Location: Sichuan Province
Stretching over 72,000 hectares in the northern part of Sichuan Province, the jagged Jiuzhaigou Valley reaches a height of more than 4,800 meters, therefore comprising a series of diverse forest ecosystems. Its superb landscapes are especially interesting for their series of narrow conic karst landforms and spectacular waterfalls. Some 140 bird species also inhabit in the valley, as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda and the Sichuan Takin.
There are six scenic spots-Changhai, Jianyan, Nuorilang, Shuzheng, Zharu and Heihai. The area is well known both at home and abroad for its natural scenery which includes snowy peaks, double waterfalls, colorful forests and green sea. Tibetan customs are another attraction. In 1992 it was listed as a world heritage site.
The mountains, lakes, natural primeval forest and unique scenes make Jiuzhaigou a fairyland. Mountains ragging 1,980 to about 3,100 meters in height are covered by a variety of trees and plants such as green conifers, luxuriant broadleaf trees and colorful rare flowers and grasses. Scenes change according to the season and the area is particularly colorful in autumn when the wind makes kilometers of tree belt along the lake undulate like a sea wave. Waterfalls, lakes, springs, rivers and shoals add to the color and the green trees, red leaves, snowy peaks and blue skies are reflected from lakes and rivers. Trees grow in the water and flowers blossom in the middle of lakes.
At the Shuzheng Shuzheng Scenic Spot there are 40 lakes and they extend five kilometers along a valley. The spot is a central point in Jiuzhaigou's landscape and covers an area of three square kilometers. The lakes vary in color according to their depths, residues and scenery around them. Reed Lake is an ideal habitat for birds, Spark lake appears to move while the jade-like Rhinoceros Lake is a good place for rowing, swimming and rafting. There are also the Shuzheng Waterfalls which have a backdrop of trees.
Nuorilang Scenic Area extends from the Nuorilang Waterfalls to Zhuhai, an area of three square kilometers. The 320-meter-wide Nuorilang Waterfall drops 20 meters and is the widest highland waterfall in the country; it is the symbol of Jiuzhaigou. Other places of interest include the quiet and mirror like Jinghai Lake, the 310-meter-wide Pearl Beach Waterfall and the Five-Color Lake which has a richly colored underwater landscape.
The Sword-Shaped Rock Scenic Area contains Goose Lake, Suspended Springs, Sword Rock, snow-covered Mountains and primeval forests. Sometimes you can see giant pandas. There is also the 17.8-kilometer Zechawa Ravine, the longest and highest in Jiuzhaigou. At the end of it is the eight kilometer-long Changhai Lake, the largest in the area. In Haizi there is the Five-Color Pond, the brightest lake in Jiuzhaigou. (Photo source: baidu.com)
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