28th September 2007, 06:04 PM
10-days JiuZhaiGou tour package
hi, just came back from my 10-days JiuZhaiGou trip with CTC. The most popular of going for the JZG trip are months of Sep, Oct & Nov. Just wanna share a few tips with all on this package. Note that the trip itinerary will be changed due to some unforseen circumstances.
Day 1 - Chengdu - Maoxian
Basically, the whole day is travelling on the coach thru the ABA region, roads are along mountains' sides, with great views of the coaches climbing up winding roads up the mountains.
a) Expect jams and slow moving traffic. Take lots of tibits to grind.
b) China is left-hand drive, so sit on the right-side of the windows to capture great scenic photos along the journey.
Day 2 - Maoxian - HuangLong - JiuZhaiGou
The local guide convinced us that we should do huanglong first before Jiuzhaigou becos the former involves climbing at high attitude. Hike from base (car park) at attitude 3.1km, to 5-colored lake at attitude 3.8km above sea level. The hike's distance is abt 3+km, ave 2 hours. So, to-and-fro if walking will take 6+km! At such high attitude (thin air) and exhausting hike, many of my tour mates, uncles and aunties gave up after the first tier.
(a) Do buy a disposeable bottled oxygen canister [own cost] if you think that you are not physically capable of hiking. In any case, during the hike, don't sit down suddenly, becos there are ppl who just fainted upon sitting down.
(b) Alternatively take a cable car [own cost] up, and hike a much shorter distance to the lake. Then hike down the mountains to take photographs. In any case, don't miss the 5-colored lake!
(c) Bring along high calories food such as chocolates for the hike, it's phyiscally exhausting and cold up there.
(d) Take along panadol for the splitting headache at the end of the hike in the coach due to sudden change of attitude from 3.1km to 3.8km, and then back to 3.1km again.
(e) If hiking, the legs will be "jelly". Go for a tibetian body massage when reach hotel. Cost about 120 yuan for body massage. And do try the "body scrub" for 30 yuan extra.
(f) Bring raincoat in case it rains. Usually can buy a disposeable one [own cost] at 10 yuan at the base.
(g) Be careful as some walkways has no railings.
Day 3 - JiuZhaiGou
After huanglong, we opted to charter JZG coach [own cost] to bring you around JZG, instead of sequeezing with the locals for the buses, or hiking.
(a) Guide will "sell" to all to charter JZG coach,cost about 4,800 yuan for a 20-seater [own cost].
(b) Tour include buffet lunch which cost 40 yuan. Food is OK. There is also 60 yuan, 90 yuan etc buffet. If you want to have less sequeeze and queuing up for the food, opt for the 60 yuan and above [top up the blance] buffet before the guide purchase the food ticket at the resturant.
(c) Don't bother about bringing a tripod, absolute no space to mount one to take photo.
(d) Sit one the right-side of the windows in the coach.
(e) Do take notes of the places that you take photos, becos after awhile, all the scenic views (lakes, waterfalls etc) will look the same.
(f) No littering, smoking, spitting, feeding the fishes, plucking flowers, doing so will invite a fine of 100 yuan from the plain-clothed JZG guards!
(g) CP filter is a must for taking pictures of tree trunks in the water, becos morning reflection off water is very great.
(h) Sunglasses is a must too as the reflections off the water will hurt the eyes.
Day 4 - JiuZhaiGou - Maoxian
Basically just the same return route back. Will stop over in Songpan Ancient fortess to take photos.
Day 5 - Maoxian - Chengdu
Highlight is to visit the Luobo Village - oldest Qiang minority group village.
(a) Bring along wrapped sweets / chocolates for the children. They will warm up to you, and smile/pose for you to take their photos against their doors.
(b) Take the opportunity to climb up to their roofs where they dried their maizes, very nice contract of yellow against mud-brown houses.
(c) Can opt for optional tour to visit DuJiangYun site [own cost], if majority of group wants it.
Day 6 - Chengdu - Leshan
Highlights are Thousand-buddha cliff and Leshan Buddha.
(a) Explore all the gottes in the Thousand-budda cliff, there's more up the hill. Can give the paper mesuem a miss if no time.
(b) Foreign trips only involve taking cruises to view Leshan Buddha. Only local organised tour will hike down the sides of the cliff to view close up to the Leshan Buddha's head. [if you are thinking of taking photos of you touching the buddha's head or ear, nope you can't].
(c) Two cruise boats will usually be sailed to positioned in front to view the Leshan Buddha. Your boat will be positioned behind the 1st, so that the viewing deck will be obstructed by the 1st boat's. Then the boat's photographer will "encourage" the tourists to pay their services to take photos at the head of the boat [not obstructed by the 1st boat] at 20 yuan [own cost]. But resist the temptation, becos the 1st boat will sail away, and your boat will become the "1st boat". And your boat will now be obstructing the "2nd boat" behind. And the cursing and swearing of the tourists at the "2nd boat" at the "1st boat" will start all over again .... it's a funny sight ...
(c) This is a authetic taiwanese smelly beancurd somewhere near the jetty. Cost 5 yuan [own cost] and it's served with pounched chilli and pickles. Very smelly, very nice! Much better than the Sichuan' smelly beancurd's.
Day 7 - Emei - Chengdu
Early morning is hike up emei mountain. Involves a 2-hours Emeil coach [provided in package] drive up to the base of cable car stn. Hike a 30-mins to cable car stn. Then take cable car [provided] up to summit.
(a) There are sedans services provided, not the price is NOT CHEAP.
(b) Morning is chilly, summit is foggy.
Day 8 - Chengdu
Panda themepark - if not for this optional tour, i wondered what we are going to do today?
(a) Electric tram provided in package.
(b) Open zoo concept. Pandas are separated to tourists by merely a few metres.
(c) To capture the red pandas, have to be fast, as they move around real fast. As for the panda, they will just lazy around for you to take photos!
(d) Take photos of the 1-year old panda cost 400 yuan [own cost].
(e) No feeding - so don't bother to bring bread or stuffs.
Day 9 - Chengdu
(a) Luodai Ancient Hakka Town - there is one main street with seven alleys, typically Hakka town style. The main street is a newly renovated one, mainly for tourists to see. But the beauty of this place is not the tourist steet, but the seven alleys, which lead to the residents' living quarters. I encouraged all to explore the alleys instead of sticking to the main street which is just shopping and shopping. In the alleys, there is a park where the residents gather to play cards, manjong etc, a wet market will meat are displayed on hooks, all kinds of chilli spices etc.
Day 10 - Chengdu
Free and easy till 5pm to leave for airport. Guide will dump group in Chunxi Road [equivalent Orchard Rd of Singapore]. But the shopping falls short of being impressive. So do opt for optional tours.
.. to be continued ..
All local guides will highly "recommend" 3 tours for all groups, (1) Jinsha Musical, (2) Sichuan Opera [change faces etc], and (3) visit to Panda Themepark. Tatics such as "if you don't go, the whole group can't go" will all come out. But frankly, they are great!
(a) Jinsha musical - first 15mins no photographs or video due to some mild "nudity" - overhyped lah. But I encourage you to get the audio CD and get autograph from the actresses and actors after the show!
(b) Sichuan Opera - Western classic music played on Erhu, encourage you to get the CD, hand-shadow show (wow, how do they do it?!], change faces [concentrate on the hat ... !]
(c) Panda Themepark - Take photo of the infant panda although it's no photograph. Don't use flash, just aim and go. Too crowded, solo guard only.
There are plentiful of "free time" from 8th days onwards. That's where the guide will "dump" the groups at shopping streets for half-days! Chunxi road, Jinli Street etc. Very boring! Some optional tours you might want to consider [worth the money!].
(A) Jinsha Mesuem - western sururban of Chengdu. From Chunxi road to Mesuem cost 20 yuan per trip, admission charge 80 yuan per person, guide 50 yuan per group. Little artifacts compared to SanXingDue. Main + points are copper and jade artifacts.
(B) SanXingDua Mesuem - about 30km from chengdu city. Continual for those who love the Jinsha mesuem. Main + points are bronze and thin gold masks artifacts.
(C) DuJiangYun irrigation project - In Dujiangyun city. Without Dujiangyan, there won't be Chengdu.
Last edited by eric69; 28th September 2007 at 10:36 PM.
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