Huanglong National Park
Huanglong National Park
The beautiful scenic area named Huanglong, where majority of attractions is set along 3.6 kilometers long part of Huanglong Valley, is 45 kilometers northeast of Songpan town. Within Huanglong you may see and experience many wonders of nature, including waterfalls, caves, colorful ponds, interesting trees, beautiful temples, and inhale the fresh air. Besides the breathtaking flora, this place is also a home to many endangered species including the giant panda, red panda, golden snub-nosed monkey, tufted deer, Southwest China serow, as well as some birds endemic to China, such as Snowy-cheeked laughingthrush. Encounters, although rare, with these animals can be very interesting.
The name Huanglong Valley literally means Yellow Dragon Valley, and when looked from distance in sunlight, the valley indeed resembles the golden dragon, being the reason why it was named so. The moment you enter Huanglong Valley, up to the Huanglong Back (Ancient) Temple, you will get to enjoy trails and wooden walkways of around 10 kilometers, which are perfect for pleasant and safe enjoyment in nature. The whole walk is up the hill, which for some people in combination with the high altitude and possible altitude sickness can be quite hard. During the peak season a cable cars takes visitors from near the entrance up to the top, and back. If you are in good physical condition, you don’t have to pay extra for it, as the park is small enough to walk through.
Check out Huanlong’s most interesting sights:
Huanglong is not as big as Jiuzhaigou, so there is not any special recommendations when visiting this place. While here you should surrender to the nature and go wherever it takes you. Section from the park entrance to the area below Huanglong Middle Temple can be visited on two sides: the left and right in relation to the attractions (pools, ponds, and waterfalls). So if you walk up and down, go in one direction on one side, and in the other direction the other side. You will have different views and photo opportunities of all these attractions. If in one direction you’re using cable car, then it’s better to keep the right side if you walk from top to bottom, or left if you walk from the bottom up, because that part is much more open and views are quite nicer.
Cable cars operates during the peak season, from April to 15. November, taking visitors from near the entrance up to top, and back. From top station there is 2km walkway to the Five Color Pond. Fare for going up is CNY80, and for going down is CNY40.
Next to the park entrance is restaurant, but there are no restaurants in the park. Within the park you will find stalls with expensive snacks, juices and water. Don’t forget to supply yourself with food and drinks before you enter the park.
Huanglong is on the higher elevation compering to Jiuzhaigou, so there is more possibilities to feel altitude sickness. Along the way there are oxygen stations selling bottled oxygen for CNY15.
Trails in the Huanglong are with 10% average incline, so Huanglong is not wheelchair friendly.
Credit cards are accepted for paying the tickets.
There are free toilets along the path. Also there are wooden pavilions where you can have a rest.
Location: Pingsong Road, Songpan, Aba, Sichuan
Web address: www.huanglong.com
Phone number: 724 9188
Opening hours: 8:00-17:00
Entrance fee: April to 15. November CNY200; CNY100 for students and seniors. 16. November to March CNY60; CNY50 for students and seniors
Recommended time for a visit: 4-5 hours