Article by Edward Hoagland (Published in March 2009 issue of National Geographic)

Jiuzhaigou means "valley of nine villages," because it once harbored nine, but other numbers are more significant now. About 80 hotels are clustered cleanly at the mouth of a Y-shaped, 20-mile-long valley in the Min Mountains of central China, where 280 buses wait to shuttle this day's 18,000 or so visitors up the very pretty route, past a chain of flower-colored, ribbony lakes and fingery waterfalls, underneath escarpments chevroned with maple, spruce, or bamboo forests cut by the talus of old landslides.



Photograph by Michael Yamashita (National Geographic)