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The fame of Huanglong stems to a large extent from its unique travertine and limestone landform. At the foot of the snow-clad Xuebaoding Mountain lies a gully 400 or so metres deep that was brought into being by ancient glaciers. In times immemorial, large quantities of calcium carbonate was dissolved by meltwater and seeped through earth’s surface to form a huge travertine deposit 3.6 kilometres long and 30-170 metres wide. The deposit is studded with 3,400 or so pools and many caves, and streaked by many waterfalls and a 2.5 -kilometer-long stream. Meltwater flowing all over the travertine deposit tumbles down one cliff head after another, threads through forests, feeds ponds, overflowsdykes, rolls across shallow places until it empties into the Fujiang River. The ponds, lying one atop the other, assume a hundred and one different colour and form what looks like a terraced field. The waterfalls emit a pleasant sound as they cascade like colored clouds. The calcium-containing shoals are crystal clear to the extent of being transparent. The streams flow this way and that along courses that look like numerous golden dragons swimming in dense woods and between snowy peaks and a blue sky that is filled with blue clouds. The entire scenery is evocative of the dwelling place of the Queen Mother of the Western Paradise. Hence the nickname of the place: Jasper Lake of the Mundane World. In 1982, Huang- long was designated as one of China’s first group of key scenic resorts. In 1990, Huanglong and Jiuzhaigou topped China’s list of forty best scenic. In 1992,Huanglong was one of a group of Chinese scenic zones to appearing the UNESCO list of world natural heritages. After so many years of oblivion and seclusion, Huanglong today is poised for a takeoff like a real dragon.

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