Us IMMJ students were lucky enough to be offered a photography job last month which was an all expenses paid trip to Jiuzhaigou Valley a nature reserve and national park located in northern Sichuan province of southwestern China right on the edge of the Tibetan plateau. The Chinese nickname the area fairyland, for a good reason. The scenery is other worldly, frozen forests, icefalls and multicoloured lakes with a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. during my time there the hotel we were staying put on odd shows that made Tibet look like an ethic disney land. This did make me feel a bit uncomfortable as I was being hosted in order to take photos to promote the area.
I decided to stay on a couple of days more at a Tibetan home-stay with a lovely family. who never let my teacup or belly be empty. The family live just outside of the park as sadly the only Tibetans allowed to live in the park are there as a tourist attraction. They are not allowed to farm or set up business. So they exist only as a tourist attraction and sit around in fake villages looking Tibetan so toursits can take photos with them.