Beautiful Jiuzhaigou Valley
Posted On July 21, 2013
Initially we wanted to take a 10 hours bus ride to Jiuzhaigou Valley a few hundred kilometers north of Chengdu. However as the whole region had experienced heavy rain falls for the last few weeks the roads were all closed and so we opted for a comfortable one hour flight.
Valley is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau
and so its airport was 3400 meters above sea level which made us feel a
bit light headed on arrival. In addition it was rather cold and raining
and so for the first time in months we had to take out our jumpers.
transfer to our hotel near the park entry took about ninety minutes
down into the valley. Normally July is the high season for this area but
as the roads were closed there were not as many tourists and we had the
three story hotel for ourselves. The young mangers of the hotel were
nice chaps and pointed us to a good restaurant nearby were we had a
lovely dinner. Before going to bed we decided we would take it easy the
next day and only visit the park one day later once the weather was
The next morning started badly. At 7:45 the ground
started shacking – an earthquake. We guess it lasted for about 30 to 60
seconds. We were just on our way out of the room (Kevin still in his
boxers – sexy) when it stopped. It was quite strong and we had never
experienced something like that before. There was a second, weaker one
about and hour later.
Later on we read the there was a magnitude
6.0 earthquake about 300 kilometers north which claimed a few lives and
injured quite a few people. Unfortunately the whole region is in a
highly active earthquake zone and a very deadly earthquake in 2008
killed almost 70’000 people. Luckily nothing happened to us.
next day we visited the Jiuzhaigou National Park another UNESCO World
Heritage Site. Once again we were lucky with the weather and had a
cloudless sunny day. The park was just awesome – several lakes with
crystal clear seethrough water followed by cascading waterfalls. It was
astonishing beautiful and hard to describe (look at the photos to see
what we mean).
The whole park was extensive but a clever system
of buses and pathways connected the different attractions which made it a
fantastic day out in the nature. We were very glad that we took the
efforts to go there! We are even thinking of revisiting t it once in
winter which must turn the landscape in a snow and ice wonderland.
addition as this part of China is home of Tibetan tribes we saw a lot
of prayer flags and mills throughout the park which added to the beauty
of our visit. We once again were very grateful to have had the
opportunity to visit something so beautiful.
The following day we
flew to Xi’an in the afternoon. On the way to the airport (this time in
good weather) we enjoyed the views of the valley and saw a few
monasteries and yaks along the way.