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.
At Nuorilang, we hopped on a shuttle bus heading to Long Lake at Zechawa Valley.
Surrounded by pine and cedar forests and snow-capped mountains, Long Lake is the deepest and largest lake in Jiuzhaigou.
Long Lake is also home to legends of lake monsters.
The strangely looking ancient pine is the centerpiece at the lookout of Long Lake.
We walked as part of the crowd to the Five Colour Lake.
Because of its small size and fame, the Five Colour Lake was the most crowded sight we had encountered at Jiuzhaigou.
Leaving the crowd out of the picture, the deep turquoise water of Five Colour Lake was very impressive.
Apart from the blue water, there wasn’t much else to check out at Five Colour Lake.
Spectators could only view the lake from one side of the water.
Looking back at Five Colour Lake from the end of the raised boardwalk.
There was a visitor pavilion near the shuttle bus stop. This kind of establishments could be found at a number of spots throughout the park.
After Five Colour Lake, we took the shuttle bus back to Nuorilang.
On 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.
As 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