JIUZHAIGOU, a scenic area on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list in Sichuan Province, will partially reopen March 8 after a devastating earthquake in last August.
Admission fees will be reduced in March to 40 yuan (US$6.30) each. After March, admission will rise to 110 yuan per person, according to the administrative bureau of Jiuzhaigou.
Before the earthquake, the entry fee at Jiuzhaigou was 220 yuan during the peak season (April 1 to Nov. 15), and 80 yuan during the offseason (Nov. 16 to March 31).
The discounted admission led Liu Wei, a resident of Chengdu, Sichuan, to enter his name to win a tour of Jiuzhaigou for March 8. But he was told that the offer was sold out.
In 2018, only 2,000 visitors will be admitted to Jiuzhaigou daily as it is being rebuilt. But transportation will be available to view the sites.
Before the August earthquake, a visitor could get off a vehicle at any desired site to linger or take pictures. Another vehicle would then carry the person elsewhere, said Yang Qingrong, a tour guide in Chengdu.
Located in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures in Sichuan, Jiuzhaigou means “nine-settlement valley.”
It is named after the nine Tibetan settlements on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Visitors are drawn by its 108 alpine lakes and by the Tibetan and Qiang culture.
Twenty-five people died in the magnitude-7.0 earthquake Aug. 8, and 493 were injured. Some of Jiuzhaigou’s scenic wonders were damaged.
Two days after the quake, the Nuorilang Waterfall collapsed. Standing 24.5 meters tall, it was China’s widest waterfall at 270 meters and had been chosen by netizens as one of the country’s most spectacular natural sights.
Post-quake reconstruction will be completed by 2020, but some sites will reopen earlier, including Changhai Lake in March, said Liu Zuoming, Party chief of Aba.
Changhai Lake, 3,100 meters above sea level, offers a unique perspective. The eye is irresistibly drawn across its calm, blue expanse, which contrasts against the nearby snowy peaks that mark the limit of one’s view.