ultramarinus – beyond the sea

DAY 5 – PEARL SHOAL FALLS (珍珠灘瀑布), MIRROR LAKE (鏡海) & NUORILANG FALLS (諾日朗瀑布), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China

Just a short walk from the incredible Five Flower Lake came the next highlight of Jiuzhaigou, the Pearl Shoals Waterfall (珍珠灘瀑布).  We approached the falls from its upper level, where shallow water flowed on a vast area of rocky shoals.  We followed the path to a 40m cliff where the Pearl Shoals Waterfall finally revealed its side to us.  A large group of spectators concentrated on the stair adjacent to the fall.  We slowly walked down to the bottom of the fall to admire its 160m length.  The water flow wasn’t thundering, but the sheer scale of the waterfall was impressive and could be enjoy from a number of viewpoints.  Matched perfectly with the surrounding landscape, Pearl Shoals Waterfall looked surprisingly peaceful despite its scale.

We followed the stream water of Pearl Shoals Waterfall eastwards to another tranquil water body, Mirror Lake (鏡海).  The turquoise water and autumn foliage at Mirror Lake provided a peaceful break from the excitement of Pearl Shoals Waterfall.  A brief sun break gave us a moment of warmth as we leisurely stroll along the lake.  The distant snow-capped mountain finally revealed itself behind the clouds.  Under the sun, the colours of the autumn foliage appeared more vividly, casting colourful reflections on the lake surface.  We walked the full length of Mirror Lake from west to east, crossed the road where shuttle buses ran, and walked down a stair to another prominent waterfall, the Nuorilang Waterfall (諾日朗瀑布).  Roughly 32m in length, “Nuorilang” in Tibetan means “grand and magnificent”.   It was already 1:30pm when we reached Nuorilanf Waterfall.  We didn’t stay for long at Nuorilang and decided to embark on the journey up the other section of the Park, Zechawa Valley at the left branch of the “Y”.

dsc_9253Shallow water ran over the rocky shoals, like a plain of flowing water.

dsc_9268Shrubs and rocks dotted over Pearl Shoals.

dsc_9266The water gradually ran down the shoal to the cliff edge and eventually became the Pearl Shoals Waterfall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPearl Shoals Waterfall as seen from the stair adjacent to the falls.

dsc_9321The sky was clearing up and we could see the snow mountains beyond the waterfall.

dsc_9342At the base of Pearl Shoal Waterfall, water streamed down the rocky landscape into a series of small waterfalls.

dsc_9350Watching hundreds of small streams running down the cliff of Pearl Shoals was a pleasant experience despite the crowds around us.

dsc_9352Looking back to the Pearl Shoals Waterfall as we slowly walked across the shore.

dsc_9387All streams of the waterfall running down the cliff converged into a small river flowing away.

dsc_9415As we walked away from the main Pearl Shoals Waterfall, series of small waterfalls continued to run down the cliff.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASilence returned as we left Pearl Shoals Waterfall behind and reached the Mirror Lake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sun finally came out and we could enjoy some moments of warmth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADespite the autumn foliage hadn’t reach its peak, we still enjoyed taking photos of the occasional red and yellow leaves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJiuzhaigou National Park is actually surrounded by snow-capped mountains.  Brief moments of sun breaks allowed us to have a few glimpses of the magnificent peaks.

dsc_9481It was a delightful walk along Mirror Lake under the sun.

dsc_9491It wasn’t long until we reached the end of the boardwalk along Mirror Lake.

dsc_9553Not far from Mirror Lake, we arrived at another feature waterfall in Jiuzhaigou, Nuorilang Waterfall.

dsc_9557The myriad small streams down the cliff of Nuorilang formed a perfect setting for a atmospheric landscape painting.

***

Our posts on 2016 Xian and Jiuzhaigou:

DAY 1 – NIGHT ARRIVAL, Xian, China
DAY 2 – QIN EMPEROR’S TERRACOTTA ARMY, near Xian, China
DAY 2 – BIG WILD GOOSE PAGODA (大雁塔), Xian, China
DAY 3 – HAN YANG LING MAUSOLEUM, Xian, China
DAY 3 – SHAANXI HISTORY MUSEUM, Xian, China
DAY 3 – GREAT MOSQUE (西安大清真寺) AND MUSLIM QUARTER, Xian, China
DAY 3 – MING CITY WALL, Xian, China
DAY 4 -FIRST GLIMPSE OF JIUZHAIGOU (九寨溝), Sichuan (四川), China
DAY 5 – ARROW BAMBOO LAKE (箭竹海), PANDA LAKE (熊貓海) & FIVE FLOWER LAKE (五花海), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – PEARL SHOAL FALLS (珍珠灘瀑布), MIRROR LAKE (鏡海) & NUORILANG FALLS (諾日朗瀑布), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – LONG LAKE (長海) & FIVE COLOURS LAKE (五彩池), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – RHINOCEROS LAKE (犀牛海), TIGER LAKE (老虎海) & SHUZHENG VILLAGE (樹正寨), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 6 – ASCEND TO FIVE COLOUR POND (五彩池), Huanglong (黃龍), Sichuan (四川), China
DAY 7 – FAREWELL JIUZHAIGOU & XIAN, China

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