June 23

10:14 PM


            We arrived in Jiu Zhai Gou at 7:30 PM after a long drive through some beautiful country.  The mountain roads were windy, narrow, and a little scary.  [The crazy driving scares Yu Liping.]




On the road to Jiu Zhai Gou


            I didn’t experience any trouble with the high altitude, but I didn’t have to do anything physically exerting, either.  We just sat on the bus all day.

            Erica’s makeup exploded due to air pressure changes.

            Qiao Lan has been reading palms.  She said I am gentle with a good heart, will make a good husband, and never hurt people.  Also I am supposed to own my own company.  She says I had health problems as a child [??] and will have to be careful when I’m older.

            She says Geoffrey will have a bunch of girlfriends and Derek will have a wife and a mistress.  Lewis’ reading was similar to mine.




June 24

6:37 PM


            We got up at 6:00 AM this morning and went to Jiu Zhai Gou at 7:00 AM.  The place derives its name from the nine Tibetan villages there; their total population is only about 1000.  A good translation for JZG is "Nine village valley."  JZG has been named a “world natural heritage site.”

            We saw many, many wonderful sites at JZG.  I will try to recount as many as I can.

            Our first stop was Mirror Lake.  The calm waters gave a perfect reflection of the mountains.  It was quite cool at this time of the morning.

            Another lake we saw was Peacock Lake, called this because of its vibrant blue color.  It was extremely beautiful.  Another noteworthy lake we saw was the Multi-colored Lake.  It rained lightly when we were there.  Normally I don’t like being rained on, but something about this place made me not mind.  Plus, the rain scared off most of the other tourists.  [To get to this lake there was a long climb, made difficult because of the high altitude.]

            Other lakes we saw: Panda (used to have pandas there), Bamboo, Season (only fills with water in the summer), Long, Dragon.  Also some waterfalls.  And of course there were mountains all around, some jagged and rocky, some lushishly covered with many different species of trees.


Mirror Lake


Can't tell which way is up...


Look how clear the water is!  You can see fish among the rocks.


Peacock Lake




Multi-colored Lake


Marta in Tibetan clothes



            I must say that Jiu Zhai Gou is the most beautiful, natural, pure and unspoiled place that I have ever been.  I have never seen such clear and blue water, or such beautiful plant life.  It actually brought tears to my eyes.  This place surpasses my previous favorite, the Canadian Rockies.

            By the way, the buses here run only on natural gas.  I suppose this cuts pollution.

            Today is Rikki’s birthday.  We are leaving now to watch some Tibetan dancing, and a surprise party.


10:47 PM


            The Tibetan dances had a few good routines, but I found it mostly boring.  The costumes and faces (non-Han) were interesting, though.  There were several dances where the audience participated.  I didn’t enjoy them; I was tired and don’t like dancing anyway.