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                    Jiuzhai Valley returns in autumn glory

                    Writer: Chen Xiaochun  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2021-10-25

                    The natural fairyland Jiuzhai Valley, a famous scenic spot in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, fully reopened to visitors Sept 28. The UNESCO World Heritage site, famous for its spectacular waterfalls, lush forests and serene plateau lakes, has regained its former glamour and has once again become one of the focuses of tourism lovers.

                    On Aug. 8, 2017, a 7.0-magnitude quake forced the closure of the Jiuzhai Valley National Park. More than 270,000 trees have been planted over the past three years, and 172 hectares of ecological habitat repaired and restored in Jiuzhai Valley. The damaged mountains and vegetation have also rapidly recovered. The ecosystem was effectively restored.

                    In China there is a saying: “If you come back from the Huangshan Mountain, you don’t need to visit other mountains; if you come back from Jiuzhai Valley, you don’t need to see other waters.” Since ancient times, Jiuzhai Valley has been a natural heaven that keeps luring people to it like a magnet.

                    Located in Jiuzhaigou County of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, Jiuzhai Valley, which literally means “Nine-Village Valley,” derived its name from the nine Tibetan villages that are scattered throughout the park.

                    The national park ranges in elevation from 1,996 to 4,764 meters above sea level. It’s the first natural reserve set up in China with the aim of protecting the natural landscape. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.

                    The superb landscapes of Jiuzhai Valley are particularly interesting for their spectacular waterfalls, green lakes, colorful forests, snow-capped mountains, Tibetan and Qiang cultures, and blue ice. There are over 220 bird species found in Jiuzhai Valley as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey and Sichuan takin.

                    The park is a world of water. Water brings Jiuzhai Valley its most enchanting views, and is the soul of the place. Whether you are met with serene lakes or plunging waterfalls, you will enjoy yourself so much among the charming sights as to linger on with no thoughts for home.

                    Local people of Jiuzhai Valley call these lakes “haizi,” meaning little sea in Chinese. Jiuzhai Valley is home to a total of 108 transparent Alpine lakes of varying sizes and shapes, but of invariant limpidity to the bottom of the lakes. Some of the lakes are hidden in the valleys, and others inlay the virgin forests. On sunny days, algae and sediments at the bottom of the lakes send out colorful lights.

                    Autumn is the best season to visit Jiuzhai Valley when the leaves turn color and strike a lively contrast with its clear and emerald waters. The 108 dreamy lakes again become the protagonist of this season.

                    The fresh autumn freeze sprinkles different colors on the forest along the waters. Later, bit by bit, the whole forest bursts into different colors, with plants on the mountain turning red, golden, light green, gray, and white. Even the most ingenious painters cannot mix colors like those of this stunning autumn view.

                    Both the colorful leaves and tourists are reflected on the bright and clear lakes and fallen leaves are seen floating on the surface of water. Your eyes will be filled with the most beautiful view of the natural world and you will be surprised by this masterpiece of nature.

                    Apart from Jiuzhai Valley National Park, there are many other sites worth visiting in Jiuzhaigou County, including the Fairy Pool Scenic Area, Jiawuhai Lake, Ganhaizi, Chaimenguan and Jiuzhai Manor.

                    The Fairy Pool Scenic Area, known as “the place where fairies bathe,” faces the Jiuzhai Valley National Park in the distance. The entire scenic area is surrounded by vast virgin forests. People who have been there say it is a miniature of Jiuzhai Valley and Huanglong.

                    The Jiawuhai Lake area is an undeveloped primitive ecological scenic spot. Apart from locals, few tourists set foot in this area. The forest here is very tranquil; even the ticking of raindrops on the leaves can be heard.

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