The changing colours of Five Flower LakeJiuzhaigou, Sichuan Province
So impressive is the nature reserve and national park of Jiuzhaigou, located in the Sichuan province of China’s southwest, it’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and World Biosphere Reserve. Covering more than 72,000 hectares it’s renowned for its incredible beauty – tiered waterfalls, snow-topped mountains, colourful autumn leaves – and has seen a steady increase in visitors since it opened to the public in 1982.
Rather than boasting just one vibrant colour, Five Flower Lake changes depending on the weather and surroundings. Sometimes it’s turquoise, other times jade, deep blue and even amber. Most of the time it’s vivid aqua, but the best time to visit is when the leaves of the surrounding forest are starting to change and the mirrored surface takes on the varied shades of the foliage.
- Unlike other lakes in the reserve, Five Flower never changes level nor freezes over in winter, so the locals consider it famous
- The lake is five metres deep but you can always see to the bottom
- There are a dozen other lakes and waterfalls to check out nearby
- It can get crowded, but tourist shuttle buses come and go quickly, so explore on foot for a bit of peace and quiet