The Sichuan Province in China is where China starts getting green and adventurey. There are a great deal of national parks around the capital, Chengdu. I spent 6 days in Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou. Here are some pictures from my trip. If you’re planning a trip to China, I’d certainly recommend the Sichuan Province – amazing food, amazing sites and amazing activities.
This is Jinli Street in Chengdu – home to some excellent Sichuan style street food. The place is madness but definitely worth a wander. The food is super-spicy so if you have any sinus issues, this is the place to go!
More of Jinli Street. It’s in the centre of downtown Chengdu and you can easily walk to it. For some reason I thought Chengdu was small but I was wrong! As capital of the Sichuan Province, the place is booming! It’s skyscraper heaven here and the architecture is really impressive!
More Jinli Street
And more of Jinli Street… If you like taking photos, this is the place to come!
A 2 hour bus ride out of Chengdu will take you to Leshan – home to the site of the worlds largest Buddha set within a massive natural park. As expected, a heavy Buddhist influence which brings with it some incredible sculptures and architecture, this dragon being one such sculpture.
Inside one of the Buddhist temples in Leshan. This one looked particularly violent. Good thing I guess if he’s a protector.
The Grand Buddha at Leshan. It’s massive, as are the crowds that come to see it. In the 2 weeks I’ve been in China so far, this is one of the most concentrated gatherings of tourists I’ve ever seen!
A cool building in Leshan
One bucket list item for me was to go out to Jiuzhaigou to see the Jiuzhai Valley National Park. It’s a 10 hour bus trip from Chengdu. On the day I wanted to see the park, despite arriving early, I was already too late as the crowds were insane. As a result, I delayed my visit to the park for a day and by luck, discovered another park called the Jiuzhaigou National Forest Park. This is a Tibetan village I passed on the way to the park
Throwing Buddhist prayers into the air is a religious tradition here. This woman must have thrown hundreds into the air.
One of the many calcified pools at the park. The water is really this blue – no fancy filter applied.
This particular lake is called ‘The Magic Frog’ lake. Prayer flags are seen everywhere here.
Second attempt at going to Jiuzhai Valley National Park. I got there very early. As you can see, the crowds are ridiculous. Interestingly, the park makes revenue of $90 million a year!
One of the many beautiful waterfalls in the park. This one is called Nuorilang Waterfall.
Mirror Lake – the photo doesn’t do it justice!
Zechawa Valley – the water is crystal-clear.
Another crytal-clear lake. Check out the fallen logs deep in the water.
Can’t remember the name of this lake. The park has many, many lakes, pools and waterfalls.
5 Colour Lake – the different blues are insane to see, and when the sun shines, all of it changes colour!
Another lake in the park – the name escapes me.
There is a 4 kilometre stretch one can walk within the park. Do it, you get away from the crowds and are rewarded with sites like this.
I can’t get bored of these lakes! The colours are something else!
They say getting to Juizhaigou is a 10 hour bus trip, but in reality, it’s closer to 11. The return ticket will cost you 264 Yuan ($40) and entrance to Jiuzhai Valley National Park will set you back 310 Yuan ($46). Get the ticket to the park the day before, it’ll be the best 10 Yuan you’ll ever spend to avoid the crowd!
I stayed in Angelie Hotel – cost around 50 Yuan ($7) a night and I’d really recommend the place. Seriously friendly and helpful staff. The hostel dorm rooms are on the roof of the building which gives it a ghetto Buenos Aires style vibe which is awesome!
I averaged $46 a day in Sichuan Province, which is more than I wanted to spend but the entrance tickets to the parks are ludicrously expensive. Definitely worth a visit!