Sunday, July 21, 2013

JiuZhaiGou - Day Two

We got an early start for day two in JiuZhaiGou, grabbed breakfast from the fast food shop called Dico's and caught a bus up the valley before hoards of tourist groups.  Today we went up the Rize Valley side to the Primeval Forest, an ancient woodland.  An interesting outcrop here is called Sword Rock.
Sword Rock on the Right
The misty clouds that covered the mountaintops yesterday were gone, and we could see snow-shrouded peaks towering above the valley.

Again, we had to take a bus part of the way back down because the boardwalk was closed.  We stopped at Grass Lake and hiked the rest of the way to the fork.

Arrow Bamboo Lake

There is no swimming allowed in the lakes, but these life preservers are nearby in case of emergency!

See the ducks?  They're floating and the logs are beneath the water!
According to legend, JiuZhaiGou was created when a jealous devil caused the goddess Wunosemo to drop her magic mirror, a present from her lover, the warlord god, Dage. The mirror dropped to the ground and shattered into 118 shimmering turquoise lakes.  We walked along through some of the lesser lakes, connected by waterfalls and streams. 

Bamboo Falls

Panda Lake is so named because giant panda used to come here to drink, but there haven't been any pandas in this area for a long time.

Someone threw something edible into Panda Lake attracting all these fish.

Five Flower Lake is famous for the beautiful colors and all the fallen logs down inside the water.

Five Flower/Color Lake

Here again is vegetation growing on the fallen logs in the pond.  So amazing!

Pearl Shoals was probably the most interesting water feature in the whole park.  The water just flows for several hundred yards across, underneath and around the bushes, shrubs, trees and stones.  No particular pathway or riverbed is formed--just solid water overflowing the landscape.  It was so pretty!

Pearl Shoals

The water finally comes to a waterfall with spectacular views of towering peaks nearby.  It was incredible!

See me waving?

We absolutely loved this area--so beautiful.  We decided this is probably one of the top 3 most beautiful places in the world that we have seen!  Definitely the prettiest nature we've seen in China.

We decided we wouldn't take the time to go to Tibet, so we were happy to have these beautiful, tall mountain vistas in this Tibetan-like valley. 

Our weather report before we left said nothing about sunshine, so I didn't even pack a hat.  I needed to protect my nose from the high-altitude sunshine!  A paper shield works well.

Mirror Lake

We reached the fork and proceeded down the Shuzheng Valley.  I stopped in at the tourist center to buy another purse with yak leather--last chance to buy!

These photos really show the succession of pools and lakes down the valley, flowing with long waterfalls, one into the other. 

Kirk jumped a railing to get out on this log.  But the shot was worth it, don't you think?

I love this shot--it looks like the green trees are "pouring" into the lake.  Cool!

As we got further down the valley, closer to the entrance, the rivers became more predominant and defined.

The Zaru Temple inside the park.

The floral display at the entrance to the park was a nice spot to take a rest and relax from the day's hiking.  The "Western Restaurant" at our hotel turned out to be closed, so we went to the Star Cafe in town and had a "Hawaiian pizza" which was made with a bisquick-type crust, ground meat (ham?) and fruit cocktail with odd-tasting cheese.  We decided we would need to go to Peter's Tex/Mex as soon as we got back to Chengdu!  The gorgeous park made up for that disappointment.  What a glorious place--we loved it!


  1. Those pictures looked photo shopped they are so beautiful! Daniel says, "Nonny's swimming in the water!"

  2. Wow! What amazing scenery!!! It looks unreal.

  3. I was thinking the same thing as Carolyn!