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Many trips to China focus on the major cities like Beijing or Shanghai, but the country is enormous and occupies more than 3.7 million square miles. To escape the hustle and bustle of city life, consider a getaway to the Sichuan Province and the Jiuzhai Valley National Park.
This stunning nature reserve is home to beautiful lakes, challenging hikes and unparalleled scenery. Visitors can spend the day while touring other attractions in China, or they can focus their trips entirely on this magnificent nature reserve.
About the Jiuzhai Valley National Park
The Jiuzhai Valley National Park is located near the Min Shan mountain range, and it covers an area of nearly 300 square miles. For hundreds of years, the area was inhabited by the Tibetan and Qiang people, and it was revered by both as a scenic destination for inner peace and harmony.
In the 1970s, logging began to take place in the Jiuzhai Valley National Park, but steps were taken within a few years to halt deforestation and begin to protect what remained.
In 1982, it became a national park, in 1992 it became an official UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 1997 it was declared a World Biosphere Reserve.
More than just beautiful, the Jiuzhai Valley National Park boasts virgin forests and serves as the home to endangered species like the Giant Panda and the Sichuan Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey.
Top Things to See in Jiuzhai Valley
Mirror Lake is one of the top scenic attractions, and the reflective surface of the water truly is unbelievable.
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Other top landmarks to see within the valley include the Nuorilang Falls, the traditional Tibetan Shuzheng Village, Panda Lake, Pearl Shoal Falls and Five Color Pool. There are several marked hiking paths, the best of which wind through the Primeval Forest and lead to Swan Lake.
Travel Tips to and From Jiuzhai Valley
Within the Jiuzhai Valley National Park, no personal transportation is allowed. However, there are ample hop-on and hop-off buses that go all around the park itself, and riding them is free with your admission ticket.
To get to the Jiuzhai Valley, many visitors fly into Chengdu, the capital city in the province of Sichuan. From there, it is possible to take a short flight to the Jiuzhaigou Huanglong Airport near the reserve, join a guided tour from Chengdu or take a public bus.
Additional Attractions in the Region
On a visit to China, Jiuzhai Valley is not the only great attraction in the Sichuan Province. For more mountain views, the Huanglongsi National Park is just two hours away by car, and the traditional town of Songpan is a fantastic spot to explore ancient architecture and indulge in authentic Tibetan cuisine.
Whether you are new to China or you want to experience something different from the urban hotspots of Beijing and Shanghai, the Jiuzhai Valley National Park is an incredible destination worth exploring.