Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan Province, China–Day1, Primeval Forest and Its Lakes

A great day to get around Jiuzhaigou, one of the most beautiful places in China, known for its hundreds of lakes in all sorts of colors.

The valley is divided into two branches shaped like a “Y”.  We took the right branch on our first day.  Taking the suggestions from some other backpackers, we stayed with the bus as it passed all the lakes on this branch and ascended to the primeval forest near the top of the mountain.  Then we followed most of the people and walked back down to check out the lakes on our own pace.

We also took a little detour around the primeval forest, where we found a spot to feel its clear, beautiful, but icy water.

walking down along the river

At Grass Lake

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Swan Lake

Don’t think these birds in the Swan Lake are swans, they look more like ducks….

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Arrow Bamboo Lake

I found an Isreali couple, Meir and Noa, on the bus from Chengdu, the three of us decided to travel together since we all wanted to stay in the Park for the night.

Lots of little bamboos coming out of the water

Self-heated, or MRE, Chinese meals, except that they are pretty expensive around here.

Panda lake, known for appearances of pandas around the lake before they were gathered into the reservations.

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Noa’s hard at work

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Small Waterfall

Found a Tibetan monk visiting the waterfall

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These monks are not your ordinary piety, they got their DSLR cameras and iPhone 5.

Downstream of Panda Lake Waterfall

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The blue Panda Lake

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Me and Noa

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Someone’s feeding the fish.

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a huge tourist station, where people busy taking photos

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Panda Lake Waterfall from above

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Mier’s exotic hairy chest always draws crowds of Chinese taking pictures with him.

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People busied themselves taking pictures in a trodden rose garden.

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Multi-Colored Lake is indeed in multiple colors.

A lot of it come from these green water plants living in the bottom of the lake.

Lots of fallen trees in the lake

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Which new organisms prospered on their decayed bodies.

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We came to this broad cross over a large area of water running downstream – clearly a waterfall is coming up.

Pearl Shoal is probably among the highlights of this park.

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Blessings in different colors

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We decided to stay with this Tibetan village, Shuzheng Village, for the night.

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It is also where the buses depart.

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The view from the village.

The village is already pretty commercialized with a shopping street for tourists.

At the end of this road, we found our hotel.

Where we passed a photography studio specialized in all sorts of portraits in Jiuzhaigou.

Our hotel.

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I have to say, 150 yuan is pretty expensive to stay up there, but at least I get a suite.

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Beds still need heavy covering, even in summer this place is very chilly at night.

Couldn’t find their owner most of the time, but I found their cozy office.

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We were hoping for some special Tibetan food and we were a bit disappointed to see regular Chinese foods on our table.

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Walking around the town and taking pictures.

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Drinking local beer and tea for the night – not to mention we bargained a great price for buying their waters in bulk.