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Thursday, August 29, 2013

China Trip - Day 2 Flight to Jiuzhaigou


We were at the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to catch an evening (17:05) flight to Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport. The distance is about 240 km or 40 min. flying time.

Due to the fact that Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport is at an elevation of 3,448 m (11,312 ft), we were warned beforehand that some passengers may experience symptoms of altitude sickness. There were vendors selling Tibetan herbal medicine in miniature bottles packed in paper boxes.

The first aid center at the Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport also has small canisters of oxygen and Tibetan herbal medicine for sale.

Some of our tour group members bought the herbal medicine but I didn't buy any as I'm not sure if I will develop any allergies or adverse reaction to the medicine. The herbal medicine was to be consume before boarding the flight.


The plane we were going to board at Chengdu Airport.

“Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Huanglong 9D 7N - Day 2 Flight to Jiuzhaigou”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Malaysia Daily Photo blog by Autumn Belle @ http://mymalaysiadailyphoto.blogspot.com

Window view of the massive mountain ranges (cloud or snow covered) before touch down at Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport.

Seconds after I came out of the plane and walked onto the connecting passageway, I experienced severe altitude sickness. It was a very unpleasant feeling of dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. Deprived of sufficient oxygen, I thought I was going to faint. For a moment, I panicked and thought I would not be able to survive the trip to visit the 'fairyland' of Jiuzhaigou. Oh, what a feeling of dismay at just the start of our tour. Luckily, I suffered only for a few minutes.

Later I was to learn from other passengers that they felt the same too but at different level of severity. I saw a middle aged lady with a canister of oxygen in her hand and being helped to stand and walk by 2 relatives. She looked really pale.

Oh boy, I was really glad that I could walk out of this airport and into fresh air feeling okay again!

In the distance we could see horses and yaks grazing on the hills. 
This was also the scene that greeted us when the plane was landing and travelling along the runway.

Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport is also known as Jiuzhaigou Airport (九寨沟机场) or Jiuhuang Airport.

This airport serves two major places of interest; namely Huanglong, 53 kilometres (33 miles) away and Jiuzhaigou, 88 km (55 miles) away. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

At 3,448 metres (11,312 ft) above sea level, this is the third highest airport in China after Qamdo and Lhasa. It started operation on September 28, 2003

Our tourist bus.


Yay, I am now on my way to Jiuzhaigou at altitudes of 2,000-4,500m above sea leavel!

The journey from the Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong airport to Soluxe Hotel will take about an hour.
Vegetation were sparse and consisted of grass, wildflowers, small trees and bushes here and there.
I saw many cosmos plants growing wild in the coutryside.

As the bus is going downhill from Jiuzhaigou Airport at 3,448 to Jiuzhaigou Valley, I notice that the driver need to stop at a certain station after some time, let the passengers get down the bus while they sprayed the bus body with water, an action to cool the braking system, I guess?

For comparison, our Mt Kinabalu in Malaysia is about 4,095m above sea level and Genting Highlands 1,860m.


Rivers and streams with swift and clear running water and mountains of Christmas trees.
That's the shadow of our bus reflected in the picture!

The pretty Tibetan countryside.
It was still bright even though it was already 7:30 pm.


We stayed at the Soluxe Hotel aka Jiuzhai Sunshine Hotel. The hotel is located in Zhangza village, Zhangza town at the edge of Jiuzhaigou Valley. 

There was a night market just next to the hotel.

The street vendors here sell foodstuff, warm clothing, scarfs, fruits and daily provisions.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

China Trip - Day 2 Chengdu Kuanzhai Xiangyi Alley


The Kuanzhai Alley or Kuanzhai Xiangyi (成都宽窄巷子) is made up of of three lanes or alleys that run parallel to each other, namely the Kuan (Wide Alley), Zhai (Narrow Alley) and Jing Xiangyi,


Here's a place where old meets new, where traditional Ming and Qing styled courtyards and houses complete with gardens within huge walls and hutongs (narrow lanes) are situated side by side modern hotels, spas, villas, entertainment outlets, bars, pubs, eateries and sidewalk cafes.

Stores selling foodstuff, snacks and lots of panda bear toys. Pandas are the mascot of Chengdu city.


This blooming fruit tree looks like a star fruit (carambola) tree.

The apple and pear trees are also fruiting now that is it in the middle of summer.

The weather was very warm and humid with temperatures exceeding 30 C, humidity more than 50%. I was already sweating after a short walk. The difference in temperatures is quite big with night dropping to about 26 C. Sunrise was at 6:30am and sunset at 7:30pm.

“Chengdu Jiuzhaigou Huanglong 9D7N - Day 2 Chengdu Kuanzhai Xiangyi Alley”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Malaysia Daily Photo blog by Autumn Belle @ http://mymalaysiadailyphoto.blogspot.com on 28 Aug 2013.

During the early Qing Dynasty period (1644-1912), the government built a walled city for the soldiers and their families who were posted to Chengdu permanently. Initially there were 42 lanes in the walled city but now only 3 lanes have been preserved as heritage.

The Chengdu city of today is full of skyscrapers with modern amenities and people live in high-rise apartment buildings.

The Hutong culture is influenced by the northerners who brought along their traditions when they moved south to Chengdu. Hutong refers to the narrow streets and alleys that are unique to Beijing.

A modern food outlet selling sweets and confectionery.

Reminders of an ancient walled city.

I'm thinking how beautiful this maple tree will look in autumn.


This stall sells local delicacies.


An ancient stone statue stand guard beside a modern open-air cafe.

These 2 ladies seemed so relaxed and enjoying themselves while getting their ears waxed and cleaned with some kind of vibrating instruments. Prices for the services range from RMB 30 - RMB 120.

It is common to find stalls like this selling stringed magnolia flowers.
RMB 1 each. Some people buy to hang in their cars.

A western cafe.
The whole area here in Kwanzhai Xiangyi is wifi enabled.

A traditional tea house.

Some lovely summer blooms.

Stall selling the wu-lou gourds (calabash).

Colourful wu-lous.

There are some high-end embroidery, silk and textile stores.

A metal door knocker with a lion head.

A traditional tea house with bamboo chairs and wooden tables.

A food stall selling traditional food.
They say that you can sit in one of the ancient tea houses and enjoy the world go by.
As the sun sets and dusk falls, 
and with the aroma of food that wisp through the air,
it will remind you of days of long ago.

The night scene here is very exciting and vivid.

Fried, grilled and braised food.
Everywhere one can't escape the scent of 'ma la'.

Steamed dishes.

This is the biggest and tallest banana plant I have ever seen!

Dragon floss candy.

A French restaurant.

Maker of smoke pipes.

Azaleas are blooming everywhere in Chengdu.

Walled gardens.
The theme here is a garden city.
Ancient courtyard houses have  huge walls that surrounds them.
Outsiders can't see what's inside these tall walls.
Inside are the proper house with inner courtyards and gardens within gardens.


Flower tea shop

The 2 persons standing there are real, not statues!

A monk having tea at Starbucks.

At the cashier's counter of Starbucks.

Summer blooms.

Stall selling bolsters in various sizes.

Italian ice-cream and desserts.

Decor at an arts and craft shop.

Decor at an arts and crafts shop.

Clean and nice-looking washrooms.

A bar.

All things Panda.

Live tortoises inside these cartoon shaped plastic bottles.

Earlier, I saw a group of workers cutting down a big tree.
I guess that's why the Fire Engine was there.

A shady tree to provide some shade from the scorching sun.


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