Huanglong (Yellow Dragon), Sichuan Province, China

2013-08-27 003

We took an early morning bus for Huanglong, another scenic park 3 hours from Jiuzhaigou in the mountains.  We were told that the altitude of this park is over 3000 meter. While I was worried that I won’t have enough layers for the temperature (since I only brought summer dresses for my vacation), the bus driver told me because right now it’s the peak of the summer, I would be ok with my dress.

Not long after the bus took up, we started gaining altitude.

2013-08-27 002

Passing through a shiny Tibetan temple in the mountain.

Motorcycle passing through.

We started seeing strips of snow in our horizon.

2013-08-27 010_stitch

Near 4,000 meters

2013-08-27 012

Where we found herds of yaks.

2013-08-27 013

2013-08-27 014

The valley

2013-08-27 021

Passing over 4,000 meters, the top of the mountain, marked by a huge viewing platform and a Tibetan altar.  It was so windy that day that I decided to not venture in this very thin and cold corner in my summer dress (plus, I’ve taken pretty much all the nice pictures from the best spot on the bus – the seat next to the driver).

2013-08-27 024

Coming down the mountain

2013-08-27 027_stitch

“This is a volcano.” The driver said.

“Really?” I was in awe when I heard this surprising news.

“It’s a local joke.” He explained, “a lot of tourists would mistake this for a famous volcano in Xinjiang. But this is just big mountain.”

2013-08-27 029

2013-08-27 033

Sign thanking the locals for building this road.

2013-08-27 036

The park’s entrance sits just at the foot of this mountain. The bus assistant bought the ticket and cable pass for everyone.  After getting off the bus, a lady told us that you don’t need to take the cable up to the top of the mountain, the walk to the top only takes 1.5 hours.  Noa also confirmed this from her Lonely Planet.  We figured that we will also be able to get back to the bus without the cable, so we returned the cable pass and took the walking path instead.

2013-08-27 039_stitch

Though it’s only 1.5 hours up, but it’s a straight up with continuous stairs.  Soon after we started seeing these small layers of pools.

2013-08-27 040 (2)

We encountered someone with a huge baggage.

2013-08-27 055

Though 3000 meters isn’t all that high, but free oxygen station is still around.

The room is equipped with comfortable chairs and oxygen pillows.

2013-08-27 057_stitch

Huanglong, or Yellow Dragon gets its name from the strip of calcium-rich water coming down the mountain, turning its path yellow, like a yellow dragon.

2013-08-27 072

2013-08-27 073_stitch

Small waterfall near the top.

2013-08-27 079_stitch

We finally met up with the other end of the cable car.  This is the first stop on the top of the mountain, marked by a big temple.

We were surprised that the cable stop isn’t exactly the very top, or the highlight of the park, there was still at least another half hour of walk to the big lake.

After another half hour of straight up, we finally get to this temple.  Apparently behind this temple is the highlight of the park

2013-08-27 086 (2)

The locals deemed this lake as sacred, where they will worship it in the temple.

Walking around the temple, we find the lake behind.

2013-08-27 113_stitch

The big lake on the top of mountain.

2013-08-27 098

Looking at the entire lake from the top.

2013-08-27 144

The snow mountain behind the lake.

Coming down the mountain, we crossed the Bridge of Immortals.

We took the path along the yellow ridge down the mountain.

2013-08-27 161

Someone’s cap blown off the path into the middle of the yellow ridge.

2013-08-27 165

2013-08-27 166

Toward the side of river, where the calcium is not very concentrated, grew trees.

2013-08-27 172_stitch

2013-08-27 173

I thought theses were bugs, but they turned out to be leaves clinging in between the ponds.

2013-08-27 180

2013-08-27 185_stitch

2013-08-27 189_stitch

2013-08-27 195

2013-08-27 196

Huanglong, or Yellow Dragon gets its name from the strip of calcium-rich water coming down the mountain, turning its path yellow, like a yellow dragon.

2013-08-27 209_stitch

The yellow waterfall