panda.
Arrow Bamboo Lake
Arrow Bamboo Lake (elevation 2,618 meters) is 6 meters deep, and covers an area of 170,000 square meters. The bamboo is evergreen and the firs stand erect on the banks, and the surrounding undulating hills and swaying bamboo are reflected in the lake. Even in the severe cold winters, the lake still glistens and is full of vitality.
Swan Lake (elevation 2,905 meters) is a semi-marsh lake. The surface is domed (arched) with native weeds and wild flowers. A flow of clear water winds its way through the swamp. It is a tranquil and secluded place frequented by swans and wild ducks.
Grass Lake (elevation 2,910 meters) is thick with native grasses, and many leisurely swimming water birds. The lake's seasonal scenery is very appealing; glossy green grasses in spring, blooming and flourishing flowers in summer, golden yellow in deep autumn, and in winter, spotless and pure white with snow.
South of Swan Lake, there is a lonely precipice standing erect, called Jianyan (Sword Cliff). It is over 500 meters high. Huge rocks are exposed to the air, and the steep slopes have little vegetation. The cliff was named for its sword-like outline.
South from Nuorilang Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou is divided into two parts. Extending toward the south is Zechawa Gully, with a length of about 17.8 kilometres. Walking along Zechawa Gully, you can enjoy scenic spots like Seasonal Lake, Multi-color Lake, and you will end your journey at Long Lake (elevation 3,100 meters.)
Upper Season Lake and Lower season Lake
Upper Season Lake is situated in a lush and luxuriant locality, while Lower Season Lake is adjoining Multi-color Lake. The volume of the two lakes varies greatly, sometimes overflowing, and sometimes dried up. In rainy autumns the water rises and is bright blue, then changes to glossy green in summertime. During winter, the lakes run dry, and many different grasses grow in the lake beds, making an excellent natural pasture, covering an area of about 2 million square meters. It is the largest and highest lake in Jiuzhaigou.
Opposite the lake, there are snow-capped mountains (elevation 4,000-5,000 meters) with typical glacier landscapes of cirques and U-shaped valleys.
Multi-color Lake (elevation 2,995 meters) covers an area of 5,645 square meters, with a depth of 6.6 meters. It is situated below Long Lake and deeply hidden among the highly elevated forests.
Multi-colour Lake, the quintessence of the whole Jiuzhaigou, is full of aquatic biological species, such as sponges, algae, and ferns. In addition, there are many herb-like reeds and plants growing in the pond. Because different plants in the pond contain different levels of chlorophyll, they present different colours in the water, with a high consistency of calcium carbonate. The pond is an exquisite patchwork of different colours; light green, milky white, bright yellow and pale blue. Visitors can experience a splendid view of this amazing scenic phenomenon.
Long Lake (elevation 3,100 meters) is the most splendid lake in Jiuzhaigou Valley. It is opposite Erbo Mountain, which is covered with luxuriant forests, and the Biyaogonggai Lake, which is the highest lake in Jiuzhaigou (elevation over 4,000 meters). The melted snow from the South Peak and the waters of surrounding mountain streams and brooks all find their way into the lake, which has no exit. The excess water either vaporizes or seeps into the earth. In spring and autumn Long Lake is even more fantastic; with the reflection in the water of the flowers clustering around the ice-covered peaks, and the spectacular panorama of yellow leaves and red maples growing round the lake. Another spectacle is that the water neither brims over the bank in the rainy summer and autumn, nor runs dry in the winter and spring, even when there is a long dry spell. Local Tibetan people praise it as "a precious gourd that will never be poured full or dried up." At the time of bitter winters, the lake is frozen over with a depth of 60 centimeters.
Opening Times Types Price (RMB) Total (RMB)
Peak season March 1-October 31 Admission Fee 145 235
Bus fare 90
Low season November 1- the end of February Admission Fee 100 180
Bus fare 80