We arrived at Huanglong Park and were surprised how few people were there. Our taxi driver Mr. Liu later told us that since the Szechuan Earthquake, business has been badly affected. Many businesses have closed down in the area. Some hotels and restaurants decided to just shut down for the rest of the year (or permanently). Volume wise there is one-tenth of tourists than normal years (this is actually peak season but we were pleasantly surprised by the absence of crowds). Before we got up to Huanglong Mr. Liu recommended us to take this Chinese herbal medicine called Hong Jing Tian, which prevents altitude sickness (it cost 120RMB at the pharmacy). He said that many people suffer from altitude sickness because of how high Huanglong is located, especially after a flight, I can’t thank him enough for that advice. The ride took around 1.5 hour from the airport to Huanglong.
We paid 280RMB for the entrance ticket and the cable car ride at the Huanglong Park. We were told at the ticket counter that the path from the cable car to the scenic spots were under renovation so we have to take the temporary paths. Immediately upon arriving at the top I felt light-headed due to the relative thinner air. It was around 9:30am and the air was chilly, definitely less than 5 degrees Celsius. Walking took more strength but at least we didn’t feel ill. The temporary paths were made by wood planks; it was one of the toughest walks I’ve ever done. It wasn’t steep or rugged, just extremely slippery because of half melting ice. Luckily there were ropes along the way and we used the rope to support us through the walk. I almost gave up half way. But we just bit our lips and went through with it. I am confident that once the renovation work is completed it would be an amazing walk through the woods.
As we arrived we were greeted by the amazing view of the rock formations, the colored pools and streams. Despite the lack of sunlight the colors were still amazingly beautiful, including different shades of peacock green, turquoise and blue.
I’m glad we took the cable ride up despite the slippery journey or else it would have been a very tough journey hiking up the hill. Most tourists who attempted to hike up to the top gave up halfway. It is a lot easier to ride the cable car up, and then walk down, the combination of fighting high altitude and walking long distances could be exhausting. We were both fit healthy people, but were still knackered when we reached the bottom. We also took many little breaks during the walk.
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