zaterdag 13 augustus 2011

My trip to Du Jiang Yan

Hello there!

Sorry that I have not updated my blog lately, I lost my accessibility to Blogger for the last couple of days :( So this blog is slightly outdated...

! I have been walking a lot for the last two days as I have visited two prominent places of interest in the surrounding area of Chengdu.  On the first day I visited the Du Jiang Yan (都江堰)!

When visiting places that attract many tourists, one thing you must remember: get up early and leave early so you arrive there before it’s crowded with thousands of people, which is exactly what I did. It was arround an hour of driving and I arrived there before the heat of the Chinese sun was present.
So what makes Du Jiang Yan so special you might ask. The most prominent is the over 2000 year old dam that regulates the water in the surrounding area. Now old dams are everywhere, but this dam still functions till this day, 2000 years of aging was not something that this dam could not handle. As the complete dam system is very large, too large to show it on a picture, there is a miniature version of it on display. I managed to eavesdrop on a guide that was giving a tour and explaining how the system works, very interesting! 

Now one old dam does not make it a tourist attraction. The other things it has to offer is one of the most beautiful sceneries that I have ever seen, complete with mountain cliffs, ancient forest, temples and dramatic fog. If you manage to stand on the right spot with the right weather, it is as if you are looking at a typical Chinese landscape painting. 

With a river going through the landscape, you will need a way to get from one side to another. That is also what the people hundreds of years ago thought, so they made bridges. These bridges are still there, and fortunately with some more protection on it so you won’t fall off as easily, but this sign was still present at each side of the bridge:

And guess what happened. Yes, people began to swing the bridge around. Now no one happened to be there to stop it, so crossing the bridge was something almost as scary as Chinese traffic. And it did not help that there was a extremely fast surging river below you! 

I did not manage to see all the temples. I was simply too tired to walk all the way up to the mountain to visit the remaining temples, but it was not a bad decision! I ended up leaving after a couple of hours without viewing the temples on the top. I went to a teahouse to rest and the sky broke open from all the water it had collected over the last couple of days. Luck was on my side as it would have been very miserable to walk through that amount of rain.

Later on the day, after the rain had stopped, but not cooled down the air, I went to my next destination, the city of Le Shan. There I had dinner in a small local restaurant where I had the most sweet meat dish I have ever eating or seen in my life and with sweet I mean sugar coated sweet! It was two slices of bacon around a ball of sweet black sesame seed paste, where the bacon then is covered in a thick layer of sugar. Eating one of those, which was more than enough for me in a life time, felt like my teeth were dropping out of my mouth at that moment, it was that sweet! So for you people that have a sweet tooth, I recommend this!

Stomach full, feel tired, and begging for a shower, I went to check in my hotel in Le Shan (樂山), which took 2 hours by car to get to, where I will be leaving to the next place of interest the next morning but that is for my next blog post that I will post soon. In the mean time, enjoy the pictures that I took in Du Jiang Yan.

Thank you for reading!

We Fong

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