The emerald pools of Huang Long National Park (Huang Long, Sichuan Province, China)

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August 11th 2008
Published: August 18th 2008
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(Day 129 on the road)After visiting Jiuzhaigou, we tried to organise transport to the national park of Huang Long (the Yellow Dragon), a few hours north. Due to the lack of visitors resulting from the earthquake, the bus up there had been cancelled, and we were unable to locate any reasonable-priced private car. We had given up and were ready to leave the area the next day, when back at the hotel we met a crazy Chinese tourists who had negotiated an amazing deal with a private driver, much much cheaper than we had been able to (I guess as a foreigner in China you are never ever getting a good price for anything). So we split the cost three ways, and the next day we left before dawn to drive up there.

Personally, I enjoyed the scenery of Huang Long even more than Jiuzhaigou. Whilst the latter is picturesque, Huang Long seems like a different world. The park is famous for its 3400 emerald-coloured pools and its 3.6 km long and 30-70 meters wide yellow river running down the mountain, thus the name Yellow Dragon. We felt that from afar the river looked like a big stream of vomit running across, but I assume that would not feature well in the tourist brochures.

As with Jiuzhaigou, the park was nearly empty at this time, and we had the whole thing nearly to ourselves. Only at the top near the cablecar did it become a little busier. One thing we enjoyed on the mountain were several "Oxygen Bars", where you were provided with oxygen-inflated pillows and a mouth tube, so that when you leaned against the pillow it squeezed the oxygen out and into the mouthpiece. I did not feel any effect from it, but sitting there on top of the mountain (about 3500 meters at the highest point) and breathing oxygen through essentially a straw was funny as hell. To finish our stay in the area and to prepare us for the long journey right across China that was waiting for us the next morning, we treated ourselves to the spa of the Sheraton hotel, where we enjoyed a swim in the cool pool, perfect!

Next stop: Huang Shan (Anhui Province, China).

To view my photos, have a look at And to read the full account of my journey, have a look at the complete book about my trip at Amazon (and most other online book shops).


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