Lonely Planet Writer

China’s splendid Jiuzhaigou National Park to finally reopen after last year’s earthquake

One of China’s most celebrated national parks is set to reopen this week after it was damaged in an earthquake last autumn. Jiuzhaigou National Park, located in Sichuan province in western China, is a Unesco World Heritage Site known for its turquoise-blue lakes and pine mountain scenery. The park closed last August after the area was struck by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which reportedly caused damage to some of the main sights, including the popular Nuorilang Waterfall.

Jiuzhaigou National Park, China. Image by Getty Images

Authorities last week announced that Jiuzhaigou – whose name means ‘nine village valley’ – would partially reopen to visitors on 8 March after extensive cleanup efforts. According to a statement, a number of the park’s most beloved sights would reopen, including Nuorilang Waterfall, Long Lake, Mirror Lake, Five-Colour Lake and the Shuzheng Lakes.

Nuorilang waterfall, Jiuzhaigou valley, China. Image by Frank Krahmer/Corbis

Visitor numbers will be capped to 2000 per day, in contrast with its pre-quake numbers that soared upwards of 20,000 per day. Visitors will also need to be on a pre-arranged group tour and have proof of travel insurance. Independent travel in the park will not be permitted, at least initially.

Shuzheng Lakes, Sichuan Province. Image by Imagemore Co.,Ltd/Getty Images

Admission prices will also be set at a preferential ¥40 (US$6) for the first month, and from April tickets will cost ¥110 (US$17), a 60% drop from previous admission prices.