After what felt like forever sitting on a bus, we finally made it to our first stop, Huanglong, which is located in the Southern part of the Minshan mountain range; a good 150km from Chengdu. The name Huanglong literally means “yellow dragon”. This area is known for its colourful pools, formed by calcite deposits.
We took a vertigo inducing ski lift to reach the top of the mountain. One thing that we all noticed is how high to have to go to get to the top . It is just beyond the clouds, so it’s rather foggy. Also, you notice the air is much thinner at this altitude. Here is some of the InternChina clan at the top of the mountain, embracing the cold, damp foggy weather! Although it was wet and cold, everyone was in high spirits enjoying time away from the busy streets of Chengdu!
When walking down from the top of the mountain, you will see calcite deposits with crystal clear blue water and waterfalls that are hidden behind dense forest trees.Walking down from the top of the mountain is a long and winding path, but it’s all worthwhile… I promise!
Following the trail down the mountain, we found a temple, which was really beautiful so we decided to take a photo … Unfortunately Jordan had better ideas and decided to photo bomb us! I thought I would add this in the blog to publicly name and shame him… Gotchya buddy!
After spending the day at Huanglong, our tour guide organized for us to meet local Tibetan people who live nearby. We received such a warm welcome, it was a great experience. We were greeted at the gate, and given a “Khata” to put around our necks, which is to symbolize friendship.
We sang a Tibetan song in front of the fire; highly amusing, as no one actually knew what they were singing.Until they decided to put us out of our misery and let us inside, but it was all good fun! We were given barbecued goat meat and “Bai Jiu” to drink, while we were entertained by a Tibetan singer who sang some traditional songs; until he decided to do a cover of Michel Jacksons “ Just Beat It” , which had everyone laughing! Eventually they turned on Harnick, yanked him out of his seat and asked him to sing for them, which was really awkward (Harnick is not known for his singing!). Harnick then decided to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” which was rather hilarious, as we all joined in and sang along with him.
The next morning we were up at 5am, ready to make our way to what we have had been looking forward to all along. Although the stop over at Huanglong and the visit to the Tibetan people was great, Jiuzhaigou was really what we were all looking forward too! The National Park operates a bus service, which is included in the park fare. We decided to get the bus all the way to the top and spend around 6 hours walking down. Yes, it was a long walk, but it was totally worth it! The lakes at Jiuzhaigou are absolutely stunning! The views are breathtaking, but I must say that a camera does not capture all the true beauty this place has to offer. I think everyone who is able to should go to and see for themselves! It was totally well worth the long and arduous journey to get there.
On the way back to Chengdu, we were stuck in a four-hour traffic jam because there had been a landslide 13km ahead on the road. Luckily, no one was hurt! However this was probably the most entertaining traffic jam I have ever experienced. Everyone decided to come out of their bus and socialize with others who where also stuck in the jam. Locals came with their bikes to sell food, drinks and water. It almost felt like a street party on the side of the road. Many locals were curious to know where our group of interns came from, asking us many questions and wanting to take photos with us. They even showed us some tai chi and in return we showed them how to do the macarena dance which I think that was a fair trade off! What an interesting traffic jam that was!
Why not create your own adventure here in Chengdu? Apply now for one of the many great internships offered in this city!