Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jiuzhaigou - Shuzheng Lake to Long Lake, Zechawa Village to Bonsai Shoal

Day 10 (31 October 2012)

I had decided since last night that I was going to take it easy today. There was no use rushing to the park ticket office before 7:00 a.m. As experienced yesterday, the queue would clear in fifteen minutes.

I woke up at 5:45 a.m. and prepared boiled water for my instant cup noodles I bought the night earlier. I went down the hotel at about 6:45 a.m. and saw a taxi parked outside the hotel door. I was not sure whether it was a waiting taxi or a taxi called by a hotel guest. Anyway, I went to the reception and requested for a taxi to be called. She told me to take the taxi waiting at the entrance door. The fare was RMB10.

I reached the park entrance just before 7:00 a.m. I tried to take some photos before entering the ticket office to buy the tickets but the photos were unsatisfactory as it was still too dark. At the ticketing office, I noticed that there was no queue. It was not even 7:05 a.m.  I was not sure whether it was because the queue had cleared or there were not many visitors today.

Hanging on the wall, I saw the notice stating the breakdown of the payment. The additional RMB10 was actually for insurance. After buying the ticket, I tried to take some more photos but I was still not successful. It was still too dark for photography.

My plan for today was to walk less and take the bus more frequently to hop from one stop to the next and walking along the trail on the road side before moving on. In addition, I planned to go to the key attractions only, so that I could clear the rest of Jiuzhaigou sights, including Tibetan villages.

The first stop was at Shuzheng Tibetan Village, opposite Shuzeng Lake and Princess Lake. I decided to get off there, went to Shuzheng Village, then went to Shuzheng Lake and took a few photos before backtracking and walking to Princess Lake and on to Shuzheng Waterfall and Tiger Lake.

Unlike yesterday when I walked the jungle trail, I took the trail beside the road this morning. It was so crowded. From Tiger Lake, I boarded a bus, not knowing where it was headed. When the tourist guide asked the passengers whether anyone wished to disembark when it arrived at the Nuorilang Central Station, I alighted. The Nuorilang Central Station was located at the centre of the "Y".

It was a matter of finding the bus stop to Long Lake, on the Zechawa Valley. A bus was already waiting there. From Long Lake, I walked down to Five Color Pool.

From there, I took a bus down and at Zechawa Tibetan Village, all passengers were asked to alight. The village was about 200 metres to the Nuorilang Central Station.

After taking some photos at the Zechawa Tibetan Village, I walked to the Nuorilang Central Station and took the bus to Rhinocerous Lakes before hopping on the bus again to Tiger Lake.


Map of Nuorilang Central Station - click to enlarge

I did not know I had been to Tiger Lake this morning until I saw the familiar sight. Then, it was the bus again. The tourist guide stationed in the bus asked whether anyone wanted to alight at Shuzheng Lake and I instinctively raised my hand. Too late! I did not hear her say Shuzheng Lake but anyway, I alighted. I went back to Shuzheng Village (and took two photos of Shuzheng Lake). By now, all the shops at the village had opened. I took a quick look at a few shops before I hopped on the next bus to Sparkling Lake. It was amazing to see the water flow like gel from Sparkling Lake to Double Dragon Lake and I could not take enough of the photos.

I looked at my watch and I knew I had sufficient time to cover the rest of the lakes further down. I then decided to take the jungle trail again and walked to Double Dragons Lake and continued to Reed Lake and ended at Bonsai Shoal, at 4:00 p.m.

Then, it was taking the bus back to the park exit, where I took some photos. While taking photos, I saw a long line of taxis on the main road. I was wrong yesterday to think that there was no taxi at the park. I did not see the taxis at the park vicinity and wrongly concluded that there were no taxis, without noticing that they were parked on the main road. This time, I took the taxi back to the hotel.

After two days, I would recommend the must-see sights if you have only one day at Jiuzhaigou, i.e. Panda Falls, Colorful Lake (also called Peacock Lake @ Five Flower Lake @ Five-Colored Lake), Nuorilang Falls, Five Color Pool and Sparkling Lake (at the walkway to see the water flowing like gel). It was an amazing two days.