On the way from Jiuzhaigou I met three people from Beijing who were looking for a person to add to their rented car and share the costs. Perfect! I spent two days traveling with them and speaking Chinese nonstop. One of the places we went was a national park called Huanglong or "Yellow Dragon." It is called a yellow dragon because calcified pools have formed all the way down the mountain, making what appears to be the scales on a dragon's tale. The scenery was completely different from Jiuzhaigou and also breathtaking!
The water came in all shapes and colors! Just look at the difference in colors in these two pictures:
Finally, as we were driving back to the village, we were stuck behind a large mountain that trapped air and made the whole area foggy. In 15 seconds, we rounded a corner and were suddenly in a different world overlooking these mountains. It was so sudden and beautiful that I had to remind myself to breathe. We got out of the car and played on the mountain tops like a scene from Pride and Prejudice! If you've been in Beijing for a while, this is just what you need.