Last week, China celebrated the mid-autumn festival, a national holiday that lasted for three days. We used the time to go on an 9 hour bus ride to Sichuan’s most famous National Park in Jiuzhaigou. Due to bad weather and an accident we had to spend an additional 4.5 hours in the bus. Sounds like a bad trip? It wasn’t bad at all!!!
Our bus driver and tour guide turned out to “be family” sharing drinks, cigarettes and beer with us. We stopped at as many places as possible on our way to and back from Jiuzhai Valley. Among those were Songpan town, numerous view points and a Qiang minority town.
Highlight of the trip was definitely the dinner with a Tibetan family. We were introduced to some of their customs like washing hands, touching stones and dressing traditionally. Since it is considered impolite to refuse a drink when Tibetan people toast to you, we had to try and drink the home-made spirit containing 58% alcohol. Afterwards we danced around a camp fire to Tibetan music as well as to Gangnam style. We really had a good time experiencing Tibetan culture!
The day we spent in Jiuzhaigou started at 5:30 AM with a Tibetan breakfast (actually only some bread and soup). Afterwards we headed to Jiuzhaigou Nationalpark with other buses, where hundreds of people were already expecting us. We used a bus to reach the top of the National Park and started to walk down along some beautifully coloured lakes for a couple of hours. Stunning was the Colourful Pond located at Zechawa valley. With only 5,600 sq m it is a rather small lake compared to its big brother Long Lake, covering about 30 sq km. I am sure there a very few lakes in the world as blue as this one.
Breathtaking were also the several waterfalls dotted all over the park. The biggest among them is Nurilang Waterfall. Located at the very center of Jiuzhai Valley, the vast amount of water thunders down a 24 meter drop.
Thanks to all our Interns making this trip so unforgettable for me. The long bus drive was definitely worh it. My personal advice: If you are somewhere close to Jiuzhai Valley, go there!!!