ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Posts tagged “五彩池

DAY 6 – ASCEND TO FIVE COLOUR POND (五彩池), Huanglong (黃龍), Sichuan (四川), China

The hired taxi picked us up at our guesthouse at around 6:30am.  Our flight back to Xian was at 4:50pm.  We planned to arrive at Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport at 2:30pm, so giving us half a day to explore Huanglong (黃龍), another World Heritage scenic designation in the region.  Huanglong is famous for its travertine landscape and colourful calcite pools, similar to the ones in Pamukkale of Turkey.  The taxi ride from Jiuzhaigou to Huanglong took almost three hours on well-paved road.  The weather didn’t look too promising.  It was rainy when we arrived at Huanglong visitor centre.   Though our taxi driver was quite optimistic about the weather, saying that a rainy morning down at the entrance would usually turn out fine when we get up the mountains.  We got our admission and cable car tickets, found our way through a long covered walkway and reached the cable car station.

Several minutes of cable car ride took us up to about 3400m above sea level, where our Huanglong hike began.  There was light rain and fog.  Occasionally as the fog moved, we would get a faint view of the surrounding snow-capped mountains.  The air was chilly but moist and refreshing.  Mountain moss was all over from ground to branches.  We followed the signs pointing towards the famous Five Colour Pond (五彩池), which was about half an hour of gentle uphill hike from the cable car station.  We hoped the rain would stop and fog would be lifted by the time we reached the pond.  We reached the main viewing platform of the Five Colour Pond at almost 3600m above sea level.  The rain had stopped but it was still a little foggy.  We stayed on the platform for a while.  After 10 minutes standing on the platform, the fog began to clear.  As we continued to walk along the Five Colour Pond, the sky get brighter and the air warmer.  At last we could see the true colour of the Five Colour Pond under decent sunlight.  Under the morning sun the turquoise and yellow pools of the Five Colour Pond formed a spectacular gradient of tones.  The Five Colour Pond was the highest point in Huanglong at about 3600m.  From there onward it would be a gradual descend for us to walk back down to the visitor centre at the mountain foot.  _A145916.JPGWith tickets in hands, we followed the long covered walkway to the cable car station.

dsc_9896Huanglong was rainy and cold when we arrived at the upper cable car station.

dsc_9911Much of the surrounding evergreen forest was covered by the fog,

dsc_9918After few minutes into the hike we could see the Five Colour Pond from afar.

dsc_9941Snow-capped mountains were in all four directions

dsc_9976Looking down the valley we could see the Huanglong Middle Temple.

dsc_9981Looking uphill we could see the travertine landscape and colourful pools.

dsc_9995Highland trees were changing their colour to autumn foliage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was still foggy as we approached the Five Colour Pond.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClose up of the Five Colour Pond.

dsc_0041View of the Five Colour Pond as seen from the main deck.

dsc_0107Five Colour Pond and the main viewing deck.

dsc_0112The colours get brighter when the fog was lifted.

dsc_0133Overview of the Five Colour Pond.

dsc_0162Five Colour Pond under the sun.

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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

 

 


DAY 5 – LONG LAKE (長海) & FIVE COLOURS LAKE (五彩池), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China

In the morning we had visited part of Rize Valley (日則溝).  In the afternoon we would move on to Zechawa (則查窪溝).  Nuorilang (諾日朗) is the junction point where visitors may switch shuttle buses between the two valleys.  From Nuorilang Waterfall we followed the park signage to the right bus stop for Zechawa.  In order to reach the bus stop we had to walk through a large complex full of souvenir stalls.  The buses shuttled visitors all the way to Long Lake (長海) at the end of Zechawa Valley.   The journey took roughly 20 minutes.  We got off at Long Lake at around 2pm.  Hungry and tired, we sat down on a step at the viewing platform of Long Lake.  At 3,150m, Long Lake is one of the high point in Jiuzhaigou.  Being the largest and deepest, Long Lake is a scenic glacial lake with no obvious water outlets.  Local legends also painted the lake with a mystic touch of monster stories.  Sitting in front of an ancient pine, we had a quick snack break.

After we savoured some pork jerky and bread, once again we followed the park signage for the next destination, the famous Five Colour Lake (五彩池).  The only boardwalk heading to the Five Colour Lake was packed with tourists all heading the same direction.  It became more crowded when we reached the Five Colour Lake, where people spontaneously stopped to take photos of the ultra turquoise water of Five Colour Lake whenever they wished.  Compared to the lakes at Rize Valley, the Five Colour Lake was relatively tiny, making it impossible to walk on the boardwalk leisurely to absorb the atmosphere.  There wasn’t much to explore at the Five Colour Lake, except its water had the deepest turquoise and blue colours found nowhere else.  After the lake, we hopped on a shuttle bus back to Nuorilang.  In the remaining time of the day, we decided to check out the part of Shuzheng Valley (樹正溝) that we hadn’t visit the day before.

dsc_9574At Nuorilang,  we hopped on a shuttle bus heading to Long Lake at Zechawa Valley.

dsc_9578Surrounded by pine and cedar forests and snow-capped mountains, Long Lake is the deepest and largest lake in Jiuzhaigou.

dsc_9586Long Lake is also home to legends of lake monsters.

dsc_9590The strangely looking ancient pine is the centerpiece at the lookout of Long Lake.

dsc_9605We walked as part of the crowd to the Five Colour Lake.

dsc_9618Because of its small size and fame, the Five Colour Lake was the most crowded sight we had encountered at Jiuzhaigou.

dsc_9629Leaving the crowd out of the picture, the deep turquoise water of Five Colour Lake was very impressive.

dsc_9671Apart from the blue water, there wasn’t much else to check out at Five Colour Lake.

dsc_9673Spectators could only view the lake from one side of the water.

dsc_9684Looking back at Five Colour Lake from the end of the raised boardwalk.

dsc_9687There was a visitor pavilion near the shuttle bus stop.  This kind of establishments could be found at a number of spots throughout the park.

dsc_9686After Five Colour Lake, we took the shuttle bus back to Nuorilang.

dsc_9694On our way, we passed by the Seasonal Lakes, a series of three small lakes famous for their fluctuating water level at different times of the year.

dsc_9708As we approached Nuorilang, we passed by Zechawa Village, a Tibetan village turned tourist stop for souvenirs and cultural display.  We didn’t bother to get off.

***

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