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Jiuzhaigou Travel Guide and Tips

Jiuzhaigou Valley, or the Valley of Nine Villages is located in northern Sichuan province, as a part of Mingshan Mountains Range. It is known as “the Most Beautiful Waterscape in China”, Word Natural Heritage Site, “Fairytale Land”, 5A National Park. All people who have been to Jiuzhaigou know all these reputation match the reality. It is even regarded as the “Paradise for Photographers”.

Having been hidden as a mysterious and never been bothered by outsider until been found in the middle of 20th century, Jiuzhaigou keeps the wildness of nature very well. All the forests, lakes, waterfalls, landform are the best gifts from other mother nature.

Why visit Jiuzhaigou:

Explore the most beautiful waterscape in China – water is the soul of Jiuzhaigou, and waters in the high-altitude mountain range are much clearer and diverse in forms. Over 108 lakes, 3 groups of waterfalls is the biggest highlight of Jiuzhaigou.Colors of nature - Jiuzhaigou is the best painting presenting the best color used by the Mother Nature. Visiting Jiuzhaigou is a feast of vision. Wild forests, flowers, lakes changes colors in different season – grey in spring, green in summer, golden in autumn, white in winter.Rare species - Jiuzhaigou Valley is home to over 220 bird species, 74 species of state-protected plants, 18 species of endangered animals, including the Giant Pandas, snub-nosed monkeys, etc.

Jiuzhai Valley National Park — a Fairyland

The Jiuzhai Valley National Park is an extravaganza of natural wonders, a pure unspoiled land with waterfalls, alpine lakes, tranquil grasslands, snowy mountain views and Tibetan villages. You'll not believe the fairyland beauty of the area until you've been there and seen it for yourself.

The park takes its role in conservation and sustainability extremely seriously, and has sister-park relationships with the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, and the Yosemite, Yellowstone and Olympic National Parks in the USA.

What to See in Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhai Valley

A Colorful Forest

Covered by 200,000 hectares of forest, Jiuzhaigou is filled with a sense of a primeval forest that’s isolated from any hustle and bustle. As the seasons change, the forest presents a variety of fantastic looks.

The orange sumac, golden birch leaves, red maple trees, and dark red wild fruit — all of these dark and light colors splashed across the mountains and valleys comprise a dizzying oil painting. Jiuzhaigou is a gorgeous sea of colors.

Magnificent Waterfalls

Jiuzhaigou is a world filled with water and is a kingdom of waterfalls. Almost all of the waterfalls there rush out of the dense forest, resembling green looms continuously weaving white silk.

The must-see waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou include Shuzheng Waterfall, Pearl Shoal Waterfall, and Nuorilang Waterfall.

Snowcapped Peaks

Jiuzhaigou has always been famous for its water but the other side of it is the snowcapped peaks that silently guard this fairyland. Every winter, Jiuzhaigou becomes quiet and filled with a poetic and artistic atmosphere.

The whole valley and all of the mountains are covered with snow. The ice of the waterfalls and lakes is pure and clean, and the thin streams of water produce a refreshing “music”.

Blue Ice

When winter arrives, the flowing waterfalls over the steep rock faces seem to have been affected by the magic of nature, solidifying into a series of stunning ice sheets, ice balls, or icicles.

Due to the way the light scatters, the ice – which should be as white as jade – becomes transparently blue. The various forms of blue frozen waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, and clear blue lakes comprise a beautiful and magical snow world.

It is said that the blue ice phenomenon is very rare. It appears only at the end of January and early February every year for about a dozen days.

Jiuzhaigou is a world filled with water, which gives it an enchanting beauty and is its true soul. The lakes in Jiuzhaigou are crystal clear and green all year round, surrounded by ancient trees and flowers.

As the light changes and the seasons go by, the lakes take on different hues and tones. The colorful pools are the result of the cooperation between sunlight, algae, and sediments.

With colors of goose yellow, black green, russet brown, magenta, and emerald green, these lakes are like a stretch of multicolored brocade.

Best Time to Visit Jiuzhaigou — Autumn

Jiuzhai Valley is particularly picturesque in autumn when the mountains, valleys, and lakes are splendidly robed in autumnal colors. Warm days, cool nights, and great vistas of saturated yellows, reds, and greens reflecting off the blue lakes are typical of autumn there.

Jiuzhaigou also presents beautiful scenery in spring, summer, and winter. Each season has special characteristics:

Spring in Jiuzhaigou: The snow begins to melt and flowers begin blooming. You can feel the warmth of the spring sunshine and enjoy the sunlight on the beautiful lakes.

Summer in Jiuzhaigou: With cool weather, it is the best time to see the waterfalls and green lakes.

Autumn in Jiuzhaigou: It is the best time to appreciate the colorful forest, beautiful lakes, and waterfalls.

Winter in Jiuzhaigou: It will turn into a snow world. It is the best time to see snowcapped peaks and frozen waterfalls.

Transportation to Jiuzhaigou

Transportation to Jiuzhaigou is relatively convenient, with flights and buses available. There are no trains, however. You can fly from Chengdu, Beijing or get there by long-distance bus.

Accommodation — Small Inns to International Hotels

Jiuzhai Valley Hotel

Outside the park there's a range of accommodation, including 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels and international hotels such as the Sheraton, InterContinental, and others. Most hotels feature Tibetan-style houses, which are equipped with modern facilities.

Note that most hotels in the area are not equipped with air-conditioners, for the weather is cool. In winter, electric blankets are available in every hotel to help keep you warm at night. Air-conditioners are available in the high-end hotels for heating.

Possible Altitude Sickness

The altitude varies a lot in different areas of Jiuzhai Valley. For example, the entrance to the valley is at about 2,000 meters, while the airport is at about 3,500 meters.

Vulnerability to altitude sickness varies from person to person, so it's suggested you consult your doctor prior to your trip. Anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure should be careful and take precautions when traveling to Jiuzhaigou.

While there, it's advisable not to do any really strenuous exercise, or to drink wine. Keep warm and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Take some everyday medicines with you, or a small oxygen bottle just in case.

Traveling Independently vs. with a Tour Guide

Jiuzhai Valley National Park

Since Jiuzhai Valley National Park is quite far from any city center, you may easily run into difficulties with transportation and/or communication.

The park is very large with many attractions. If you travel alone, you probably need to spend more than 2 days to see the main highlights. A tour guide can help you make the best use of your time and focus on the highlights in the park. So we recommend you travel with a guide.


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