Friday, October 25, 2013
Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong （2） 九寨沟/黄龙
Before going to Huanglong (黄龙 Yellow Dragon)Scenic Park , another renowned World Heritage Site, I heard many stories about altitude sickness, cancellation of trip due to adverse weather ....
More so if the local Chinese tour guide's frightening tales in order to make few more bucks by selling oxygen canisters and altitude sickness herbal drug.
It might be true only if one was ill-prepared (and careless) and physically unfit.
Huanglong is about 130kms from Jiuzhaigou, a 3-hour journey by bus through winding mountainous roads and would take us to the highest point of about 4300 meters above sea level before descending to Huanglong at about 3300 m.
On Thursday, Oct 17 morning, we left Jiuzhaigou for Huanglong.
En route, we made our first shopping stop at a tea factory. Our tour itinerary has spelt out clearly that only 4 shopping stops throughout the journey.
We continued our journey after lunch at a small town. As our bus climbed higher, we saw a layer of snow blanketing the mountain tops. We reached Huanglong at noon and spent 3.5 hours in the park.
There are 2 ways to view the park: By cable car and by foot. ( Tour fee did not include cable car ticket)
We opted to walk as far as our feet could go.
My mother in law was walking too slowly (on uphill steps) that holding us back, thus we were only able to make it slightly below halfway mark.
Javin was very patient and caring to help my mother in law. However, we felt uneasy if we were to leave them behind, so slowed down our pace too.
There was a small cabin providing free oxygen to those in need at about 1 km from the entrance. It was run by the park authority and charged RMB 1.00 for the breathing kit only.
My mother in law seemed to hold on well. I bought from the guide a can of oxygen (RMB 50.00) in case she needed it ... however, it rendered useless while oxygen was provided free.
Anyway, I paid RMB 1.00 to have a try and would like to share this news with intended travelers - Free oxygen is being provided at the park!
The travertine landscape and pools are Huanglong's main attraction.
A few tour members made it to the top.
I was glad that our group had completed the journey of Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong safely. (Altitude sickness being the main concern)
For me, I heaved a sigh of relief for myself and mother in law.
I was suffering from insomnia since the first night landed in Chengdu. Without good rest, I was worried about making it to the Huanglong ....
However, due to my good preparations, one of the measures was taking altitude sickness medicine HongJingTian days before departure, and my prayer in faith, I survived.
My wife, and many other members too had trouble sleeping, also made it through ... Praise the Lord, Alleluia !
The Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong journey reminded me of Daocheng-Ya Ding trip we made about same time last year.
After seeing the swamps of local tourist here, I was very glad that we traveled to Daocheng-Ya Ding Scenic Park last year before the invasion of them in great number expected with the opening of Daocheng Airport last month. It is the highest airport in the world.
We enjoyed the serenity, peacefulness and beauty of Daocheng-Ya Ding Scenic Park (click to see) more than Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong (although each has it own uniqueness).
In less than 3 years, the crowd condition in Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong would be worsen ... so see it before local tourists choke you out !
(During the recent China national day holidays, few thousands local tourists were trapped inside Jiuzhaigou for more than 11 hours due to bad transport management and unruly crowd.)
(Pictures in Facebook)
(Video in Youtube)