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Journey with Alex Soh... Day One: Jiuzhaigou

Posted on Oct 31, 2009 in Journey with Alex Soh

Hi everyone, greetings from China! I'm so excited that you're on board with me on this journey and I can't wait to share some of the most wondrous sights in China with you. First stop on my list: the beautiful landscapes of Jiuzhaigou (or Jiuzhai Valley). It's been a few days since I've arrived in China but I haven't been able to get access to an internet connection, thus the lateness of these posts. But you're not gonna miss much; this, and the following posts, will give you a close glimpse of my day-to-day travels.

Day One:

Arrived at Jiuzhaigou and all my mind could think of was the alluring beauty that awaits me, so with no time to waste, I grabbed a quick lunch and headed straight to the Jiuzhaigou National Park. From what I've read, Jiuzhaigou comprises of three valleys: Rize Valley, Zhechawa Valley and Shuzheng Valley, sprawled out in the shape of the letter "Y". Decided to take on the South-East Trail that follows the Zhechawa Valley (a total distance of 3040 meters) which will lead me to Chang Hai (Long Lake), the highest, largest and deepest lake in Jiuzhaigou - this is going to be so fun!

Managed to enjoy a little sunlight in the afternoon but then it started to rain at about 3pm. Oh well, it's no big deal. Over the years of doing travel photography, I've gotten used to shooting in all sorts of weather conditions, so I'm not going to let the rain slow me down. Besides, a little creativity is all it takes for one to discover the beauty out there, even in the rain!

The entry ticket that I bought included the park buses that will take me around, and gave me the flexibility of hopping on or off them any time I like. Great! There was so much to see, so much to take in while I was walking on the trail that I totally forgot about the time - the park closed at 6pm but there I was at 6.30pm, still shooting! Thankfully, I managed to get on the last bus which dropped me off at the main entrance.

On my way back to the small hotel where I was staying for the night, I bumped into a young guy who introduced himself as Fuzhong.

"Have you booked a room to stay?" he asked.
Yes, I said.
"How much did you pay for the room?" came his next question.
When I told him that my room cost me 280 RMB (roughly 41 USD), his answer caught me by surprise. "Too expensive! You can get a room for just 100 RMB!" So I took on his offer: I told him I will stay with his hotel contact tomorrow.

It's a good thing that I got to know Fuzhong. With his help and recommendations, my money can go a longer way, given that things here in Jiuzhaigou are pretty expensive in general. He asked me if I would care to go for a foot massage, having guessed that I have had a really long, tiring day. I said Amen! That's exactly what I need after so much walking.

After the invigorating massage, here I am, back in the hotel room downloading all the images that I've taken today and editing them on my Apple Aperture so that you too can immerse yourself in the beauty that Jiuzhaigou is renowned for. Enjoy!


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