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Sunday, September 8, 2013

China Trip - Day 3 Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area (九寨沟)

We stayed 2 nights at the Soluxe Hotel aka Jiuzhai Sunshine Hotel. 

On the first night, we reached the hotel after 8pm and by the time we finished dinner and retire to our rooms, it was already almost 10pm. The next day, we started early and spent the whole day touring Jiuzhaigou National Park. Glad we did, because there was so much to see. In my personal opinion, the Jiuzhaigou visit was the most enjoyable and a most beautiful place that lives up to it's name, "a fairyland on earth".

You can view more pictures of Jiuzhaigou on My Nice Garden Facebook Page here.

After dinner, we had to rush off to an optional Tibetan cultural show costing RMB 100. There was no time in between to shower unless we wanted to risk catching a cold or flu that might develop into something more serious like pneumonia. By the time we returned to the hotel for a bath and good rest, it was already past 10 pm. The temperatures at night can dip very low. It certainly didn't help that the hot water taps in the bathroom were not functioning smoothly. One moment the water was extremely hot, the next, it was icy cold! Electric blankets were provided but I find the bed quite hard (like a plank surface of a divan) to sleep on and to make matters worse, the room had lingering remnants of stale cigarette smell. Anyway, it was not a big problem as I was too tired to care for long and soon I dozed into neverland ...

This is the beautiful scene that greeted me when I was on my way to breakfast. The morning air was fresh and cool. At 6:30am, the sky was already very bright. In Jiuzhaigou, the sun seemed to rise and set halfway up the sky!

The hotel is like a resort situated on a slope on spacious grounds with ample greens and surrounded by scenic blue mountains that was either snow topped or mist covered.  I was so thankful that when we checked in, our guide had arranged for our rooms to be located on the ground floor level. Otherwise it will be a problem having to lug my heavy luggage along the staircase and up a few floors as they don't have a lift. I was already panting when walking up the stairs without any luggage. The guide had earlier advised us not to run but to walk slowly and/or at a leisurely pace. We gotta conserve energy due to the reduced level of oxygen. Some people could suffer from high altitude sickness.

Breakfast was a simple affair with hard boiled eggs, steamed buns or sponge cake, rice or corn porridge with hard boiled eggs and an assortment of Sichuan salted or pickled vegetables and tofu for condiments. They also have warm milk and orange juice which was also served warm. Wood fungus (mook yee) and wan yee or "cloud ear fungus" would feature quite regularly in almost every meal and I love this!

“Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Huanglong 9D 7N - Day 3 Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟)”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Malaysia Daily Photo blog by Autumn Belle @ http://mymalaysiadailyphoto.blogspot.com on 8th September 2013.

There are some stalls selling local produce and souvenirs on the right side of the hotel entrance.

As our hotel is not located near to Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, our tour coach took us there. We had to get down at the parking area for buses and walk another 10 minutes or so to the entrance of the park.

On the way, we passed by a wet market...

... some stalls selling local Tibetan food - Yak meat pancakes (牦牛肉锅魁)


... shops selling souvenirs and knick-knacks.

... a modern young lady using an ancient manual silk spinning/weaving machine.

... everywhere we go, we can't escape from the 'ma la' aroma of  Sichuan peppercorns.

I visited during their summer season and the crowd was already like this!

There were multiple parallel queues which were very very long and it took ages to reach the main entrance gates of the nature park. As the entrance doors swung open, I heard a recorded voice greeting of "huan ying huang ying" meaning "Welcome! Welcome!"


The entrance ticket was a picture postcard of scenic Jiuzhaigou. 


The back of the ticket.

October and early November is the peak season for Jiuzhaigou. It is the season of autumn when Jiuzhaigou is at its most beautiful.


The month of August was summer time in Jiuzhaigou. There were not many foreign tourists but there was a huge crowd of local Chinese tourists. It was a working weekday. I'm sure the crowd will get worse on weekends and during major Chinese public holidays like the Mid Autumn Festival and their National Day this coming September 2013.

Dahlias and roses grow very well here in Jiuzhaigou. 

Annual flowers were in full bloom because it was summer time.

This area in front of the shops and washroom is very popular for photographs.


The Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve is officially known as Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area. Sometimes it is called the Jiuzhai Valley National Park. It is located on ABA prefecture in Sichuan province, southwest China. 

Jiuzhaigou means "Valley of Nine Villages". It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and a World Biosphere Reserve in 1997. It belongs to the category V (Protected Landscape) in the IUCN system of protected area categorization.

Jiuzhaigou Valley is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and stretches over 72,000 hectares (180,000 acres). It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. Its elevation ranges from 2,000 to 4,500 metres (6,600 to 14,800 ft) ... Wikipedia

Jiuzhaigou is also a member of Green Globe 21.

To protect the nature reserve from pollution and forest fires, smoking is not allowed. Littering and picking of flowers and plants are also prohibited. Thank goodness!


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Autumn Belle


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