Mounigou, located to the west of Songpan Ancient Town, occupies an area of 160 square kilometers (62 square miles). It has an elevation between 2,800 meters (9,186 feet) to 4,070 meters (13,353 feet) with an annual average temperature of 7C (44.6F). It belongs to the western part of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area. After ten years of development, this unknown valley has now been listed as the World Biosphere Reserve, World Natural Heritage as well as the Green Globe 21 of UN. Its spectacular mountain scenery, large waterfall and the surrounding culture combine to create an attractive landscape.
There are two major scenic spots in Mounigou Valley: Zhaga Waterfall and Erdaohai Scenic Area.
There are many colorful pools and round waterfalls in Zhaga Valley. The various sounds of waterfalls echo throughout the forest. Some fall down from the calcific steps while others pass through the woods creating an impressive spray and some misty fog.
Among the most beautiful waterfalls, Zhaga Waterfall feels like the most supernatural one. It is the largest travertine waterfall in China. It is 93.2 meters (306 feet) high and 35 meters (38 yards) wide with an elevation of 3,270 meters (10,728 feet). In the upper reaches of the waterfall is a lake and in the lower reaches, is a multistep waterbed. When the waterfall rushes down from the travertine steps, it creates a large spray and an earsplitting sound. Visitors will be astonished by the amazing scene. The filemot rock cliff of the waterfall shows some flowery color under the sunshine.
When wandering along the path, you can not only see the countless flowers blooming in profusion in the primeval forest, but also some dense bamboo forest. It is the sphere of activity for the pandas-the national rare animal. If you are lucky enough, you can meet them on your way. Also along the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) valley, you can find hundreds of colorful pools of different shapes and sizes, they are very attractive.
Erdaohai Scenic Area
Erdaohai Scenic Area hides in a jungle with an area of 6800 square meters (1.68 acres). Visitors can get here by horse or on foot from the Zhaga Waterfall. The upper part of Erdaohai Lake is so limpid and clear that people can see little fishes under the water. While the lower part of it is a deep pool, it is too deep to be fathomable. Erdaohai Lake is a typical fallen lake. The color of water changes gradually from light blue to black blue as the depth increases.
Not counting Erdaohai Lake, there are over 400 other lakes in this scenic area, such as Swan Lake and Ginseng Lake. Meanwhile, visitors can see the mysterious solution caves here. Some caves connect with each other while some little ones are in the bigger caves. These are really impressive. Among them, the most attractive one is Xuannv Palace. The stalactites in this cave are of all shapes. Some are like chairs and some are like beds or tables. The undefiled stalagmites hang there and join with each other. From them, tourists can witness first hand the superlative craftsmanship made by nature.
In addition to the two scenic spots, there are many other things to see in Mounigou Valley, such as Tibetan Buddhist temples and Flower Lake. Also, they can experience the horse riding tour.
Tibetan Buddhism is an essential part of the local residents' daily life. There are two main temples in the scenic area: Xiaobao Temple and Hou Temple. They all belong to Gulug (Yellow hat) of Tibetan Buddhism.
There is a lake called Flower Lake because the green water surface is covered by hundreds of blossoming nameless flowers. The types as well as the colors of these flowers change according to the season. When you come here, you will find yourself standing in a flower sea as people described in a fairy tale.
Horse Riding Tour is another attraction in the valley. Since it began in 1982, more and more visitors choose this way to appreciate the amazing scenery each year. It can make them feel closer to the nature. There are two tour lines: bivouac and living in little inns. Visitors can decide which one to choose or change the tour line according to their needs.