ultramarinus – beyond the sea

Posts tagged “Minshan

DAY 6 – DESCEND FROM FIVE COLOUR POND (五彩池), Huanglong (黃龍), China

After the Five Colour Pond, we stopped by a colourful Buddhist temple known as Huanglong Ancient Temple (黃龍古寺).  Outside the temple, we sat down on a bench and took out the sandwiches brought with us from our guesthouse.  It was chilly and we quickly finished our lunch and began our walk downhill.  From about 3600m above sea level at the temple, we followed the designated path and descend to other major sights of Huanglong.  The Five Colour Pond was only the first of many travertine pools in Huanglong.  Next came a series of clusters of turquoise pools including Flamboyant Pond (爭豔池), Azalea Pond (娑蘿映彩池), Mirror Pond (明鏡倒映池), Bonsai Pond (盆景池), etc.  Gentle waterfalls over white calcified terrain and the dense evergreen forests created a picture of visual contrast, while occasional yellow foliage stood out as brushes of vivid highlights.  Our descend to the park entrance took a little over two hours.  We made it just on time, about five minutes before 2pm when our taxi driver would come pick us up for the airport.

Unlike Jiuzhaigou where our experience relied heavily on shuttle buses, Huanglong was primarily a hiking experience.  Visiting Huanglong was a pleasant hike of meandering through the surreal calcite terrains at high altitude.  Huanglong was less crowded and in a way less touristy.  The three days at Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong were physical demanding, but were also highly rewarding.

dsc_0178Huanglong Ancient Temple (黃龍古寺), where we took a lunch break at its forecourt.

dsc_0206Elevated boardwalks provide most of the park trails.

dsc_0214Huanglong Middle Temple (黃龍中寺), another old temple that we passed by during our descend.

dsc_0222Most visitors, including us, ascend to the Five Colour Pond by cable car, then walk down to visit the various sights on our way to the main park entrance.

dsc_0255Flamboyant Pond (爭豔池) was another popular site with surreal turquoise pools.

dsc_0287Gentle waterfalls and the delightful sounds of running water were all over Huanglong.

dsc_0300Azalea Pond (娑蘿映彩池) had a higher concentration of shrubs in the pools.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABonsai Pond (盆景池) was another interesting spot where trees and shrubs grow from the calcite waters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASeven Mile Golden Sand (七里金沙) and a golden tree stood out from the mountainous background.

dsc_0309Golden Sand Pavement (金沙鋪地) looked like rolling hills covered with a white and golden carpet.

dsc_0311Close up of crystal clear water.

dsc_0380Mirror like turquoise pools on our way down.

dsc_0407Flying Waterfall on Lotus Platform 蓮台飛瀑, a gentle waterfall flowing on the yellowish calcified landscape.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWashing Cave 洗身洞 where local tourists loved to take photos.

dsc_0419Close to the bottom, the boardwalk arrived at the last main attraction, the Guests Welcome Pond (迎賓池).

dsc_0431The main concentration of turquoise pools of Guests Welcome Pond (迎賓池).

dsc_0437We reached the park entrance minutes before 2pm, when our taxi would drop by the roadside to pick us up for the airport.



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.


Our posts on 2016 Xian and Jiuzhaigou:

DAY 1 – NIGHT ARRIVAL, Xian, China
DAY 2 – BIG WILD GOOSE PAGODA (大雁塔), 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