When staring at a painting, photograph, or even a video, have you ever experienced the feeling of wanting to dive into the world of that stunning piece? The term for this feeling is unidentified but for the following images, be sure that you’re prepared to fight yourself in case your heart skips. Yes, this is an exaggeration. Moreover, blame it on the amazing emerald-to-turquoise ponds of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area, which can make us say, “Hey nature, you overdid
Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is a UNESCO- certified World Heritage Site surrounded by snow-capped peaks and contains a series of travertine lakes, waterfalls, forests, and mountain scenery. It is located in the north-west of Sichuan Province, China, three to four hours from Jiuzhaigou.
Huanglong is actually the home of the valley popular for its colorful ponds that scattered around the area, strewn with gold-colored limestone creating a shimmering golden water. Once the sun’s rays hit the narrow valley, it appears that a silhouette of a golden dragon magically emerges from the valley; thus, the name ‘Huanglong’ or ‘Yellow Dragon’ in English was used for the surreal area.
If you’re ready to see the 3.6-kilometer valley, you’ve got two options on how you’d take this trip. You can take a cable car that’ll lead you up to the spot where the main must-sees are located and back down to the entrance. If riding a cable car isn’t your favorite option, you can go ahead and explore the park by foot. Be prepared to fall in love with the whole scenery from the blue sky, the reflection on the series of clear ponds, icy forests, and caves.
The first group of ponds you’ll see in the valley is the Yingbin ponds. Yingbin has a group of 350 crystal clear ponds at the 3,230 meter level mirroring its surroundings to create its blue and green colors. It is the third largest group of ponds.
The second largest group belongs to the Zhengyan group of ponds. Located in the middle part of the valley, Zhengyan holds more than 500 ponds of various sizes. More colors can be seen here like yellow and white together with blue and green. These colors change depending on the season and the weather in the area.
The largest and highest cluster of travertine ponds belong to Wucai Chi, also known as the Five Color Ponds. This group has almost 700 ponds and pools that have almost the same color as the ponds of Zhengyan but can glow and reflect a rainbow of colors when hit by sunlight.
The so-called ‘Fairy Land on Earth’ isn’t only about its series of ponds. As you walk along the valley, you’ll also see its other attractions such as the Feipuliuhui Waterfall, the Huanglong Temple, Huanglong Cave, the Xishen Cave, and more. It’s best to visit the valley during fall when the trees and bushes are at their most colorful state with yellow and red leaves that affect the colors reflected by the clear ponds. Better visit the valley on mornings when it’s quieter and peaceful compared to noon when this destination becomes more crowded. For the best dates, try to visit in September, before the October national holidays.
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