In the Search for Fairies One Finds Only Waterfalls…and a Few Yaks

We hopped off and hiked as often as our little people could handle it but took great comfort in the fact that motorized transport was never more than a few hundred meters away.The Chinese take this park seriously and make a point of stopping and photographing themselves at each and every landmark. A few guidebooks had warned that their habit of hopping off the bus, snapping a picture, and hopping immediately back could mar the experience for enlightened Western outdoor enthusiasts but since the number of tourists was relatively few, we found it charming and were periodically guilty of the same behavior…. We saw only four other Westerners at Jiuzhaigou and no one spoke more than a few words of English, yet we felt at home and knew that people would bend over backwards to make us happy…. People literally drown her in hugs and offerings of fruit, nuts, and tchotchkes, which is overwhelming given that at home and in Australia and New Zealand, she was just another child who people frowned on for climbing on things that shouldn’t be climbed on or throwing a fit over snack food at the grocery store.