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Huanglong

Huanglong

Tour Code : C1730
Type : Natural landscape
City / Province : Sichuan (Chengdu Jiuzhaigou)
Built in : natural landscape

Highlights

Huanglong means 'Yellow Dragon',got its name for its special geographical features. Seen from a distance, Huanglong's numerous travertine formations look like an enormous, golden dragon arching across the valley, winding its way between the snowy mountain peaks. It has been called a "World Wonder" and “Fairy Land on Earth."

Huanglong

  HUANGLONG

Praised for its colorful limestone ponds,Huanglong (huang long 黄龙 ), which means Yellow Dragon Mountain,lies in the south part of Min Shan in Songpan County. Situ-ated in the northwest of Sichuan Province and 79 miles (128 km) south of Jiuzhaigou, the Huanglong Valley is edged by snow- capped peaks and glaciers. An incredible iodiversity of flora and fauna thrives here alongside spectacular limestone formations, waterfalls and hot springs. The area also  has a population of endangered animals, including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.

Making it onto the U.NESCO World Herit- age Site listings in 1992, Huanglong is sectored into two gorges, Huanglong and Muni (muni牟尼 ). The Huanglong part of the park is watered by tributaries of the Fujiang River, which run down Snow Mountain Ridge, feeding hundreds of small lakes and ponds. The rocks on the valley's sides have been twisted into weird shapes by snow and rain, as have the rocks lying beneath the clear lake water. Most visitors first concentrate on the Huanglong section of the park. Dotted with ponds and patterned like a dragon, Huanglong Valley cuts its way through Min Shan.

More than half of the Huanglong zone is forested, with mountain pines mixing with broadleaf trees, flowers, shrubbery and meadow grasslands. Sitting atop the park land, Snow Mountain Peak (xuebaoding 雪宝鼎 )is permanently snow-covered and looks a daunting climb. Equally daunting are the spectacular cliffs overhanging the Fuiiang River's drive through the Danyun Gorge(danyunxia丹云霞).Algae and growth in the little lakes below turn the water a rainbow of colors: orange, yellow, green and blue. Other karst features include long limestone shoals,fan-shaped slopes of limestone deposited and covered by a thin layer of flowing water.

 

The Muni Gully (munigou. 牟泥沟) subdivision consists of two parallel small gullies Zhaga (zhaga 扎嘎 ) and Erdaohai (edhohai 二道海 ) The hot springs in Pearl Boiling Lake (zhuzhu hu 煮珠湖)simmer at 70F (21oC) in what at amounts to a massively sized swimming pool. The waters of both springs have high mineral contents and are said to have important medicinal properties. Muni Gully also contains a number of very attractive lakes and the Zhaga Waterfall (zhaga pubu 扎嘎瀑布)Because of its relatively pristine state, the forests at Huanglong are home to hundreds of bird species. On a walk into the higher reaches of the hills, away from the hordes of tourists below, one hears a cacophony of different birdcalls. Pandas meanwhile are found at four to five specific locations within the site, though visitors should tread carefully and slowly if they're hoping to catch a glimpse. Much harder to spot is Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey, an endangered species that hides out in Huan-long's more undisturbed woodlands.

As in Jiuzhauwu, but perhaps with their presence even more low key, there are also plenty of indicators of Tibetan religion, culture and folklore in Huanglong. A pair of small stone pagodas stand near the entrance to the park that date from the Ming dynasty.Nearby the Huanglong Temple (huanglongsi 黄龙寺)') and the ruins of a much older temple still draw plenty of worshippers. Also in the vicinity, Body Washing Waterfall (xishen pubu 洗身瀑布 ) is said to have healing properties for those who bathe in its waters.

Huanglong Town is a medium sized Tibetan village close to the center of the main Huanglong subdivision. Local Tibetan herdsmen grazing their livestock and cultivating the land nearby make for great subjects if you're slinging a camera. The larger town of Songpan (songpan 松潘 )cuts Huanglong off from the Muni gully subdivision and is worth exploring in its own right if only for its stout town walls, Tibetan architecture and colorful vitality .It's also a good spot for souvenir hunting.

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