Huanglong National Park
Huanglong is a national park in China, one of the most picturesque places in the world, famous for its travertine loggias and lakes of various shapes and sizes. Located in the highlands in the northwestern part of Sichuan Province. The highest point of the national park is 5588 meters. In 1992, it was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The park is home to many rare animals listed in the Red Book. Of these, visitors most often encounter: Yunnan leopards, white-faced deer, bamboo bears and golden snub-nosed monkeys.
Traventines of Huanglong Park
The main feature of Huanglong National Park is not the animals that live here, but the travertine landscapes. They were formed over thousands of years, when water flowing from many glaciers fell into the ground, destroying it and forming underground streams. Groundwater, having dissolved the ground limestone, came out. Under the influence of external factors, calcium in the limestone crystallized again, forming wonderful reliefs. Under the influence of these processes, small reservoirs, rapids and entire waterfalls appeared. There are over 3,500 small lakes in the park. They have shallow depths and low banks, which is why water flows from one lake to another. The largest number of such travertine loggias is in the Huanglonggou gorge. In this place, a large 1300-meter threshold of traventine was formed, in some places its width is more than a hundred meters. There are a large number of rapids in wheat, milky white, gray and green shades. If you look at the valley from the top of the gorge, the traventine terraces resemble dragon scales sparkling in the sun. Perhaps that’s why they called this place Huanglong, which translates as “Yellow Dragon.”
In the Mouni gorge there is the Zhaga waterfall, falling from a height of 93 m with a width of the channel at the fall of 40 m. Near the Yuya pond there are 2 small stone pagodas. During the reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), 3 temples were built in this place, which attract many believers.
For more convenient movement around the territory, the authorities built paths, bridges and gazebos, as well as to preserve the unique karst landscape. Huanglong is especially beautiful in autumn, when the emerald lakes and gilded rapids are joined by the warm yellow-red colors of drying foliage. In winter, the trees are covered with frost and the turquoise lakes are covered with a small crust of ice, looking magnificent. The national pack becomes the kingdom of winter.
The valley is surrounded by forests and clearings overgrown with a carpet of vegetation with colorful flowers, and the Snowy Peak (5588 meters) retains a cap of ice and snow all year round. Huanglong even has thermal springs located in the Boiling Pearl Lake. These springs contain a large number of minerals with healing properties.
Travertines are very fragile, and any careless step by a person will destroy them. The Chinese authorities especially value the Huanglong Nature Reserve and carefully protect it. The main task of the management is to preserve the one-of-a-kind natural complex in its original form. To do this, they hired people who make sure that travelers do not destroy the fragile ecological complex. Every year, the Chinese leadership closes Huanglong Park during December - March. This is a necessary measure to preserve the nature of the national park.
How to get there
The best way to go to Huanglong is from the city of Chengdu, located 387 kilometers from the national park. Almost all bus routes from Chengdu go past Jiuzhaigou National Park, located 133 kilometers from Huanglong. Special tourist buses run between Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong. You can get from Chengdu to Huanglong without transfers by taxi or by air.