A Wonderworld of Water – JiuZhaiGou (九寨沟), China

We flew from Chengdu to Huanglong airport which is 11,311 ft above sea level. We were glad that we did not suffer any altitude sickness. The moment we stepped out of the airplane, we realized that we were in a different world. Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟) is a stunningly scenic region in the north of the Sichuan Province in China. The name ‘Jiuzhaigou’ literally means ‘Valley of Nine Villages’, and features nine ancient Tibetan villages where life carries on in pretty much the same way as it always has.

They say a picture says a thousand words, that cannot be truer than Jiuzhaigou. The stunning beauty of the valley makes it impossible to take a bad picture here.

Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and featuring hundreds of lakes, waterfalls, trickling rivers and thick forest, the area is breathtaking (mind you, the air is thin and we have to ascend slowly).

Jiuzhaigou is a world of water. . . . . . water is the soul of the place, giving life to the mountain lakes and waterfalls.

Everywhere, we found ourselves surrounded by water of different colors, flowing at different speeds, in different directions, either gliding along as sheet flows, trickling in small streams, powerful as in waterfalls or placid in the azure lakes.

Jiuzhaigou is just a dreamy wonderland which has an Alpine feel.

The area around Huanglong has a feel of Pumakule in Turkey, except that it is much bigger in extent and has an Alpine setting. The water is crystal clear and there is no restriction to walk on or bath in it. We were a little too early for the colored leaves of Autumn, which usually start to appear in the second week of October.

The water  is so clear that you not only see the bottom of the lake but schools of a special fish ( with very small scales)  and dead tree trunks which have fallen to the lake bed.  Walking into Jiuzhaigou is just like walking into a 3D fairy-tale world of colors.

The water in Jiuzhaigou is crystal clear, yet presenting many colors with  twinkling refractions of the depositions in the lakes from the  dissolved limestone and many minerals.

The colorful placid lakes are the main theme of Jiuzhaigou. The Mystical Colorful Pond and the Five-flower Sea are famous throughout China. The water there exhibits different colors like blue, green, yellow, red and so on. It is said that the color of the water depends on the depth of water, the changing color of mountains and the weather condition. When these factors change, so does the color of the water.

It is a world of birds and other animals, too. Golden monkeys, pandas and other rare fowls and strange animals are living here. Swans and mandarin ducks like this fascinating place……

In many of the lakes, the water is calm and the surface is just like a bright mirror reflecting the surrounding mountains.

We stood in awe on this board walk overlooking the blue azure lake, enjoying the heavenly  sights of Jiuzhaigou to the fullest!

37 thoughts on “A Wonderworld of Water – JiuZhaiGou (九寨沟), China

    • There are still so many beautiful places that I would like to go in China and elsewhere. Unfortunately, I have lost all photo negatives and only have the more recent digital images on my travels. I am more than pleased to share my moods and photos with you all.

  1. Since a few months ago I’ve put Jiuzhaigou as one of the places that I have to see in China. Unfortunately at the time when a friend of mine went to Chengdu about a month ago, Jiuzhaigou was closed for public due to security reasons. She was very disappointed, but I hope things will get better soon.

    • Hi Bama,
      JiuZhaiGou is highly recommended; the best time is mid to late October. One thing I didn’t mention was that the air is thin there. We walked slowly and even bought a small bottle of oxygen just in case.

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog! There are a few reasons that you should come to China sooner than later. These include scenic places less spoilt, less costly ( Rmb on the rise, standards of livng quickly increasing ) and less local travellers ( who are gettig well off by the day). Given that this is a vast cuntry, there are still many places which I would like to go.

  2. Thanks for this travel tip! There’s so much to experience here in China, and Jiuzhaigou seems to be a must-see🙂

    • Whiile JiuZhaiGou is good to see all year round. Mid to end October would be the best season with the colored foliage. You will see images better than those on my photos

    • Have been to Plitvice Lakes in Croatia recently which people say rival with JiuZhaiGou. I can assure you that the Wow factor there is less.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog!

  3. Thank you so much for posting such magical photo’s. It really looks too good to be true, like something out of a James Cameron movie (all CGI). I especially loved the trees growing amist the torrid water fall.

    • Hi, I will be posting about Plitvice lakes in Croatia and will be sort of comparing it with JiuZhaiGou. Hope you would like it too! Regards, Michael

    • They are similar in many ways; the color of the waters in JiuZhaiGou seem to be having a deeper blue; maybe this is due to the dissolution of more minerals in the water. I was trying to come up with a definitive statement as to which of the two places is more beautiful but find that I am not able to do this. They are beautiful on their own rights. Regards, Michael

    • Hi Littlelor, would be delighted if you would compare these with the photos I have taken for Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia in my other post. Would be interested in learning how readers compare the two. Thanks very much for the kind comment! Regards, Michael

    • Hi bucketdave, actually the blue color of the lakes at JiuZhaiGou was more blue than those at Plitvice; maybe the lakes have more minerals in them. Thanks for the comment, Michael

  4. My Dear Michael, I love Nature, but seem to get either the Opportunity, time nor circumstances to BE in such places! Having a ‘Vicarious’ Enjoyment, though, through Your photographs!

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