Beautiful lakes and waterfalls at Jiuzhaigou

After we did not get bus tickets for the next day after we got to Chengdu last week, we just used the extra day to explore Chengdu. So we had a chance to see the lively Wenshu monastery, the People’s Park, the big Mao statue in a central place in the city and walked the little touristy streets and had some local snacks. Sichuan is famous for its spicy food, the noodles and other local dishes we had were delicious.

Peppers used for spicy food
Spicy peppers are used en masse to prepare the local dished (川菜, Chuancai) in Sichuan.

With a delay of one day we started to Jiuzhaigou – well, as we do not have a fixed schedule, one cannot speak of delay anyway.
To get there from Chengdu one can either take the plane or a twelve hour bus ride. We decided to take the 434 km ride by both both going to Jiuzhaigou and getting back to Chengdu. The road was sometimes in a scary height above the valley, but it gave us some fantastic views on the mountain area. Compared with other mountain areas I have been to, the Sichuan mountains – somehow the back end of Tibet – feature a huge difference in elevation from the bottom of the valley to the mountain peaks.

Jiuzhaigou itself is known by almost every Chinese that we have talked to, it is a valley were one can admire the crystal clear, deep blue lakes, huge waterfalls and the surrounding mountains. As it is reknown for its “shanshui” (water and mountains), the highest form a Chinese can think of when it comes to nature, the valley has become rather crowded and tourist groups are making their way to the most beautiful lakes and waterfalls. However, they are usually taking the busses that carry the tourists up and down the Y-shaped valley so if one decides to hike the trails, one can leave behind the noisy tour groups rather quickly.

Waterfall at Jiuzhaigou
One of the plentiful waterfalls at Jiuzhaigou.

It had rained heavily before our arrival there (somehow the same situation we experienced in Chongqing), so some trails were closed because of stone slides. But the extra water made the waterfalls even more beautiful as the water was plentiful. The clear and freezing cold water is making its thirty-plus km way down the valley, forming beautiful colored lakes on its route. I have never seen such clear lakes and the downside is that after coming back to Chengdu every lake in a park seems dirty…

Blue Lake at Jiuzhaigou
The “five colored lake” (五彩海) at Jiuzhaigou.

The ticket prizes of the Jiuzhaigou mountain area are rather high – after getting a student discount the cost was still 170 yuan for the two day pass – not including the bus rides inside the valley. But the mostly untouched nature is worth the entrance fee and long hours in the bus to get to Jiuzhaigou in the very north of Sichuan province.

After getting back to Chengdu, we had a relaxing day that we used to wash clothes and visited the Wuhouci temple. There is also a park surrounding this temple with a nice little tea house where we spend some hours talking, relaxing and drinking tea in the midst of Chinese playing cards and Mahjong (麻将).

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6 Responses to “Beautiful lakes and waterfalls at Jiuzhaigou”

  1. Look, See (2008 - ) » Blog Archive » Untitled (after AM) Says:

    […] (after AM), 20310, HTML & JPEG, 420 x 360 pixels (image used without […]

  2. Kendra Says:

    that is like the coolest lake i have ever seen its sooo blue!!!! dude i so wanna go there if i could i mean if my parents had money and stuff then i could probably see it…well actually not…anyways…its AMAZING!!! and i hope whoever’s takin care of it keeps doin what they’re doin cuz it looks absolutely beautiful.

    -kendi

  3. Wenchuan Earthquake « Beijing 2007 Says:

    […] year on my way from Jiuzhaihou to Chengdu I passed Wenchuan and Dujiangyan, those two cities largely effected by the quake. As a matter of […]

  4. mia Says:

    whoa!!!tat lake luks stunning…wish i could visit it ..hopefully..it sure is goin into my ‘MUST C’ places list….evn lukin at it is refreshing,n givs a sense f sereneness…nt jus d lake bt also d trees tat surround it luk capturing…they r doin a gr8 job maintainin it n hope it remains the same way untill i visit it smday…

  5. David Says:

    my friend is visiting jiuzhaigou this coming wk in Sept., luv to take my family there someday. longing to visit & explore China.

  6. erinatruba Says:

    Hi! I’m the Community Manager of Ruba.com. We’re building a website to highlight some of the most interesting places travelers around the world have discovered. We’ve read hundreds of blogs about China, and we think that yours is awesome! We’d love to highlight excerpts from blogs like yours (assuming it’s OK with you of course) and to discuss other ways of tapping into your expertise if you are interested. I’m at erin@ruba.com.
    Thanks! 🙂

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