Jiuzhaigou is a beautiful alpine valley that is 2 hours away from Songpan. It is a stunning park with lakes of blue water, fantastic scenery and settlements of Tibetans.
It would be even better without the hundreds of tour buses that plunge up the tarmacked road, and the fighting Chinese tourists who would insist on getting on the next bus regardless of who is in their way. One punched Claire in the stomach in the race to get on a bus.
At Long Lake we get off the bus and leave the tourists to take photos of themselves and yell at each other (talk) in Tibetan outfits holding sheep. We climbed a fence and bush-crashed to get away from the throngs. It was the only place for peace and quiet.
Amazing lakes lie all over the park. There is taken from a wooden walkway made for everyone to dawdle and stroll around the park in breaths of a minimum of four people.
The limestone lakes are so many shades of green and blue.
Trees fall into the water from the bank and appear to petrify taking on the appearance of coral.
The nearest that we got to a panda in the area was this well-fed tourist. We think any wildlife left a long time ago due to the noise of the buses and people.
A section of Pearl Waterfall where Chinese tourists could be seen walking all over the limestone formations dicing with a slippery waterfall death for that prefect holiday snap of how "wild" they are.
Nourilang waterfall. The big attraction of the park.
For the Chinese a waterfall is not pretty unless it has your mug shot in it.
We had no idea Wacko Jacko would be here with his Chinese mum and we certainly never saw Bubbles the monkey.
We spent the night in a Tibetan home and got up the next morning to walk out of the park. Here Claire starts the early morning with a spinning of the prayer wheels.
We had a lovely quiet walk out of the park, we had covered around 30 kilometres in the park and were happy that we saw lots of different terrain from lakes and rivers to waterfalls and prairies.
..and more development. This is some sort of small scale hydro-electric project.
Overall thoughts - stunning park but a shame that they need to take away the natural beauty and put wooden paths everywhere and big buses.
Theme song for the walk was "Your so Vain" in honour of the thousands of indigenous tourists who don't take pictures of beautiful things but rather take pictures of themselves elbowing themselves into the way of beautiful things.
If this is the future of nature then sell your camping gear and buy your ticket off the planet now.