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Huanglong, multicolored ponds and world heritage

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China has many sites declared by UNESCO world heritage and one of them is the one you see in the photo: a colorful and wonderful region called huanglong. If you want to discover China and go beyond Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, your steps should lead you to Sichuan.

It is not a comfortable or close destination, but between the journey and the landscapes that will greet you when you arrive, it will undoubtedly be a great adventure in your life. It’s been a World Heritage Site since 1992 and you have to see it in person to find out why.

Huanglong Scenic and Historical Interest Area

as I said above is in sichuanin the Minshan mountain range, about 300 kilometers from the capital of Sichuan, Chengdu, and 144 kilometers south of Jiuzhaigou. In turn, it is part of the Huanglong Scenic Reserve and National Park of the same name.

The photos show you a site that looks like something out of a fairy tale. The star is broken, the call Yellow Dragon Ravine, which stretches for just over three and a half kilometers and looks like a winding golden dragon from a distance. And it is that there are deposits of carbonated limestone, several layers, throughout the forests and glaciers of the valley. have been trained ponds at different heights and there are waterfalls joining them.

The main course of golden ponds and waterfalls begins at an ancient Buddhist temple high in the valley and ends at a beautiful pond called the Visitors’ Pond. Venue colors vary depending on time of year but also the shapes because the pools are larger or smaller or even of different shades between yellow, brown, blue and green depending on whether it is cold or hot.

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The geology of the place has been formed over the centuries. The mineral deposits seeped into the ground and created these natural thermal pools of different depths. The water slides from one to the other and has even carved out caves all over the valley. There are also peaks on both sides of the ravine and the same river flowing between the ponds and along its course, it reminds visitors why the site is called the Yellow Dragon Ravine.

On the other hand, this part of China is home to many species, including the Giant panda and the golden monkey. It’s not that you will see these animals for sure but they live here and that enhances the landscapes. It’s not just about ponds, the place has a lot of beautiful places: there is a 14 meter high waterfall, caves, dunes, temples and many colorful ponds with fancy names. All embraced by eternally white peaks that range between 1,700 meters and 5,588 meters above sea level, glaciers included. The whole area is about 60,000 hectares.

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Today, the government has built a 4.2 kilometer wooden footbridge that crosses the landor travertine and which allows visitors to appreciate it in a four-hour walk. In addition, in high season there is a cable car.

How to get to this corner of China? So you take a train or bus in Beijing to take you to Chengdu. From Jiuzhaigou station in this city, you take a bus to Huanglong National Park. The first bus departure is at 7:00 a.m., it takes three and a half hours and it leaves back to the city at 3:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m. It is imperative to check the timetables.

There are also buses that connect Chengdu to Huanglong airport and otherwise you can take a Taxi. Calculate the journey in four hours from Jiuzhaigou. You can always sign up for a roundthe most popular is the seven-day tour that passes through Jiuzhaigou and Chengdu and usually adds a trek to Songpan, which is about 56 kilometers away.

The entrance to the park costs more or less 30 dollars per adult in high season and much less, $10, in low season. High season lasts between April 1 and November 15, and the park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best months to visit, the warmest at least, are June July and August, however the ocher and gold colors of autumn are magnificent as they are reflected in these hundreds of ponds in a unique way.

Obviously, winter also has its charms because there is snow everywhere except in the hot water basins so we imagine this play of colors. Except that the place is frozen, it’s to take the best photos. As you might guess, the hottest months are July and August, when the temperature is around 16°C. If you go from December to February, the temperature is 1°C or less. The rainy season extends from May to August and here mornings and afternoons are foggy. Remember it’s a valley and temperatures are always changing.

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When planning the visit, try to organize everything to start very early because the park will surely take you all day. The footbridge I told you about earlier is 4 kilometers uphill and then you can take a cable car to do the reverse. It is advisable to bring food, comfortable shoes, water and something that repels rain. There is an area of ​​shops and bathrooms thankfully but you should bring your own to avoid paying extra and yes, toilet paper.

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