I remember the first time somebody showed me photographs of Jiuzhaigou. I was all like “you gotta be shitting me, that’s totally photoshopped.” But I saw more and more photos, and they ALL looked like they’d been enhanced. And so I reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore, I HAD to go see for myself whether such a place really existed.
If anyone out there is planning to visit, don’t say we didn’t post a warning – this is the effect that JZG will have on you.
1) Your vocabulary will degenerate. By the end of the day, the only words we were saying were “wow” “so pretty” “how is the water so freaking clear?” “wooooooow”
2) You’ll think that you are a world class photographer because it seemed so effortless to take good photos. Word of warning… it’s not you…. it’s the surrounding. it is IMPOSSIBLE to take an ugly photo in JZG.
3) You will never again see a water landscape without comparing it to the sheer awesomeness of JZG’s. And it will all be ruined to you forever.
We are by no means professional (or even decent) photographers, but here in JZG, you could just blindly point your camera at any spot, snap away and it would turn out stunning. I kinda went a little trigger-happy because every time we saw something that would make a great photo, there was something else just around the corner that would make an even better one. Still, no matter how we tried, we couldn’t seem to do justice to the magnificence surrounding us.
And now, we present to you, proudly, our completely untampered-with photos…
TW’s Terrible Take
We’ve just spent two days in Jiuzhaigou, and it’s early on in our journey but this is the first time I truly start to appreciate the amount of time we have to do things at our own pace because we are travelling long term.
Like Jo said, Jiuzhaigou is one of the most awesome looking places in the world. It’s rightly a national heritage site of China. But because of all these factors, certain scenic spots can get reaaaaally crowded. I’m talking about salmon swimming upstream crowded – where we do not need to walk but just get carried along with the crowd.
Jiuzhaigou is one of the most well-managed tourist attractions we’ve ever been to. The park is very clean and the toilets are hygienic – an amazing feat considering the amount of people the park sees. The internal shuttle buses run like clockwork, with a frequency of a bus once every two minutes or so.
Even with all this amenities, the crowd can be overwhelming. Most of the visitors are in Jiuzhaigou for a day trip and are trying to rush through all the attractions. This is not helped by the finite resource mentality of most of the visitors. People will try to cram up already crowded buses even though there is an empty one just behind, and they refuse to budge from vantage points once they are there.
With time on our hands, we could cater two days or more for Jiuzhaigou and wander through the park at our own pace. We could stay as long as we liked at attractions that appealed to us, gloating as the other visitors jostled with each other.
Time on hand brings about opportunities. Opportunities we might not have gotten if we had had to rush through the park. Through some people we met, we found an opportunity to stay semi-illegally with a local in the park (more on that later), and because of that, we could really enjoy the beautiful sights around us instead of going from view point to view point just to get that tick in the box.
Although I am often guilty of doing a little photoshop to make the images looks nicer. I swear to you that the photos here have not been edited. I double swear to you that the photos cannot capture the beauty we saw with our eyes (maybe because we were using our point and shoot camera and sometimes our… *ahem* camera phone).
Jiuzhaigou really is one of those places you NEED to visit and spend some quality time in. In Jiuzhaigou, I can finally understand how certain places inspire poets of the past. So, here’s my attempt at beginner poetry:
How is the Water so Freaking Clear?