Huanglong Travel Guide
Huanglong is located on the easternmost of Qinghai - Tibet Plateau. It belongs to Songpan county, Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture, Sichuan province.
It is 300 kilometers far away from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. And Jiuzhaigou Valley is as its neighbor. It is close to the boundary of Sichuan, Gansu, and Shanxi province.
Huanglong scenic and historic area is famous for its colorful lakes, snow clad mountains, valleys and virgin forest. Huanglong scenic and historic area is regarded as the "world wonder and fairly land on earth".
Huanglong got its name for its special geographical features, which seems like a golden dragon winding its way through the virgin forest, stone mountains and glaciers. There are numerous ponds and lakes with different shapes and colors. Every lake is a beautiful picture and each pond can be an imagined image.
Possible Altitude Sickness
- The altitude of Huanglong is higher than that of Jiuzhaigou, ranging from 3200 to 3600 meters, and you need to drive over a 4000-meter-high pass to get to Huanglong.
- Even if you are fine at Jiuzhaigou, you need to pay attention at Huanglong.
- Do not jump or run, or do any strenuous exercises. Walk and move slowly.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits. Do not drink wine.
- It is recommended to prepare an oxygen bottle, which is available in Chengdu, at the airport, and there are many oxygen stations in the park.
Another special scenic in Huanglong is its calcium carbonate (travertine) formation in every corner of the park. You will find every lake, pond, spring, waterfall was held by the travertine. The water is so crystal clear that you can see the bottom of the pond and lake by your naked eyes. With the colorful plants around them, every pond and lake is a beautiful picture that can not be describe by words.
In walking in the valley, your eyes will be caught to the imaginative sites that you can not believe in yourself. Famous ponds include the Yingbin (welcoming guests) Colored Ponds, Feipuliuhui (glowing waterfall), Xishen (washing body) Cave, Penjing (miniascape) Ponds, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Temple, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Cave, Shitazhenhai and Zhuanhua (whirling flower) Pond, etc.
It will be a difficult job to describe the beauty of Huanglong for the man who has never been there. It is a good saying that people who came from Jiuhaigou and Huanglong will have no need to appreciate the beauty of water in other places.
The average temperature is around 7 °C all the year round. It is misty in the morning and evening and rainy from May to August.
Aba has a complex landform, and therefore, has various types of the climate. The temperature is higher in the southeast, but lower in the northwest, because of the changing altitude.
The hilly plateaus in the northwest belong to the continental plateau monsoon climate. Therefore, the features of the four seasons are not too distinct. The weather in winter is cold and long, but cool and moisture in summer. The mean temperature is 0.8 °C - 4.3 °C. The region of plains and hills belongs to the cool and semi-moisture climate.
Thus, it is cool in summer and cold in winter and spring. The climate changes vertically. In the high hills, it is moisture and chilly. In valleys, it is dry, warm and cool. The mean temperature is 5.6 °C - 8.9 °C. In those areas, with the change of the altitude, the climate zone changes from the subtropical zone to the temperate zone, the cool temperate zone, and finally to the Frigid Zone.
For more detailed weather and climate info, and what's good to do and see when, see Jiuzhaigou Weather — Jiuzhaigou is only 50 km north, though much further by road.
Food and Restaurants
A staple food of Tibetans, it looks like mainland China fried wheat flour, prepared with main ingredients of barley flour as well as pea and oat powder.
Tibetans bring the Zanba cake wherever they go, to farm, to graze and to travel. It is a convenient fast food, especially welcome in sparsely populated and fuel-scarce areas.
Its main ingredients are butter and milk as well as walnut kernel, peanut and sesame, egg and salt, being stirred in a barrel, then mixed with boiled tea and brawn-red coloring matter. After being stirred for a few seconds, a fragrant barrel of buttered tea is ready. It is poured into a big kettle and kept warm on a stove for drinking.
Questions and Answers About Huanglong Travel Guide
Hi Lily, the ponds won't be dry in June. Don't worry. It is worth visiting because there will be less travelers in June, then you can travel with lower cost but more comfortable. The walk is not difficult in Huanglong as there are cable cars up and down. There are not lots of steps to climb and there are shuttle bus inside the area. You can take it for free. Sorry, I don't know the exact distance in km, but I checked with my colleagues who have been there. They said it won't be a problem even to an elderly with knee problem. Our tour guide is quite considerate, they will take good care of you during the tour.Whitney Liao replied on 2013-05-25
Hi Yuqing, the best time for Kanas is Sep.15-25 while the color there if of its best.
And for Huangshan, any month would be okay. Late spring and early autumn are more preferable.Whitney Liao replied on 2013-02-27