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“Winter Wonderland” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Huanglong Scenic Valley

Huanglong Scenic Valley
Pingsong Street, Songpan County 623300, China
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4.5 of 5 stars 282 Reviews
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Scenic/ Historic Walking Areas, Tours, Outdoors
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Owner description: Valley of Huang Long, meaning "Yellow Dragon", has snow mountains, a large cave, Huanglong colorful lakes, as well as endangered animals, including the giant panda.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Winter Wonderland”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Initially we did not plan to visit Huanglong Scenic Park. From the photos of other reviewers, all the mineral pools look the same. The park is a three-hour taxi ride from Jiuzhaigou and after taking the cable car to the top, you still have to walk for an hour to reach the Wucai Pool ( Five Colour Pool ) behind Huanglong Back Temple. Then you have to walk another 3 hours down to the entrance. On top of that you may suffer from altitude sickness.
We went to the park on Oct 18 after visiting Jiuzhaigou. We left Jiuzhaigou at 7 am and just before we reached the highest point along the route to get to the park, traffic came to a standstill.The stretch of road was impassable because a 2-inch ice had formed on the road. Many buses and cars turned back. Our driver, a Tibetan, persevered. After waiting for about 30 minutes, the road was cleared of ice and snow.
When we reached Huanglong park cable car ticketing station at 11 am, there was no queue at all. By 11.15 am we were in Huanglong Park. Wow ! it was so beautiful. The pine trees on both sides of the plank walkway were covered with snow. The 1 hour walk to the Wucai Pool was so scenic that we did not feel the distance. To me the most beautiful pools are Wucai Pool ( at the top ), Zhengyan Colourful Pool ( one-third of the trail from Wucai Pool ) and Yingpin Colourful Pool near the entrance ( at the base )

Visited October 2013
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Magelang, Indonesia
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
381 helpful votes 381 helpful votes
“beautiful park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

Wonderful scenery, good walking track, clear route map, many points too take photos. Use wodden path for easier track and more wonderful scenery. Toilets were little bit cleaner.

Visited October 2013
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Ipoh, Malaysia
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“Huanglong is AMAZING too!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

Huanglong is pretty amazing and special in its own right though perhaps not as spectacular as Jiuzhai Valley National Park. Glad that we visited Huanglong first. This park is less crowded, much smaller and largely has only one main trail, going from about 3,000 to 4,000 metres in elevation (higher altitude compared to Jiuzhaigou) and covering about 7km each way. If you have come all this way, don't miss out seeing Huanglong!

We paid 600RMB for the taxi from Jiuzhai-Huanglong Airport to Huanglong Scenic Area (left luggage in taxi, the entire visit took about 4 1/2 hours) and then onward to Jiuzhaigou. The taxi drivers will approach you as you walk towards them. For a start, they quoted 1,000RMB! Did not see any taxi booth at the airport, just taxis waiting at the car park across from the airport building. There is a signboard (in Chinese) by the road which I think state down the standard taxi rates for a number of destinations (can't read Chinese but can speak enough to get by). We managed to figure out that the board showed 800RMB for a trip from airport - Huanglong - Jiuzhaigou - airport. So 600RMB seem to be a fair price to pay for the journeys we needed.

One of us did experience mild headache from the high altitude since we just disembarked from an early morning flight from Chengdu and drove over a 4000-metre-high pass to get to Huanglong. Xueshan (Snow Mountain) Ridge (雪山梁) at 4007m is the highest point on the road from Jiuhuang Airport to Huanglong Valley. Easily remedied with paracetamol and taking sips of water frequently along the hike (to stay hydrated). Look out for the snow-capped mountains of the Min Shan Range as the airplane starts to descend ... so majestic!

On the way to the Huanglong, we stopped by a viewing platform which was 3,800 metres above sea level. Overcast skies that morning, hence not the best view of XueBaoDing (雪宝顶) or Snow Mountain Peak at 5,588 metres which is permanently snow-covered and is the highest summit in the Min Shan Range.

The day started out really cold (4°C) but gradually warmed up to sunny skies and you get burnt if you don't slap up some sunblock :)

The taxi waited for us while we got the tickets, then sent us to the cable car station some distance away from the ticket office (if you choose to walk up, the entrance/exit is next to the ticket office). We took the short cable car ride up (less than 10 mins). It brings you closer to the top but not right to the highest-point and most popular attraction, Five-Color Pond or Wu Cai Chi. Once we got down from the cable car, we took our time to hike the rest of the way up and eventually, walked all the way down to the exit. We agree with what some other reviewers have commented in that you will not see anything extra by walking up as the trails up/down pass by the same points of interest. Pack lunch, snacks and drinks to make the most out of your visit. We did not see much food for sale in the park.

What a rare sight ... pools in an amazing array of stunning colours! The different layers of ponds are joined together just like terraced fields. We were just in awe :)

Visited September 2013
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Spectacular in every way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

This park is amazing and to me was better than jiuzhaigou in the sense that i was able to walk more and the difference from the peaks to where it starts is amazing.

Most important thing to plan is to visit it only in the mornings. either directly from the airport or from jiuzhagou. simply because from 1pm onwards the park is becoming full of tour busses and impossible to walk in. There was a queue of about 1km long in zigzag when we left at 4pm.
It takes 1.5hr from the airport and 3hrs from Jiuzhaigou. You pay 220rmb and 80rmb for the cable car that takes you all the way up to the west part of the park. But boy, it's worth it...even more than the pix I saw on google. When you get out of the cable car and you are up at 3800m, I was a little bit disoriented, but not much more. Along the way you see oxygen stations where people can sit, relax, pay 1rmb and get some oxygen or rent a pillow with oxygen to carry with them.
You then hike (all on wooden track that was built after the last earthquake a few years ago) for about 4km before you start seeing these turquoise greenish golden pools. Site is incredible. Weather wise it started cold and grey and ended up sunny and windy - prepare for all weather and cream your face even if you think you wont get burnt.
The way down is the tricky part. You can either walk back to the cable car but that's 4km or go down in steps and paths for about 6km. No way on earth it is 6km (and true for most of Chinese nature I saw...their KM measurements and the real KM value are different and are always under estimated). Still, all the way down you see more different pools, colors, caves, waterfalls and natural structures.
No need to worry about water, they sell reasonably on the way. Real food only at the bottom so prepare something small
For the backpackers: I planned to take the bus from the airport, as was written in LP, but sadly they wait for 14 people or they don't go. They didn't and I was saved by a lovely American couple who had a car booked. Very few western tourists so don't count on it. Best is to take a shared car from Jiuzhaigou which is also cheaper but then you have to leave early in the morning to make it reasonably early.
For more of my personal travel experience in china and tips see my blog: http://chinainmyhands2013.blogspot.com/

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Another spectacular park near Jiuzhaigou”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

The Jiuzhai Huang Long airport is midway between the two Unesco Parks - Jiuzhaigou and Huang Long. Stay in Jiuzhaigou and set up a driver to take you to this park. It only cost 3 of us 480 RMB total (we paid as if there were a 4th person). The driver would stop anywhere we wanted along the way. It takes 3 hours to get from JZG to Huang Long and is well worth the trip. On the way he suggested a stop at a Buddhist temple next to the Grasslands. We spent about a half hour then and drove on. I saw a market by the side of the road with a Yak and asked to stop. We had pictures on the Yak for 4 RMB and bought some goods then drove on. There were "free range yaks" all over the rode on the way up the mountain and we stopped at a scenic observation spot to take pictures and then on to the park. The driver said that we could call him when we were about ready to be picked up and that it would likely be about 5 hours and he was right on the money with the time. If you don't have an international phone, just let him know when to meet you. You get the tickets and take the cable car up the mountain. This is around 12,000 feet and there are oxygen buildings set up for anyone who needs it. Crisp and clear in August. It took about 45 minutes to an hour before you see the first real view that you came for and then it doesn't stop the rest of the way down. It was busy but really not terribly crowded and this was on a Tuesday. Take a lunch along with you. There are plenty of wonderful places to sit and eat and enjoy the view. The walk up was really not that strenuous but my friend with asthma did have to take a number more breaks than we did. How many times can you say WOW. Just didn't seem to be many other words leaving my mouth during this hike. Loved it. Want to go again during another season. Don't skip this park. Three hours drive from JZG should not be an issue at all. On the way back our driver had us stop at a store he liked to sample Yak Jerky - BLAHHHHHH. But I tried it. He did suggest that if we wanted he could take us to dinner at a Tibetan bonfire but we were pretty beat by then so we opted out. He was awesome and it was a day not to be forgotten. Do it. Do it. Do it. We stayed at the Angelie Hostel but most of the hotels and hostels can also likely set up a trip for you.

Visited August 2013
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