"The Jiuzhaigou Valley is in northern Sichuan Province, and covers an area of 72,000 hectares. The long and wandering Jiuzhaigou Valley has an altitude of over 4,800 meters, and therefore, a series of various forest ecological systems has formed there. Due to the conical karst landforms and the majestic waterfalls, the splendid valley is even more interesting.""The Huanglong Scenic Area is located in the northwestern part of Sichuan Province. It is a valley that consists of many snow-capped mountain peaks and has the most glaciers in eastern China. In this area, visitors see many high-altitude landscapes and various forestecological systems, as well as splendid limestone landforms, waterfalls, and hot springs. A lot of endangered animals live in the area." The above are the assessments of the World Heritage Committee regardingJiuzhaigou Valley and the Huanglong Scenic Area at the time they were both listed in the World Natural Heritage in 1992.Since then, the exceedingly beautiful scenaries of Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, which had been long "hidden in the mountains and unknown to people" began to quickly win pupulairty throughout the world.
The Jiuzhaigou Valley
JiuzhaigouValleyScenic Areais located in Nanping County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.Since there are nine Tibetan villages situated on this high-altitudeland and lakes, it is called “Jiuzhaigou” (nine-village valley).Surrounded by mountains, the main attractions of Jiuzhaigou Valley arewell-distributed in114 cascade lakesin the valley shaped like a "Y". So the water is the leading character second to none in JiuzhaigouValley.
I. Shuzheng Valley
The lower part of the "Y"shape structure of Jiuzhaigou Valley, about 7 kilomiters, ranging from the mouth of JiuzhaigouValley to Lotus Leaf Dam formally opens the prelude of Jiuzhaigou scenic landscape. Attractions such as Baojing Cliff, Zharu Temple, Bonsai Shoal,Reed Lake, Sparkling Lake, Sleeping Dragon Lakehide in the luxuriant vegetation, shine with golden light admist vast and hazy reeds,incredibly beautiful.
Shuzheng Valley is located in the central area of Jiuzhaigou Valley. Shuzheng Lakes and Shuzheng Waterfalls are enough to amaze people with its varying colors and different views of the water of Jiuzhaigou Valley. Going upward, Tiger Lake seems deep and quiet. Fallen but not yet rotten tree trunksscatter along the banks of the lake as if time is frozenhere with flowing water.The wider RhinocerosLake ahead is the biggest lake in Shuzheng Valley.Due to its vast area and deepwater as 18 meters, it is hailed the champion of reflection inJiuzhaigou Valley. The branches and leaves stretch outward sideways along the wooden trestle, with two or three setting against the blue or green water surface, presenting elegant and brilliant beauty; in the center of the water, there are reflections of the mountains and forests across the bank.Ripples only appear with a gentle breeze as if to remind people passing by that it is not really a mirror.
II. Zechawa Valley
The left branch of the "Y"shape structure of Jiuzhaigou Valley is called Zechawa Valley. There are two superb lakes in the valley, one big and one small.The Long Lake, at the end of Zechawa Valley is the deepest and largest one, with the highest elevation in Jiuzhaigou Valley.Take a tour around Long Lake, you will see the calm and waveless water, which appearsextremlypeaceful and quiet with the reflection of the black mountains. It is said that the water of Long Lake comes from the snow melt of the snow-cappedmountains, but miraculously, the water never becomes full and flows out without outlet. With the distant snow-capped mountains and the near fir forest refleting into blue water, ripples and reflections enhance each other’s beauty on the water surface.The most prominent is the aloof “one-armed old man” cypress ahead,so tall and straight.Walking down the wooden trestle from Long Lake, in the dense forests, the branches and leaves gently touch your shoulders,ears, and head. While enchanted by the verdant trees, suddenly your eyes light up from a beam of peacock blue looms ahead.If it were my first visit, I would not believe the blue is a naturally formed color on the earth.A few more steps, the bright blue color shows clues. The unwordly color is just of the water of Five-Color Pond deep down the valley. Though it is said to be the smallest and most exquisite lake in Jiuzhaigou Valley,it actually should be ranked first for its purity and brillance. Looking at the gorgeous blue and green water, one can not help but associating it with the work of God. If not for the clear texture of the stones underwater, one would really think that the color exists only in dreams.
III. Rize Valley
The right branch of the "Y" shape structure of Jiuzhaigou Valley is actually called Rize Valley. The landscape is never the same in the valley and can be the climax sight of Jiuzhaigou Valley.On the top end of Rize Valley, there is a primeval forest for tour walks.Walking along the wooden trestle, you will see the plants on either side arevibrant andfull of life; the ground is covered with moss and leaves, rendering a soft and gentle feeling. It seems that in a blink of an eye, the visitorshave already got into another world,where they will enjoy the whistling of the wind in the pines, the twittering of the birds, the fragrant grass as well as the dew dropping from time to timemoisteningthe path and people walking along.Looking up, the towering trees link together closely, leaving only a small piece of the sky to be seen.Looking down, the vast green and yellow connect into one. The verdant moss looks so lively even though without sunlight; the withered needle blanket is piled with fallen leavesyear after year.Also there are fallen treesthat finally wither into trunks after countless years, lying on the ground, showing signs of the circle of life until the moss covers them over.
Walking out of the forest, you can see Sword Rock erecting from the ground, like a sword pointing at the sky. On the other side of Sword Rock, there are a few waterfalls that look like white silk dancing in the sky, streaming down hundreds of meters and disappearing into the green forest. Legend has it that it was the love-sick tears of a goddess who failed to find her beloved other half after searching everywhere. Now it is called Sword Rock HangingFalls.The water eventually flows into a lake below the cliff. Fragrant grass, egrets flicking across the water and waterweeds swaying with the waves, all of thesehave formed a quiet and deep place, called Grass Lake. Down further is Arrow Bamboo Lake. The firs are tall and straight along both banks. Water plants are everywhere in the lake. This view renders you a primitive beauty. Walking along the path shaded with the dancing bamboos, you will arrive at a clearing. And this territorybelongs to Panda Lake.
Going further along the wooden trestle, you enter a dense forest following the sounds of water.And then passing through Panda Lake Waterfall,you will arrive at FiveFlower Lake.It gathers almost all of the essence of all the lakes in Jiuzhaigou Valley and also becomes the most amazing freeze-frame of Peacock River.It was a piece of peacock blue long scroll.The arbitrary blue iscopious and fluent in various patterns.Itpresents a vivid and gorgeous scene with green mountains encircling from all directions. Each step is a different view. Now you see the sapphire Five Flower Lakelike peacock spreading its tail, changing colors in folding and unfolding.There are many green algaes in the lake. Fish swim to the tourist, as if asking for food, or just to have fun with the crowd.All of a sudden, the Five Flower Lake comes to life. It is no longer just a piece of gem for appreciation, but also a carrier of life.Some of the fallen needle tree trunks lying across the bank have been calcified, becoming a view for the eyes of the visitors.