Jiu Zhai Gau Trip, Aug 2009

Travel and Food:
After an excellent diving trip to Bali in late July, Kitty still had one more week of annual leave left. Ajay refused to follow up a holiday with another, so Kitty recruited her family for a trip to Jiu Zhai Gau in China: sisters (Lita and Rita), and Lita’s husband, Wilson. It was a 6-day group tour organized by EGL Tours Company Ltd. Accommodation was good: Hilton in Chengdu and Intercontinental Jiuzhaigou Paradise Hotel in Jiuzhaigou. In terms of food, one can’t really expect too much when traveling in a group tour. In particular, Jiuzhaigou is quite remote hence food was simple but acceptable. In Chengdu, we had plenty of opportunities trying different forms of the spicy Sichuan cuisine including the crazy spicy Sichuan style hot pot. Although we had a very hectic schedule (a typical HK style of group tours), everything was well organized and it was definitely worth it.

The tour

The 6-day tour covered quite a few spots: Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong, Emei Golden Summit, Leshan, Chengdu Panda Base, and Chengdu city tour.
Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong are picturesque and are a symbol of the natural beauty. Jiuzhaigou, meaning “Nine Village Valleys”, is a wonderland that has mountains, forests, springs, rivers, streams, waterfalls, lakes, ponds, pools and shoals. On the other hand, Huanglong is famous for its karst landscape. These 2 places reminded me of the Yellow Stone Park in the U.S. although they are smaller in scale and are not abound with animals like the Yellow Stone Park. Surprisingly, these 2 national parks are very well maintained and are up to international standard.
Emei Golden Summit (3,099m) is also a must. We were lucky that it was a sunny and beautiful day when we went up to the Summit. Located in the Summit are the 3 famous temples: bronze, silver, and gold. A gold-plated 4-sided multi-Buddha statute was later added to make the scene even more awesome. Leshan is famous for its giant Buddha carved out of a cliff and facing Emei. It is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world.
How could we miss the adorable panda in Chengdu? We spent half day in one of the panda bases. The highlight was to be able to hug and take pictures with a panda (at a cost of RMB1,000). A cultural show was not to be missed too and I was amazed how quickly (less than a second) the performers changed their faces (or masks)!

The itinerary:
Day 1: HK to Chengdu
Day 2: Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong National Park
Day 3: Jiuzhaigou National Park
Day 4: Jiuzhaigou to Chengdu, Leshan, city tour
Day 5: Emei Golden Summit, cultural show
Day 6: Panda Base, Chengdu to HK

The thumbnails below are linked to some pictures. Click on teh thumbnail to open the larger image in a new tab/window.

























If you want the original of any of these, send me email.