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Jiuzhaigou (Nine Village Valley), China

Location added by Byhyew

Rank : 10.0 (average on 1 votes)

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Coordinates : 33.261657,103.918463 (Open in Google Maps)

Subjects : Named after the nine villages of ethnic minorities (Tibetan and Qiang) living in this national park, it is commonly acknowledged to have the most beautiful waterside scenery in China.Located in remote mountains north of Sichuan Province, close to the Ningxia Autonomous Region, it's a fairy tale landscape surrounded by mountains and small lakes.The area is perfect for landscape photo shooting, and good for portraiture to a lesser extent, if you get to know the locals.

Recommended equipment : Regular equipment for landscape and portraiture.

Best months : Breath taking scenery all the year around. But watch out for Chinese holidays, especially the long holidays such as the Chinese New Year and the National Day, as the area would be packed with tourists that you can barely find a space to squeeze into!

How to get there : Most major Chinese travel agencies offer packages to Jiuzhaigou.By plane: direct flight to the nearby Huanglong Airport from the major Chinese cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, etc. If tickets are tight, try fly to Chengdu first. From there on, planes leave for Huanglong every half hour in the afternoons. By train: first get to Chongqing or Chengdu, from there, take the train to a nearby town, then take a bus to Jiuzhaigou. Long hours and unreliable schedules. Not recommended unless you wish to visit the rural areas of Sichuan.By bus: first get to Chongqing or Chengdu. Then it's about a 8 to 9 hour ride in the mountains.

Visits : Both Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong are national parks, so are well organized and regulated.General entrance fees are around 25 euros during the high season between April 1st and November 15th, 8 euros for the low season between November 16th and March 31st. Children shorter than 1.3m are exempt from entrance fees. Some locations inside the parks cost extra but are usually worth it.

Notes : I. Altitude.Jiuzhaigou is relatively high in altitude at around 2500m, and the Huanglong airport upon arrival is at 3400m. Since Huanglong is also beautiful and worth visiting, it's wise to take into consideration the altitude at Huanglong, between 3200m and 3900m. So watch out for altitude sickness. II. Local customs.Jiuzhaigou is an Tibetan and Qiang autonomous area. So local law enforcement is based on customs of Tibetan and Qiang minorities rather than on general Chinese laws. They're usually very nice people, but they're used to carrying knives around and they will use them when offended. Plus local law enforcement will always favor local minorities. So in case you've been fooled over price or service, do not waste time or worse still put yourself in danger by quarreling with a local. Also, try to avoid offending the local minorities by following their customs.1. Do not eat donkey, horse, dog, or fish. Or mention such food.2. Pass by religious sites, such as temples, prayer flags, pagodas, from left to right, with respect and distance.3. Avoid intimate body contact.


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