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The Valley of Nine Fortified Villages (Jiuzhaigou) is among the most beautiful places in the world. Located in the Nanping region, in the northern part of Sichuan province in China, it was declared in 1982 as a national park and ten years later the valley was included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage.

It received this name because on an area of approximately 700 square kilometers covered mostly by forests, there are 9 villages scattered in a valley of about 40 km long, at an altitude between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. Ethnic Tibetans live here and they always considered sacred the streams and mountains in the area.

The landscape is surreal, with turquoise lakes, lush greenery, snow-capped peaks, forests, streams and waterfalls. Moreover, while Jiuzhaigou is offering its visitors these amazing and wonderful landscapes, it represents an ecosystem rich in natural treasures that need to be protected. 

Image credit: Fanghong(wikipedia.org)

Image credit: Gear$Head(wikipedia.org)

Image credit: Gear$Head(wikipedia.org)

Image credit: Jean-Marie Hullot(wikipedia.org)

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The conditions are just right for the growth of many aromatic and medicinal plants, which are endangered in other parts of China. Regarding the fauna, here we encounter the giant panda, golden monkey, wildebeest, the white tongue deer and also more than 140 species of birds.

Local customs of the Tibetan people and those of the Qiang residents contribute to the magical atmosphere of the place: according to the legend, in ancient times, Dago, the god of the mountain, was in love with the goddess Semo and gaved her a mirror made of wind and clouds.

Their love was troubled by the presence of a demon and Semo accidentally broke the mirror into 108 pieces, which, while they fell to Earth, turned into lakes full of  charming colors that form the Jiuzhaigou Valley, also called by the villagers “Haizi” (children of the sea).

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Image credit: Jean-Marie Hullot(wikipedia.org)

What attracts tourists to the valley is its geological structure: a landscape dotted with karst mountains and glaciers, glacial lakes formed by rockfalls which contain clear water due to the presence of calcium carbonate.

For the Chinese, the Valley of Nine Fortified Villages, a paradise full of azaleas and maple leaves, with its waters rich in particles of calcium, magnesium and carbonic acid, is the sacred land of local Tibetans. That’s why mankind just has the right to protect it. 

Image credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas(wikipedia.org)

Image credit: chensiyuan(wikipedia.org)

Everyone should follow the good example of the Tibetans, educated from an early age to take care of every blade of grass and every tree, and that of the wise elders who always advise children not to wash their clothes in the rivers or contaminate their banks, because when you take care of the natural habitat, in turn it will also take care of you.

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