On our fourth day in Sichuan, we went on a 10-hour bus ride through the mountains and up to the valley and national park of Jiuzhaigou. As you can see in the video, we spent the evening of our 4th day hanging out with tibetan locals at a KTV.
On the fifth day, we spent the whole day to explore Jiuzhaigou National Park.
As you might have heard the bad news a few weeks ago, an earthquake hit Sichuan and with it this beautiful National Park. A lot of natural sights were destroyed, with it, the Nuorilang Waterfalls which you can see at the end of the video. They were the tallest waterfalls in China, now it’s just a heap of mud! Once again, this shows that we should never wait for a trip we want to go on.
After our first adventure of arriving at our hostel (which you can read here), we were now ready to spend our first full day at the National Park. The driver of the hostel took us there for a low fee and after a little breakfast at a cafe near the entrance, we were ready to queue for the tickets. It was okay for chinese standards I guess.
When we were finally able to get in, we had to take a bus to the first sight and from there, it was upon each tourist to decide whether to explore by walking or taking other busses. We mixed it up a little bit.
Here is my little guide to all the little spots in this beautiful park:
1. Arrow Bamboo Lake:
Our first stop was the Arrow Bamboo Lake which was half frozen and probably one of the most beautiful lakes I have seen.
2. Panda Lake:
Panda Lake was right next to Arrow Bamboo Lake and it was completely frozen. It was perfect for taking photos.
3. Pearl Shoals Waterfall:
These were smaller waterfalls on our way from Arrow Bamboo Lake. The smaller ones were not frozen, but the bigger ones towards the end were quite frozen.
4. Mirror Lake:
This lake was a part of the bigger Five Flower Lake. It had all these tree trunks inside, still alive underwater, because of the rich minerals keeping them alive. The whole park in general had such a clean, fresh air which you can probably find nowhere in China.
5. Five Flower Lake:
Here, we spent most of our time admiring the beauty, taking photos, snacking, observing people and enjoying the wonderful, sunny weather.
6. Long Lake:
For this lake, we had to take the bus to the highest peak of the park. When we got out, we were a bit disappointed though. The lake was completely frozen and it didn’t have the vivid colours as the lakes below. The sun has disappeared as well, so taking photos was no use here. We were feeling a bit tired. The thin air also gave us a hard time. We actually started to feel really bad, especially Ana was feeling a bit sick already. We had a small snack and took the bus to the next station.
7. Five Colour Pool:
We got out the bus to admire this small pool and took loads of pictures. Although the sun has disappeared by now, the pictures still came out nicely, with vivid blue and turquoise colours that blew away our minds.
8. Nuo Ri Lang Waterfalls:
These were the biggest waterfalls in the park and the now gloomy weather gave it a special atmosphere. The pictures looked pretty amazing on this one. Of course, we made the pictures look so much better since all the chinese tourists suddenly wanted to take pictures with us :’D
After the waterfalls, my friend Ana was feeling sicker and sicker. Her head was aching and we were both getting hungry. We decided to take the next bus to the exit of the park. It wasn’t too late but there were no restaurants to be found inside the park and there was no sense in it all to walk around with starving bellies.
We left the park and a bunch of chinese tourists caught us to take pictures again. We smiled on a couple of pics but then told them that we had to hurry for food. Being famous can be really tough ;D
We were walking, trying to find a restaurant. We found one and ordered several dishes. They were all quite yummy,and we finished all of them. Most of them were typical chinese dishes, but there were some Tibetan dishes as well.
After we finished eating, we heard noises from outside. I looked through the glass doors and saw a group of people coming closer, carrying the dragon costume and drumming on tin and iron sheets. It was a perfect ending to our almost finished Lunar New Year trip.
Back in the hostel, Ana was so tired that she could only lay down and drink loads of hot water. I left her alone so she could rest and stayed in the lobby, talked to the hostel owner, her big family who were tibetan as well and her little son. I saw some handmake tibetan jewellery they were selling at the lobby and chose 3 pieces. Then, two other girls appeared. A chinese girl from New Zealand and an italian girl. Both were travelling for Lunar New Year as well. They were leaving the next morning as well, so we organized a car for the four of us to take us to the bus station.
I also didn’t stay too long and went to sleep soon. But not before hearing a song from one of the hostel owner’s family members. Then, they wanted me to sing a song as well, so I sang I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li :’D
It was a day full of beautiful colours and people. It was sad that we had to leave this place with its beautiful people. I would love to come back here in the future.