Located in the north of Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou is part of the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. Home to a small population of Tibetan and Qiang people who regard the area as holy and the source of legends, Jiuzhaigou (Nine Village Gully) is so named due to the nine ancient Tibetan villages in the valley.
The Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve has some of the most stunning scenery anywhere in China, an awe-inspiring and almost fantasy-like land. Surrounded by numerous snow capped mountains with over a hundred lakes, waterfalls, springs, streams and thick forests, the area is breathtaking and great for walks or trekking with well-maintained paths. The lakes are green, blue or turquoise in colour with very clear water and the colours vary depending on the depth and their surroundings, seasons and time of day. Autumn brings a blaze of golds and reds to contrast with the turquoise lakes whilst the frigid temperatures of winter dramatically cover the trees in ice and freeze waterfalls in place.
You’ll be able to see traditional Tibetan lifestyle with prayer wheels, shrines with prayer flags and yaks being herded. The reserve is also home to 141 species of birds, giant panda, golden snub-nosed monkeys and white-lipped deer.
The daytime temperature can be cold year round, ranging from 16 degrees to -4 degrees Celsius, temperatures often dropping below zero at night, so make sure you take warm clothes.
About 100km northwest of Lijiang in Yunnan province is where the Yangtze River’s upper reaches, the Jingsha Jiang, channel with ...