China: Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park
Jiuzhaigou Valley National Park is located in the mountains of Sichuan province in the southwestern China on the edge of the Tibetan plateau and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park is basically a Y-shaped valley of rivers, lakes, and never-ending waterfalls set against a temperate forest. Jiuzhaigou is famous for the color of its lakes – blue, green, turquoise and all the colors in between – the result of immensely clear water and high calcium carbonate concentrations. The color variation usually reflects the surrounding nature and the algae composition of the lakes themselves and the elements of the bottom. The two valleys of the Y are Zechawa Valley and Shuzheng Valley. There are several Buddhist monasteries along the way as you make it from the top of the Y to the bottom along all the waterfalls and lakes.