At the end of last month, I went to Chengdu for our Intern China team get-together. After three days of meetings, enjoying lots of nice local food and checking out some of Chengdu’s most famous places, I paid a visit to Jiuzhai Gou National Park.
Jiuzhai Gou is one of the most famous scenic spots in China; I have many friends who have been there before and they’ve all told me how beautiful it is. So I decided to go by myself even though I know right now is not the best season for it. Jiuzhai Gou National Park is also called Nine-Village Valley, and the name Jiuzhai Gou refers to the 9 Tibetan villages that are situated in the valley. The fantastic beauty of Jiuzhai Gou lies in its 108 natural green lakes. The entire reserve covers an area of natural beauty which is 35 kilometers long. Historically, Jiuzhai Gou has been home to a small population of Tibetan and Qing people, and provides a good opportunity to get to know more about the locals’ unique life and culture.
It was really cold that morning, I could still see the snow on my way there and the temperature was below 5°C, but I really wanted to take a photo wearing our sexy Intern China T-shirt.
These days most visitors transfer at Chengdu onto long-distance busses or flights going to Jiuzhai Gou. I chose to go by bus, got up at 6 am on April 1st, and took the subway to Chadianzi (茶店子) bus station. I paid 138 Yuan for my ticket (around 17€), took off at 8 am and arrived at Jiuzhai Gou at 4pm. It’s an 8-hour trip, but I can say it’s really worth doing! On the way, I saw the 2008 Sichuan earthquake relics and lots of Qiang-style towns and buildings. The last 4 hours of the way, I saw lots of great snowy mountains and beautiful Tibetan-style houses.
I didn’t book a hotel in advance, but luckily I found a very nice one on arrival and it only cost me 60 Yuan per night (7€). I shared a room with an Indonesian girl I met on the bus, so I ended up paying only 60 Yuan for 2 nights. On top of it, it was only a 10-minute walk from the hotel to the gate of Jiuzhai Gou.
After walking around the villages, we found some local food to eat and then went to sleep very early that night to be ready for the next day.
The second day we also got up at 6 am and after an early breakfast, we went down to the tickets center and bought our tickets, which cost 310 Yuan (38€) but included an all-day bus inside the national park. We spent the whole day in the park, it is unbelievably beautiful! It was also not very busy that day, so we got to enjoy it even more.
On the third day, I took the bus back to Chengdu, and then set off directly to Chongqing in time for my next adventures!
My trip to Jiuzhai Gou National Park in total cost me about 700 Yuan (87€), so if you come to Chengdu for an internship, you will have the chance to enjoy this awesome place for a weekend!