Jiu Zhai Guo (Jiuzhaigou)
Pure and untouched nature
Located 435 km north of Chengdu in northern Sichuan province, Jiuzhaigou (Jiu Zhai Gou) National Park is without doubt one of the most beautiful Parks in China. The name Jiu Zhai Gou means literally "9-Villages-Valley", standing for the 9 villages which can be found there.
UNESCO added Jiuzhaigou (Jiu Zhai Gou) to its World Heritage List in 1992. Jiu Zhai Gou (Jiuzhaigou) National Park extends over 3 valleys and covers an area of 72’000 km2, roughly twice the size of Belgium. The emerald blue lakes, stunning waterfalls, crystal clear water, rich vegetation, the abundant wildlife and the stunning mountain scenery make Jiu Zhai Gou (Jiuzhaigou) unique in China and it is a wonderful place to hang around for a few days! Private cars are not allowed within the park, there are modern shuttle buses running between the most popular sites. The bus pass and the entrance ticket can be bought at the visitor centre at the entrance to the park.
Until recently the entrance ticket was valid for 2 days. (Unfortunately the local government realized that they can make more money by issuing the entrance tickets only for one day.) Since the opening of the Songpan Airport, Jiuzhaigou (Jiu Zhai Gou) became one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sichuan and the daily influx of Chinese tourists is immense. During the summer month the park is visited by 10'000 tourists every day.
However, a short walk away from the major attraction, the odds of finding a quiet spots are pretty good. The best time to visit is end of September/beginning of October when the park is presenting itself in its stunning autumn colors. During this time it can already get pretty cold at Jiuzhaigou National Park so it is essential to bring adequate clothing. There is plenty of (overpriced) accommodation outside the park.