This blog article was written after learning about the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake at Jiuzhaigou County in August, 2017. Original trip was in 2010 and photos and video in this article reflect before and after the earthquake. Geologists say that the park will regain it’s beauty and are ” confident in nature’s self-restoration capabilities”.
It was 2010 and my 6th year in the travel industry. Over the years I had been to many industry event nights focused on China and it was always the usual…Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. All the different ways you could travel to these cities and experience China. Although all of the event speakers had passion for the destination and while I won’t take anything away from these cities as they are amazing, I always wondered if there was more to China than the usual tourist trail.
After much research we had found a few places in China that we wanted to see. They weren’t the main cities but out in nature and what we didn’t expect was how beautiful it would be. After choosing Longsheng as our first destination, we wanted to venture a lot further into China’s national parks. We had found a UNESCO World Heritage Site that went by the name of Jiuzhaigou. We didn’t know how to pronounce it, we didn’t know how to get there, all we had seen were the photos and boy were they amazing so we made sure that we were going to visit.
Around 40,000 tourists per day visit the national park in peak season, with only a small number of those being foreigners (no, we were not there in the peak season so it wasn’t that crowded). The natural, beautiful and most inspiring scenery on earth is what draws people here and the photos don’t do it justice.
With miles of walking tracks through the forests, lakes and Tibetan villages, Jiuzhaigou is a natural wonderland that you have to see to believe.
You may be wondering why I am writing this blog article now, 7 years after our trip. Firstly, I didn’t have a website back then, nor did I know how to create one. The second reason and main reason is that I was recently reminded about Jiuzhaigou after reading about a devastating 7.0 earthquake that hit Sichuan’s scenic Jiuzhaigou County back in August and I wanted to tell you how beautiful it was so when it recovers, you can visit.
Reading this news brought back memories from our trip and how much we enjoyed it and looking at photos from the devastation was extremely upsetting. Luckily the death toll was low, compared to the 87,000 people that died or went missing in 2008 from the 8.0 magnitude earthquake, but reading about this natural disaster and how it would affect the locals as most of their business relied from tourism was hard.
Seeing the first photos from the devastation, waterfalls had been destroyed, along with many of the lakes had changed colour or drained. It looked like parts of the park had been completely ruined but recent aerial photos have proven otherwise with a lot of the park regaining it’s beauty. Even though many of the hotels have temporary closed while the park is restored, it truly a destination that should be on everyones bucket list once it reopens.
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