Sunday, June 25, 2017

Juzhaigou Valley, Jiuzhai Valley, Southwest China, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, National Park, Tibet, "Valley of Nine Fortified Villages"

Jiuzhai Valley National Park is our Dream Destination
on this 2017 China Trip

Juzhaigou Valley also known most recently as Jiuzhai Valley is one of China’s pristine areas that is gaining popularity as a desirable tourist attractions.  Note: Juzhaigou is literally translated as "Valley of Nine Fortified Villages".

This is the place to visit for those that want to see and enjoy a picturesque natural landscape which includes colorful and stunning alpine lakes, spectacular waterfalls, gorgeous snow-capped mountains and a bit of old Tibetan culture and history.  There are nine (9) old Tibet villages, seven (7) of which are still populated and these villages rely on tourists for most of their living income.

This valley is located in the mountainous region of southwest China’s Sichuan province, lies at the southern end of the Minshan mountain range, and is surrounded by the provinces of Tibet, Gansu, Qinghai, Yunan and others.  Sichuan is the fourth largest province or administrative area by population with over 80 million people and this has been steadily declining from over 100 million people in 1980 as the people of Western China move to the big industrial cities in the East for better paying jobs and lifestyles.
By geographical area, Sichuan province is the fifth largest China province or administrative area per the list below:

1          Xinjiang:  642,800  sq. miles
2          Tibet:             474,300 sq. miles  
3          Inner Mongolia:  457,000  sq. miles
4          Qinghai:   278,900   sq. miles     
5.        Sichuan:   187,700 sq. miles

Jiuzhaigou is not as modern and busy as the tourist cities of Beijing, Shanghai, etc. It is the natural beauty of the environment (without most of the air pollution) that attracts visitors.  Of course, many do travel to the area to see giant pandas in their natural habitat.  Most of China’s pandas live in several mountainous areas of Sichuan province.

This year we visited Jiuzhai Valley and truly enjoyed the natural majesty and beauty of this part of China. We flew into Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, and then drove about 205 miles (approx. 7+ hours) north to the Jiuzhai Valley area.  The Jiuzhai Valley is a high elevation area ranging from 2,000 to 4,500 meters (6,600 to 14,800 ft.), a mean annual temperature of 7.8 °C, typically ranging from  −3.7 °C in January (winter)  and 16.8 °C in July (summer), so dress warm.

We had a private driver which we highly recommend and stopped at various towns and attractions on our trip from Chengdu to the Valley.  In 2008 a great earthquake measuring 8.0 hit Sichuan Province and much of the town of Wenchuan was destroyed.  Over 69,000 people were killed by this earthquake and almost 375,000 were injured.   Over 4.8 million Chinese people were left homeless by this disaster. Wenchuan is located about 50 miles West-Northwest of Chengdu.  It is now being rebuilt so we stopped to take a photo!

A Photo in Wenchuan in front of the earthquake memorial !!!

Very Rare White Yaks !!!!

Wild Yaks along the mountain roads!

Snowy Mountain Road

Local Tibetan gifts for sale
Along the way we made “pit stops” and we recommend that visitors have small bills for the restrooms that charge 1 or 2 RMB.

Our tour bus did stop at the highest elevation point of 5888 meters for a photo.

In the Mountain Area 5888 meters above sea level

A photo Riding a rare white yak 5888 meters above sea level (only 10 RMB for the photo)

Local Tibetan Shop

Local Tibetan Shop

We arrived in Huanglong late in the afternoon so we could not take the cable car up to the tourist sites but we did stop at Yingbin Pond.

Entrance to Huanglong Park
Yingbin Pond

Stunning Yingbin Pond!!!

We got up early in the morning and finally arrived at the entrance to the Jiuzhai Valley national park.

Entrance Gate for the park

Near the Entrance to the National Park

The pretty Tour Guide at the Shuttle Bus stop ..... Thank You so much!

You have to use the bus to go through the National Park to protect the environment (No Cars Allowed)

Panda Lake & Five-Flower Lake

We rented this Tibet royal costume

Pearl Shoal Waterfalls


Mirror Lake

Other Photos along our wonderful journey through Juzhaigou Valley:

What a gorgeous view

Some Ice still on this high mountain lake

At a small Tibetan village

Our tour of Jiuzhai Valley has ended and our super tour guide helped us purchase tickets to watch the show "Romantic Show of Jiuzhai".  Not only was the show colorful and very enjoyable, but the theater and buildings were great for picture taking and for shopping.

Main Entrance to the Theater Park

Entrance to the Theater

Super Theater

Beautiful Dancers

More Beautiful Dancers

We enjoyed the show ! Outside the Theater.

Outside the Theater

Outside the Theater

Outside the Theater

Well our Jiuzhai Valley trip has ended and we decided to fly back to Chengdu since the flight was 40 minutes instead of a 7+ hour drive through the mountains of western China.

Oh NO !!!! a 3 Hour delay for our flight at the Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport

Shopping for Silver Crafts & Gifts in Airport

Last Minute Shopping for Traditional Tibetan Medicines & Wild Yak Jerky & dried meat at the Airport

On our next blogs, we will tell you more about our travels in Western China and we hope you enjoy the photos and information that we share with you.

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