Tuesday, September 27, 2005
JIUZHAIGOU TOUR 17.9.05 - 25.9.05
On 17th. Sept. the wife and I left on a 9 day tour of Jiuzhaigou, in the northern region of Sichuan province in China. Often referred to as "a fairyland", Jiuzhaigou, which means nine Tibetan villages scattered throughout the valley, is a primitive and natural tourist attraction. The beautiful emerald lakes, layered waterfalls, colourful forests and snow-covered peaks are a sight to behold. Our tour covered Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, Huanglong/Mounigou, Jiuzhaigou, Maoxian, Dujiangyen, Leshan and Emeishan.
We left Penang on the 0810 China Southern Airline flight on 17th Sept. for Guangzhou, a flight that took 3 hours 40 minutes, followed by a nearly 6 hour transit at Guangzhou before our connecting flight to Chengdu which took about 2 hours 20 minutes. China airlines are generally plagued by delays. On our return flight from Chengdu to Guangzhou, the delay was more than 2 hours and during the course of that time there were incessant announcements over the public address system informing passengers of delays for other flights. "We regret to inform..........due to aircraft relocation" became the standard announcement every few minutes. It sounded like a broken record. The hotels were good but Sichuan cuisine which is spicy and oily did not suit the taste of many in our group and we had to request for less or non-spicy and less or non-oily food every now and then.
We had an internal flight from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou which saved us many hours of arduous travelling by bus and the view from the plane as we were approaching Jiuzhaigou airport was breathtaking albeit a little scary. A window seat will afford you this breathtaking view if you are not squeamish about heights. Jiuzhaigou is as beautiful as the travel brochures claim it to be but be prepared for a lot of walking and climbing. However, there were several in our group who are in their late sixties (including us) and if we could make it, younger people should have no problem. We heard about typhoon Damrey on the day before our return but we were fortunate that nothing untoward prevented us from making our return flight safely.