The scenery of Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong is amazing, and by visiting in early November we avoided the huge holiday crowds and got a look at the beginning of the autumn colours in the leaves up in the mountains.
We started the trip by flying into Chengdu, and the first thing on the itinerary was a visit to the old town of Songpan. It’s a walled town that was an outpost on the border of Tibet and China, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). We took a long walk to explore inside the walls.
The next day was a big one, as we visited the Jiuzhaigou National Park. Inside the park was just perfect – clear, sunny weather, no crowding, and, of course, the scenery.
The third day of the trip was no less of a highlight, with Huanglong National Park’s famous Five-Colour Pool a particularly special sight.
On the fourth day of the trip we headed back to Chengdu, stopping off for a look at the big waterfall in Munigou.
Our last day was spent in Chengdu. The best part of that? We visited a famous food street, and tried out everything!
The South Gate of Songpan Ancient Town.
Cobbled lanes inside the walls.
Lanterns decorating a teahouse. We saw a lot of teahouses in Songpan.
A street market in Songpan.
Yanjing is having a chat with some local ladies.
We climbed up on to this knoll to get a better view of the Ming Dynasty-era walls.
Heading in to the valley of Jiuzhaigou.
A duck in the wetlands beside the lake.
We followed the park trails in through the forest.
One of the waterfalls.
A boardwalk around the side of the lake, with a lot of fish in the water below.
Waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou.
Forest and mountains reflected in the still water.
This is Panda Lake. Apparently it’s named that because the colours of the lake look like a panda. Hmmm.
We stopped for a lakeside picnic lunch.
Group shot after lunch.
Flags adorn a prayer wheel.
A boardwalk by a rushing river.
Water flows over a terrace.
Reflections in Moss Lake.
Long Lake – the largest in the park, and the highest.
Back in Songpan, with the sun setting behind one of the big gates.
We climbed up to watch the sun set.
Huanglong National Park.
Ripples in the water.
A Tibetan Buddhist temple in Munigou.
The prayer hall of the temple.
Rabbits running about by the temple. Wonder if the monks here are vegetarian?
Back in Chengdu, we spotted some people practicing Sichuan Opera by the river.