The historic town Sōngpan, (松潘) in 3000m above sea level was a trading centre in the early times and now serves as a nice spot with a lovely old town.
The village is in the middle of the mountains and you can find the Guanyin temple in the hills:
Climbing up the mountain, you will be soon out of breath but you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view over the village.
I stayed the night in Emma’s Guesthouse, who I called before to negotiate the price. I asked whether foreigners can live at her place and when I arrived, she was surprised I’m German, because she heard a Korean accent in my Chinese speaking. How’s that possible? She was an absolutely warm host. She said since the horrible earthquake in Jiuzhaigou (2 days before I arrived in Sōngpan), all the tourists left Sōngpan, which is super close to the center of the earthquake. There were still some aftershocks so everyone avoided this area now. Well, everyone except for me. Emma was happy to host me as I was the only guest and she gave me some advices where to go.
The Jiuzhaigou National Park was still closed so I decided to go to the nearby Huánglóng Park (translates to yellow dragon park) the next day.
The cable car of the Huánglóng Park was destroyed by the earthquake so I had no choice than exploring the whole park by feet. Which is absolutely recommendable.
The park itself offers exquisite terraces of colored limestone ponds in blues, greens, oranges, yellows and white. The reason for the name “yellow dragon” is that the water ponds look like a very long yellow dragon tail from the air.
The Park was absolutely stunning, I didn’t edit the pictures at all (my editing skills are super limited anyway), it really looks super colorful!
The Park is a good alternative to Jiuzhaigou, the more famous brother of Huánglóng Park. When I was at Huánglóng Park, I shared the whole park with only a few people.
My next stop was Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, where I met some Panda babys! So stay tuned!