Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan, China has been voted on the internet by all Chinese tourists as the (or one of the) most beautiful and popular scenic area in China for several years, despite that Xi'an (terracotta Warriors) and Guilin and Yangshuo are more known for foreign tourists.
Jiuzhaigou (literally Nine Stockade Gulliess) offers spectacular landscapes with alpine features: crystal clear and serene lakes, snow-capped mountains, countless waterfalls and lush forests. The natural reserve is home to more than 140 species of birds and numerous endangered animals, including the giant panda (Pandas have been moved to Wolong in 1990's).
Its patchwork of shimmering lakes was discovered when scientist trailing some pandas, observing their habitat and migratory patterns, followed the pandas into this scenic wonderland. Scientists believe the lakes were formed because of the calcium carbonate in the following water when the earth was between ice ages. When the global climate warmed up, the calcium carbonate became active and attached itself to obstacles in the water, forming the milky white, lunar shapes in Jiuzhaigou's lake water. The scenery in the area leaves most breathless as the sheer beauty of the lakes and the vibrancy of the colors defy explanation.
Huanglong, which means Yellow Dragon Mountain, is a valley studded with spectacular multicolored limestone ponds in every imaginable shade of blue and green. Situated in the northwest of Sichuan Province and 128 km south of Jiuzhaigou, the Huanglong Valley is edged by snow-capped peaks and glaciers. An incredible bio-diversity of flora and fauna thrives here alongside spectacular limestone formations, waterfalls and hot springs. The area also has a population of endangered animals, including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed Monkey.