Dates: Jan. 29 - Feb. 2, May 10 - 14, Aug. 1 - 5, Sep. 20 - 25, Yours to choose
Jiuzhaigou National Park, Muni Valley, Songpan
Starts and end in Chengdu (Inc. Airfare to Jiuzhaigou)
Enjoy a morning flight to Jiuzhaigou to maximize the time enjoyed in this scenic wonderland. Check in at your home stay to meet your Tibetan host family for the next few days and enjoy some refreshments before embarking on an exploratory walk around the village to acclimatize and become familiar with your surroundings. Over a Chinese dinner your guide will provide you with some orientation for the following day's adventure in the park.
After an international breakfast buffet at your hotel, you'll enjoy an early start to the park to enjoy the morning air. Today you'll head to the furthest end of the park to begin your exploration of Zechawa Valley, beginning with stunning views of Jiuzhaigou's highest, largest, and deepest lake: Long Lake (3150m). The Seasonal Lakes and surrounding ridges will be viewed on the way back down to the intersection of the three valleys where you'll enjoy lunch and a visit in a Tibetan home. A relaxing stroll down the Shuzheng valley following lunch will give you a sense of the overwhelming grandeur of these valleys. You'll return to the comfort of your hotel in the late afternoon for a well deserved rest.
Today you'll explore the remainder of the park, riding the bus to the most secluded point: the head of Rize Valley. From here you'll enjoy a magical stroll through an old growth forest surrounded by stunning cliffs, including the blade-shaped Sword Rock. On the descent from the forest back down toward the convergence of the valleys, the walk follows a meandering boardwalk with rushing creeks, turquoise lakes, and quiet pools. The surrounding beauty invites you to take your time, making it easy to spend most of the day on this valley alone.
An early morning drive will take you to another gem in this area so packed full of natural wonders. At Huanglong you have the option of exploring on foot or taking advantage of riding the cableway to a viewpoint of the pools trapped by calcite deposits that have formed over thousands of years. These iridescent pools are scattered down the hillside like turquoise gems. Enjoy a leisurely walk across the hillside to see the pools up close before descending back down to head to your final destination for the day: a home stay experience in the charming Tibetan village of Muni.
First thing in the morning, a stroll around this quaint village watching the local families tending to their morning chores can be enjoyed with your camera (or coffee) in hand. Following breakfast, a short drive into the town of Songpan allows for the opportunity for a stroll through the old town before an early lunch. An afternoon flight will take you back to Chengdu for your onward flight.