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The Captivating Jiu Zhai Gou 九寨沟 / HuangLong (黄龙)
After a series of long and elaborate planning, we finally visited Jiu Zhai Gou, the breathtakingly beautiful tourist destination, who calls for future revisits to this earthly haven. After a 60 minute flight delay due to heavy fog at the JiuZhaiGou/Huanglong airport, we were greeted by our JiuZhaiGou guide at the arrival hall. Luckily there was a special changing room for us to put on our winter gear (though you would have to do it together with other ladies or gentlemen as there are no separate cubicles).
After getting on a bus driven by a Zang Zu (Tibetan Minority in Jiuzhaigou), we were introduced to the various attractions available at JiuZhaiGou and Huanglong and a few words of the local dialect, Zang Language. '扎西德勒' ZaXiDeLe is a popular greeting used for welcoming guests and for the conveyance of good luck.

The town near JiuZhaiGou undergoing extensive upgrading.


Although it didn't take long to get to HuangLong nor was the journey very windy, the altitude fluctuation from JiuZhaiGou airport (3447.65M above sea level) to a peak of over 4000M before we got to HuangLong entrance (3199M) caused me to develop motion sickness due to the air pockets expanding in my ingested food. Thankfully it did not affect my trip and I felt better after expelling my stomach's contents. Huanglong is indeed a very good appetizer for our JiuZhaiGou trip as it not only increases our appetite for JiuZhaiGou's scenery but also our stamina. We cabelled car to HuangLong's scenic spot to begin our 5 hour hike. Everyone felt the altitude pinch as we found ourselves struggling at ascending parts of our journey, even those who are fit felt a strain on their stamina due to lower oxygen concentration in the atmosphere.



Not to worry, there's an oxygen kiosk available. Only RMB1 per bag of oxygen (the bag is as big as your whole torso!)



Despite that, we were able to reach the peak (3600M) and bask in the glorious sight of the 5-coloured ponds (五彩池) before starting the tiring and long descend back to the entrance.



We spent the night at Jiu Zhai Gou but the hotel we stayed in was a little old and run down and meals provided were simple, though the stir-fried chili bean sprouts complimented the rice really well. Our hotel was only a few minutes away from the entrance of Jiu Zhai Gou and we were surrounded with a sea of tourists, mostly Chinese locals from different provinces. Amazing how local tourism fuels the tourism industry in China! JiuZhaiGou demanded far less walking compared to HuangLong as there were shuttle buses to send us to different attractions. We were immediately mesmerized by the stunning natural displays during our bus journey into the central spot of JiuZhaiGou. Multicoloured lakes with crystal clear water, hills reflecting the full set of summer/autumn colours, cascading and widespread waterfalls, there are no words that can sum up the beauty and serenity of what Jiu Zhai Gou has to offer.

The wonderful colors of autumn


Someone taking wedding pics at Jiuzhaigou. What a perfect shot I took, isn't it?!?!!


Crystal clear water




On our last day, we were extremely lucky as it started to ...........

SNOW!


The snow 'storm' intensified as we journeyed toward higher altitude while on the way to the airport.
The whole bus erupted with excitement, especially for some of the south-east-asians who have not seen falling snow.

We were indeed very lucky to be able to see JiuZhaiGou at its full color, from the colors of summer to autumn and finally winter.

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posted on: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 @ 9:06 PM

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- Jamie & Yvonne -
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