Huanglong sights

Huanglong

It is quite hard to name most interesting sights in the Huanglong National Park, as there are many.

There are nearly 3,400 pools of different sizes, although the number depends on the time of the year and the amount of water. The lowest point of Huanglong is the Fan Cave (山 紫 洞; Shan Dong Zǐ) at 1,700 meters (5,577ft), while the highest is Snowy Treasure Peak (雪宝顶; Xue Bǎo Dǐng) at 5,588 meters (18,333ft) which is the highest peak of Top Min Mountains at the same time. The first ascent of the top occurred in 1986 by a team from Japan. However, the average altitude where tourists generally walk through, ranges from entrance to the park at 3,200 meters (10,499ft) to a little over temples and Multicolored Pond 3,600 meters (11,811ft). Huanglong is also a place for important religious buildings since ancient time, as shown by the remains of ancient temples and pagodas. At the top of the tourist part of Huanglong, there is a temple complex, which is commonly called Huanglong Temple, consisting of Buddhist Huanglong Middle Temple (黃龍 中 寺, Huanglong Zhong Si; 3,470m; 11,385ft) and Taoist Huanglong Back (Ancient) Temple (黃龍 古寺; Huanglong Gǔsì; 3,568m; 11,706ft). It once consisted of three temples, but only two survived until today, since Huanglong Front Temple did not survive. These temples were built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and are not only the perfect combination of Taoism and Buddhism, but also a perfect blend of manmade buildings with the nature.

There are caves that stretch along Huanglong Valley, and one of them is located close to the Huanglong Back Temple. During the visit to the National park, the experience of encounters with local people can be quite interesting. They are mainly Han and Hui people, who feed their cattle even in the park, and you may also see them in traditional costumes around the temples.

If you go to Huanglong by taxi, do not forget to tell the driver to stop at the Snow Mountain Ridge (雪山 梁; Liang Xueshan) located at 4,007 meters (13,146ft) above sea level, the highest point on the way to Huanglong Valley. From there, you may enjoy a splendid view.

There are many attractions in Huanglong that are worth mentioning, and among them are definitely Marvelous Flying Waterfalls (飛瀑流輝; Fēi Pù Liú Huī; 3,245m; 10,646ft), which are 14 meters tall and 68 meters wide. Washing Cave (洗身洞; Xǐ Shēn Dòng; 3,280m; 10,761ft), which got its name due to the fact that people once used to bathe in it, is one more interesting place of the area. It is 1.5 meters wide and 1 meter high, and it is quite close to the entrance, so you cannot miss it. Bonsai Pond (盆景池; Pénjǐng Chí; 3,320m; 10,892ft) is also worth seeing, while Mirror Pond (明鏡倒映池; Míngjìng Dàoyìng Chí; 3,400m; 11,155ft) with its mirror-like clear water should not be skipped, since it beautiful scenery and magnificent colors attract the biggest number of photographers and nature lovers. Five Colors Pond (五彩池; Wǔcǎi Chí; 3,576m; 11,732ft) with 693 pools, together with the temple is considered to be the most beautiful place in this National park. Besides the natural wonders, there are some other ones built by men, such as the above mentioned temples. They are equally admirable as those natural wonders, and they serve as a perfect contrast in this natural reservation.