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Jiuzhaigou Valley

Set in northern Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley is regarded by many Chinese as a place akin to being heaven on Earth. One of China’s most famous National Parks, Jiuzhaigou Valley is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site where giant pandas (albeit only about 20) still roam the forested hillsides. A remote wilderness set on the steps of the Tibetan Himalayan Plateau, Jiuzhaigou Valley is a 278 square mile (720 square kilometer) wonderland of turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls and snowcapped mountain peaks which form the southern edge of the Minshan mountain range.

Jiuzhaigou Valley is literally translated as “Nine Village Valley,” of the nine Tibetan villages from which the park derives its name, and seven are still inhabited and accessible to park visitors and trekkers. With a population numbering little more than 1,000 inhabitants, the simple villages of Jiuzhaigou are an alluring and mystical complement to the pristine panoramas and scenery.

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