Jiuzhaigou National Park
Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟; Jiǔzhàigōu) is one of the most beautiful National Parks in China. It is located in Jiuzhai County in the Min Shan mountain range, around 450 kilometers away from Chengdu, which is the capital of Sichuan province. Jiuzhaigou is full of beautiful, calm turquoise colored lakes and wild waterfalls. Beside spectacular landscapes, organization of the National Park is excellent. There are about 80 km of clean, ecofriendly wooden trails all the way through Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park. Buses in the park are modern and air-conditioned. Even those who have travelled the whole world and seen numerous national parks can claim that this is one of the most beautiful, since the nature in it is dreamlike and at times it is hard to believe that something like that exists on Earth. The lakes and wild waterfalls seems to be embraced and hidden by the surrounding mountains, which are full of greenery and trees, so from whatever point you look at it, it seems completely amazing. The water at some places is completely transparent, so you may just sit and enjoy the view on the fish and their calm motions. This paradise on Earth offers much more than you can imagine, so be prepared for the breathtaking landscapes, rich flora and fauna, and unique Tibetan customs that you will not get the chance to see otherwise. The literal translation of its name – Jiuzhaigou – means Valley of Nine Villages, and the main reason for such name are nine ancient Tibetan villages in the ravine, which altogether make the area completely unrealistic and fairytale-like. Among these villages only two of them, Guodu and Hejiao, are not inhabited anymore, while the other seven are still quite active, where locals sell different souvenirs, handicrafts, and other items of cultural importance, in order to survive, since agriculture is not permitted anymore, to save the natural environment. There are more than 1,000 people permanently inhabiting the villages. Quite typical for this national park are giant pandas, which can be marked as living icons of this area. These incredible creatures are not visible all the time, but seeing them is one of the most precious experiences that you may get by visiting this area. There are only around twenty of them, since they are considered to be quite endangered, due to tourism development. Taking all this in consideration, natural, historical and cultural beauty of Jiuzhaigou, it is not surprising that this area was declared a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1992.
Explore Jiuzhaigou National Park with our step by step walking tour: