Flying in to Jiuzhaigou, we knew we were in for something special. We were captivated by the sight of snow capped mountains as they guided us into Jiuzhai-Huanglong airport.
Coming from warm Chengdu, we were not expecting the chilly 11 degree temperature but I suppose we should have remembered that we were essentially flying into the mountain ranges of China.
Without question, Jiuzhaigou has the most stunning scenery we have seen in real life. It had a huge variety of landscapes and micro climates, as the park begins in a sheltered valley and continues into the mountain ranges.
When we arrived at the entrance at 8:20am, there was a frenzy of tour buses depositing groups here, there and everywhere. Jez and I had to dart around the matching hats and leaders waving their flags violently. We didn’t have to wait long to get tickets or through the gates.
On average the park receives about 7000 visitors per day, but significantly more in summer, apparently more than 12,000 in the high season. Being two of only eight westerners seen that day, we can safely say that this park is ‘off the beaten track’ for most western travelers, but it’s likely that will change.
We were visiting the park in Spring time which meant it was still cold during the morning, but the temperature warmed up as the day went on. Even though people were staring and probably thinking how crazy we were to be in shorts and leggings, we had the last laugh!
The park runs shuttle buses that take you to the top of the park so that you can walk downhill, past the beautiful lakes and waterfalls. As we walked along the pathways that boarder these lakes and natural attractions, Jez and I started to appreciate the escape from China’s relentless noise.
We were shattered by the end of the day, having walked for about eight hours straight, but the time was well spent and it has certainly been the highlight of our time so far.
The next post will be from Xian!