When we reached there at 7am in the morning , there was already a long queue to buy tickets and another long queue to get into the park. 310 yuan for the adult ticket with bus rides. Impossible to do it without the bus ticket. The second day , we were smarter. We bought the tickets the day before . Next day tickets are sold from 4-6 pm. We got into the oark in 20 minutes instead of 75 minutes.
The park is beautiful with lakes set against backdrops of mountains. However if you want to see the best of reflections , do see them from 7-10 am. After that the lakes are no longer still and lose their magical quality. Try to do the mirror lake first.
Be prepared for long walks. The buses do not drop you and pick you up at the same location. They make you walk for about one km before they pick you up again. So we walked and walked. If you are physically fit , I would say you can probably do the park in one day. We tried doing the park against the flow of people hoping to avoid the crowd. Big mistake. Going traffic is like a salmon trying to swim upstream and they die at the end of it.
Food is available at the centre- buffet style apparently. Did not try that. There are vendors selling cup noodles , heated rice packs, packed sausages and water throughout the park . Still it is good to bring biscuits , snacks and water for the walk.
Altitude sickness- well my husband suffered a little from it and thereafter decided to take the Diamox and he was fine after that. Would advise to take that.
Comparison to other lakes in the world. Well, they are beautiful but were spoilt by the sheer number of people and the stress of getting into the right buses and the huge amount of walking and steps. Would visit once only whereas would visit other places like New Zealand , Rockies , Yosemite again and again.
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