Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area in Sichuan, China
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China's colourful terraced pools
While the sight of these gorgeous pools may make you want to don a swimsuit and plunge in for a refreshing soak, we don't recommend it. The water may be fed by underground geothermal springs, but these are no hot springs—the water's only about 5 degrees Celcius. We'll take it all in from dry land. Thee striking series of terraced, travertine pools cascade downward for nearly 3 kilometres. Formed over thousands of years, calcite deposits give the water its unique, and welcoming, turquoise colours.
Huanglong is officially called a Scenic and Historic Interest Area, and we can see why. There are plenty of other things to see and do at this huge park nestled between snow-capped peaks in central China’s Sichuan province. With abundant forests, lakes, and glaciers, the diverse mountain ecosystem is home to a rich variety of animals, including endangered giant pandas and golden snub-nosed monkeys. So extensive and breathtakingly beautiful is this landscape that roughly 500 square kilometres of it were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.