Most of the travelers said that if there should be wonderlands on the earth, Jiuzhaigou Valley must be one of them. There is no equal elsewhere that has sceneries and fables of dreamlike eloquence, or natural purities like a fairyland. The awesome Jiuzhaigou Valley is situated in Nanping County, 450 KM to the north of Chengdu City. Its name is due to the existence of nine stockaded villages of Tibetan origin, and it is always regarded as a holy mountain and watercourse by the Tibetan people. The valley is great masterpiece of nature having dreamlike scenery, which combines, scenic waterfalls, blue lakes, verdant forests, snow-covered mountains, and the folk customs of the Tibetan and Qiang peoples.
More than just stunning scenery, Jiuzhai Valley National Park is home to nine Tibetan villages, more than 220 bird species as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species, as well as the giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey, the Sichuan takin and numerous orchids and rhododendrons. It is China’s foremost national park and is situated at elevations ranging between 6,529 feet to 15,630 feet above sea level. Situated on the edge of the Tibetan Himalayan Plateau in Northern Sichuan Province it is easily accessible by direct flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing and Hangzhou. Jiuzhai Valley provides spectacular scenery throughout the year making it one of China’s most treasured scenic sites. 7 of the 9 Tibetan villages are still populated today and are readily accessible to tourists are Heye, Shuzheng and Zechawa along the main paths that cater to tourists, selling a variety of handicrafts, souvenirs and snacks.
There is also Rexi in the smaller Zaru Valley and behind Heye village are Jianpan, Panya and Yana villages. Guodu and Hejiao villages are no longer populated. Penbu, Panxing and Yongzhu villages lie along the road that passes through the town of Jiuzhaigou/Zhangza outside the valley. In 2003, the everlasting population of the valley was about 1,000 comprising 112 families, and due to the protected nature of the park, agriculture is no longer permitted so the locals now rely on tourism and local government subsidies to make a living.