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Jiuzhai Valley

Jiuzhaigou is a scenic area of outstanding beauty in southwest China’s Sichuan province. The World Heritage-listed spot is situated about 400 kilometers north of the province’s capital city, Chengdu, and is over 80 kilometers long, covering an area of 60,000 hectares. ‘Jiuzhaigou’ means ‘Nine Village Valley’ and refers to the nine villages of Tibetan people here.
    The spot was discovered by some woodcutters in the 1970s and was so admired over the next few years that it was consequently listed as one of the most important scenic spots in China in 1982. By 1992 Jiuzhaigou had become one of China’s 33 World Heritage sites, including E’Mei Mountain and Huangshan Mountain.
    There are six scenic spots in the Jiuzhaigou area: Changhai, Jianyan, Nuorilang, Shuzheng, Zharu and Heihai. Its double waterfalls, snowy peaks, colorful forests and green seas have made Jiuzhaigou known throughout the world. The area also has the added charm of Tibetan culture.
    Jiuzhaigou is famed for its network of alpine lakes, spectacular waterfalls and splendid vegetation. There are, for example, more than 100 lakes of different sizes that are scattered in the midst of great mountains, where the valley echoes with the roar of cataracts and cliffside springs. These lakes of brilliant colors are called “haizi” or ‘sea’ by the local Tibetan people. It is these alpine lakes that make Jiuzhaigou such a fantastic place. Jiuzhaigou, therefore, has always enjoyed the reputation of being a ’wonder land on earth’. It abounds in virgin forests, rare flowers, and grasses. What’s more, in the vast primeval forests, all kinds of rare birds and animals are found. Over 140 bird species, including a number of rare species, also inhabit the valley, as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the panda.
    Wolong Lake – A milky white travertine dyke lies in the midst of the lake and looks like a huge dragon lying across the bottom of the lake. This phenomenon gives the lake its name of Wolong Lake, which means Lying Dragon Lake.
    Mirror Lake - The clear water reflects the valley when the air is still of a morning, just like the treasured mirror of a goddess of local legend.
    Multi-Color Lake – As the name implies, this lake is an intriguing mix of different shapes and colors. The Multi-Color Lake lies at an altitude of over 3,000 meters and has an atmosphere of peace and mystery.
    The different shapes and colors of the lakes in Jiuzhaigou provide a perfect geographical environment for the forming of waterfalls. There are 17 waterfalls at Jiuzhaigou, amongst which Pear Falls, Nuorilang Falls and Panda Falls are the most famous. Pear Falls and Nuorilang Falls are both 300 meters wide, while Panda Falls is 50 meters wide. Jiuzhaigou has more beautiful waterfalls than any other scenic area.
    Each lake at Jiuzhaigou possesses a unique beauty, as unlike the others lakes at Jiuzhaugou as it is unlike the lakes anywhere else on Earth. Each lake, as clear as crystal, shines with its own unique color.
    The forest at Jiuzhaigou is also spectacular, and the leaves in particular seem especially unique. The most beautiful season is autumn, when the whole valley turns golden. The reflection of the forest in the lakes is so spectacular that it makes people believe that they are in a fairy-tale world. 
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