A Year after the Sichuan Earthquake

The first anniversary of the Wenchuan Earthquake is just around the corner. Many have written us to ask what the conditions are like now at the main areas.

The Wolong Panda Reserve which was destroyed remains closed. Most of the pandas were relocated to the Bifengxia Reserve in Ya'an. You can learn more about the Bifengxia Reserve here. Just this month, re-construction of the Wolong facilities, with a number of projects by the Hong Kong and Chinese Governments was announced.

And at the Jiuzhaigou Valley, tourism is slowly returning to the area. I spoke to Keiran Fitzgerald, a representative of the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve:

"Sichuan tourism is still quite low. The May holiday was our busiest time since the earthquake last year with over 6 thousand arriving on Saturday the 2nd. Hopefully the numbers will continue to rise during the year. The local people who rely a lot on tourism have had their income reduced a lot but people are hopeful for a good year.

Also, he remarked that on June 1st, Children's Day, all children under 14 will enjoy free admission into the park, so if you are planning to be in the area next month, it would be a great opportunity to enjoy this beautiful park along with many families and support all those who have been affected by last year's earthquake.

If you are planning a trip to Sichuan, this is a good time to go. Infrastructure is in place and most tourist areas are accessible, attractions will not be as crowded and you might find better deals on hotels and facilities.

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