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Holidays : China: Sichuan : Chengdu Attractions : Heaven on Earth, the Jiuzhaigou Valley

Heaven on Earth, the Jiuzhaigou Valley

Remember the crystal clear water in Hero, nominated for best foreign film at the Oscars last year? Much of the filming took place at Jiuzhaigou Valley, a place recognized in the Chinese mind as Heaven on earth, a gift bestowed by nature in Sichuan, one of China��s western provinces. Jiuzhaigou Valley, eulogized as a world of magical fairytale, has for years enchanted tourists with its mountains and luxuriant forests, colorful lakes, gushing waterfalls and abundant wildlife. In 1992 it was put on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. 



It is said that the Jiuzhaigou Valley( Jiuzhai means nine villages)was named after the nine villages contained in the vast nature reserve. Lots of rare species inhabit the area including Pandas and Golden monkeys. The three main gullies-Shuzheng, Rize and Zechawa form a Y shape, with 108 mysterious lakes scattered around and a plethora of connecting waterfalls and brooks.

Legend has it that long long ago, a beautiful Goddess received a mirror from her lover. The goddess was so excited that she dropped the mirror, smashing it into 108 small pieces. Over the centuries those pieces gave birth to 108 wonderful lakes.

Jiuzhaigou��s spirit is its pure, crystal clear water.

Five-Coloured Lake

There is a fairy tale in ancient China that the princess of heaven has a five-colored lake called Yaochi in her palace. In Jiuzhaigou Valley you can see that lake of legend. Through forest clearings and the briefest of glimpses between needle clad branches you may catch a glimpse of the water which sparkles in a kalaidescope of sky blues, light greens, yellows, greys, pinks and blues.

Five Flower Sea

Rize Gully Five Flower Sea is even more magnificent. Surrounded by mountains, the sea looks like a huge calabash infusing colorful water continuously into the foot of the mountain. The strange part is that on the belly of the calabash, there is a ten-meter long light blue design which looks like the leg of a deer. Legend has it that it is the residing spirit of a spotted deer which slipped and fell down the cliff.

The Changhai Sea

A large lake located at an altitude of 3000 meters, Changhai, ��the King of the Lakes�� is surrounded by snow year round. In spring and autumn, the lake reflects the mountain snow or the maple trees. In winter the lake freezes into a spectacle of icy beauty.

Waterfalls

 

Waterfalls make attractive views. Jiuzhaigou Valley is a paradise surrounded by mountains, with tranquil lakes like pearls. But the quietness is sometimes broken by the waterfalls, which take you to another world. The waterfalls of Jiuzhaigou are like green looms weaving different silks. Varying in shape some are like dragons, some like snow and some like pearls. The sun often casts rainbows across their fronts.

The Nuorilang Waterfall is a perfect case in point. At the top of the great waterfall, which is about one hundred meters in width, are a line of willows which form a monumental green wall. Like the teeth of a comb their trunks seem to be running constantly through the water, untangling it.

Pear Shoal Waterfall is one of Jiuzhaigou��s most mysterious waterfall. It takes its name from the water that thunders into the stones below forming pearl-like waterdrops.

Colorful Forest

Colorful Forest is something you can��t miss. With more than 2000 different plants, beautiful flowers, lovely grass and numerous rare species the forest is unique in China and is the stuff fairytales are made of. In deep autumn orange
trees, golden yellow birches and red maples flourish in warm autumnal glory. In winter, the forest becomes a twinkling wonderland of grace and elegance.

Jiuzhaigou Valley feels like a dream. Beautiful scenery greets you wherever you look. Nature is all around, quiet and still yet more alive, more vibrant than the busiest of cities.

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