Passionate photographer

Gianluca Paolazzi

Home / Essays / 2017

Jiuzhaigou album

Moving in one of the biggest region in China in both term: surface covered and population, Sichuan, famous also for the spicy food such as hot pot and many others. The region is the natural habitat for the most Chinese iconic animal, the giant panda, there is the biggest natural reserve (Wolong natural reserve) where to admire this unique animal. Jiuzhaigou Valley (九寨沟) literally "Valley of Nine Villages", it is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of Sichuan, China. It is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colourful lakes, and snow-capped peaks. Its elevation ranges from 2,000 to 4,500 metres (6,600 to 14,800 ft.). The valley runs in the general north-south direction through northern Sichuan (the eastern part of the Ngawa Tibetan, Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and adjacent areas of Mianyang Prefecture) and southernmost borderlands of Gansu. It is a wonderland of nature environment combined by blue lakes, waterfalls, verdant forests and snow covered mountains.

Most important it is kept at its natural beauty and free of human contamination, it is a close environment where tourist are allowed to move inside only by local transportation. Walking down from the top lake, it is a continuous surprise of breath taking scenery: water flowing at high speed in small creek and calm lake with a deep blue water.

Transportation to reach the valley are not very convenient and it requires more than half day to go there from Chengdu, first with a flight to Jiuhuang Airport and after a couple of hours by bus or car to the foot of the valley. It is anyway highly recommended and worth to spend a couple of day there.

Yangshuo album

Continuing on the sharing, today place can be part of the same trip to Longji. The best is to stop first in Yangshuo (阳朔) and after travel North to Guilin and Longji later on, if not interested to cruise the Li river. Yangshuo is the arrival point of the cruise along the Li river, departure port is in Guilin. The cruise is a good chance to see most of karsts along the way, that makes this area famous.

The area is well known for the environmental small hills along the river and in some internal area. A must see is the night show along the river is Impression of Sanjie Liu, it is representing a love legend from a local minority. What is more impressive is most of the actors are all locals fisherman very skillful on maneuvering the small boats, the director is the famous Zhang Yimou, who directed open and closing ceremonies in 2008 Olympic Games. The show is performed in a beautiful natural amphitheater along the river close to Yangshuo.

There are many spots along the river and some of the hills can be climbed to have a top view of the natural area, renting a small boat with a local fisherman it gives an interesting experience about the area.

Longji album

As part of my sharing experience, I am planning to write post about my past travels. There will be a new post about every month, with a new location and not more than 10 photos to share. The location will be described with some details, the purpose is not have a travel guide. There are always some links about the location visited and to have more information you can contact me via email. I can assure, you will get all information on my hand without any second purpose such as workshop or travel proposal, I have a daily job and this is here just to share my passion and give you the best chance to visit those places. The firs location I'd like to introduce is base in south of China. Longji (龙脊梯田) is locate in north eastern part of Guangxi province, the easy way to go there is take a train or flight to Guilin and a bus or private car to the area. The name in Chinese means dragon's backbone due to the terrace shape.


The rice grows in narrow terrace along the hills side, this is where the name is coming from. In the past it was a way of surviving for the local community, now even do is planted every year it work as a tourist attraction.


All over the year there are three important time when to visit the area. In autumn, around 1st week of October, when the rice is ready to pick and it turn to a beautiful yellow color. In winter, January and February, if lucky enough the terrace are covered by a layer of fresh snow and finally in spring, May - June, when the terrace are flooded. The photos above are taken during a 3 days stay in the area at early of October, the next plan is to be there in June for the next round of photos. Links