Jiuzhaigou & Huanglong Travel Guide
Origin of the name 'Jiuzhaigou'
Jiuzhaigou, also called 'Yangtong' in ancient times, currently has other names like 'Heyao Jiuzhai', and the ' Jade Sea '. Jiuzhaigou, literally the Nine Village Valley , is hence known for the nine Tibetan villages within its boundary, that is, Panxin, Rize. Yacuo , Panya, Zechawa , Heijiao, Shuzheng, Heye and Zharu.
Distribution and Scenic Features
Jiuzhaigou covers the Shuzheng Valley . Rize Valley and Zechawa Valley that take a 'Y' shape, in the Minshan Mountain Range. Inhabited by Tibetans, the nine villages and alpine lakes, affectionately called 'Ham', are like reflecting mirrors or crystal jade blocks inlaid in snow mountains and forests. At the end of Zechawa Valley is the Chang (Long) Lake and the end of Rize Valley are virgin forests. From .south to north, both valleys stretch and meet at Nuorilang. The drop between the two valleys and Shuzheng Valley is over 1,000 meters.
Jiuzhaigou Valley always delights tourists from home and abroad with its emerald lakes, layered waterfalls, colorful forests, snow-clad peaks and Tibetan customs. Its charm lies in the primitive, natural and idyllic beauty of its landscapes.
As a tourist resort it boasts 114 lakes lying downward in an echelon manner, on which are 17 waterfalls, 47 springs, 17 splashing waterfalls, 11 turbulent streams and 5 travertine beaches and 9 Tibetan villages, formulating alpine lake clusters and travertine spots that are rarely seen in China and even in the world. All these scenic sights, set against the backdrop of 92 snowy peaks, create a unqiue natural landscape of high mountains and deep gullies in Jiuzhaigou.
The water, the soul of Jiuzhaigou, is so crystal clear and rich in colors that it has earned the reputation, so well expressed in the saying 'Those who have visited Jiuzhaigou will no longer appreciate the water landscape again', Varying in size and shapes, sparkling with colors in brilliant sunlight, the more than 100 lakes define the waterscapes and form their essence. The unique tourist culture of Jiuzhaigou is captured by the purity of the green water, the reflections in the lakes, the stone mills, the Tibetan villages, the Buddhist sutra-streamers and the folk songs and dances of the Tibetan and the Qiang people. With its 30,000 hectares of virgin forests, Jiuzhaigou is also a botanical and zoological paradise, a habitat of dense conifers and broadleaf trees for such rare and endangered animals as the Giant Panda, the Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey, and the White-Lipped Deer.
Its virgin forests had not been disturbed until the end of the 1960s when large groups of lumber workers started work at Jiuzhaigou. In 1975,the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry sent a team to Jiuzhaigou for field investigation, who were surprisingly impressed by its natural beauty and immedialely publicized their surveys and comments - Jiuzhaigou collects rich and rare animal and plant resources, and most of all. it is to become a place of scenic interest well-known throughout the world.