Seventh stop on the journey, Jiuzhai Valley National Park. This park was one of the top five things I most looked forward to seeing in China, and it lived up to my expectations. I got to the park right as it opened and spent a full 12 hours in the park. While buying my ticket, the cashier asked if I wanted to purchase the bus ticket as well, which was about half the cost of the entrance fee. I said I’ll just walk and she looked at me like I was a stupid tourist lol! She told me it’s like 50km (31miles) to walk the park, but I thought I could do that, or at least see most of the park. I needed every minute of those twelve hours, as I walked out of the park 5 minutes before it closed, completely exhausted!
I’m really glad I decided to walk, because outside of the areas where the bus dropped off the massive amounts of people at the really scenic areas, the trail was fairly empty. I didn’t even see another person for the first and last 7 miles I walked in the park. Now the areas that were picturesque, those areas were so crowded it was almost difficult to enjoy the natural beauty of the park. Almost!! Luckily, most of those spots were not within walking distance of each other for most people.
It was an absolutely perfect day in the park. The sun was shining. The temperature was around 75 degrees. There was a cool breeze. Couldn’t ask for a more perfect day to see the park. The park itself reminded me of a mix of the Cascade Mountains in the USA and Plitvice National Park in Croatia. The lakes were incredibly clear and definition of turquoise. While the lakes were the highlight, the park also amazing waterfalls, rivers, meadows, flowers, thick forest and beautiful mountains.
I absolutely recommend this park to anyone visiting china!