Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area (1992, World Natural Heritage)
Situated in the depths of the mountains in the border area of Nanping, Songpan and Pingwu counties in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of northwestern Sichuan, is a fairyland called Jiuzhaigou – Nine-Village Valley, which is the home of nine Tibetan villages. The valley is 50 kilometers in length.
The place is dotted with more than 100 gorgeous lakes, which differ from others by having a high concentration of calcium carbonate, so that the lakebeds and embankments are all covered with crystals. The water is so clear that the bottom is visible despite depths of several dozen meters. Waterfalls are the essence of the scenery in Jiuzhaigou. They are created between lakes on different levels with water flowing down the cliffs covered with trees. The water actually oozes through the tree trunks into the falls. The trees in the primitive forest are thick with leaves that block the sunlight. As the height and temperature there vary, there is a distinctive distribution of plants, with the broadleaf forest, at the foot of the mountain, and a coniferous forest at the top. In autumn, the mountaintops are covered with white snow while the hill slopes and the valley are a blaze of color.
In 1992, UNESCO entered this scenic area onto the world natural heritage list.