Jiuzhaigou Valley, eulogized as a world of magical fairytales, has for years enchanted tourists with its mountains and luxuriant forests, colorful lakes, gushing waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. To its south is the Huanglong (Yellow Dragon Scenic Area). Jiuzhaigou Valley is located in Nanping County, 450 kilometers (about 280 miles) to the north of Chengdu City, Sichuan, covers a total area of 720 square kilometers and the valley is 50 kilometers in length. In 1992, UNESCO entered this scenic area to the world natural heritage list.
Jiuzhaigou, literally the Nine Village Valley, is hence known for the nine Tibetan villages within its boundary, Inhabited by Tibetans, the nine villages and alpine lakes, are like reflecting mirrors or crystal jade blocks inlaid in snow mountains and forests.
Jiuzhaigou's spirit is its pure, crystal clear water. Legend has it that long long ago, a beautiful Goddess received a mirror from her lover. The goddess was so excited that she dropped the mirror, smashing it into 108 small pieces. Over the centuries those pieces gave birth to 108 wonderful lakes.
There is a fairy tale in ancient China that the princess of heaven has a five-colored lake called Jasper Lake in her palace. In Jiuzhaigou Valley, you can see that lake of legend. Through forest clearings and the briefest of glimpses between needle-clad branches, you may catch a glimpse of the water which sparkles in the scope of sky blues, light greens, yellows, greys, pinks, and blues.
Five Flower Sea
Rize Gully Five Flower Sea is even more magnificent. Surrounded by mountains, the sea looks like a huge calabash infusing colorful water continuously into the foot of the mountain. The strange part is that on the belly of the calabash, there is a ten-meter-long light blue design that looks like the leg of a deer. Legend has it that it is the residing spirit of a spotted deer that slipped and fell down the cliff.
The Shanghai Sea
A large lake located at an altitude of 3000 meters, Changhai, 'the King of the Lakes' is surrounded by snow year-round. In spring and autumn, the lake reflects the mountain snow or the maple trees. In winter the lake freezes into a spectacle of icy beauty.
Waterfalls make attractive views. Jiuzhaigou Valley is a paradise surrounded by mountains, with tranquil lakes like pearls. But the quietness is sometimes broken by the waterfalls, which take you to another world. The waterfalls of Jiuzhaigou are like green looms weaving different silks. Varying in shape some are like dragons, some like snow, and some like pearls. The sun often casts rainbows across their fronts.
The Nuorilang Waterfall is a perfect case in point. At the top of the great waterfall, which is about one hundred meters in width, is a line of willows that form a monumental green wall. Like the teeth of a comb, their trunks seem to be running constantly through the water, untangling it.
Pearl Shoal Waterfall is one of Jiuzhaigou's most mysterious waterfalls. It takes its name from the water that thunders into the stones below forming pearl-like waterdrops.
Colorful Forest is something you can't miss. With more than 2000 different plants, beautiful flowers, lovely grass and numerous rare species the forest is unique in China and is the stuff fairytales are made of. In deep autumn orange trees, golden yellow birches and red maples flourish in warm autumnal glory. In winter, the forest becomes a twinkling wonderland of grace and elegance.
Collecting the primitive, natural beauties best demonstrated in its lakes, waterfalls, beaches, water currents, snow peaks, virgin forests, and Tibetan customs, when you capture the rare beauty of Jiuzhaigou, you must gush: "How could it be possible that there is such a marvelous fairyland in the world!"
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