Sichuan Province, located in southwest China, is one of the largest and most inaccessible provinces in the nation. This province covers an area of 485,000 kilometers (187,000 miles) and boasts the largest population in China, with 87 million people.
Chengdu is the capital of "Heavenly State" (Tian Fu Zhi Guo), habitat of giant pandas and city of cotton-rose hibiscus. Located in the west of Sichuan Basin and in the center of Chengdu Plain, Chengdu covers a total area of 12.3 thousand square kilometres (4,749 square miles) with a population of over 11 million.
The history of Chengdu can be traced back 2,400 when the first emperor built his capital here and named the city. Through thousands of years its original name has been kept and its position as the capital and as the significant center of politics, commerce and military of the Sichuan area (once called Shu) has remained unchanged. Since the Han (206B.C.-220) and Tang (618-907) Dynasties when its handicraft industry flourished, Chengdu has been famous for its brocades and embroideries. Shu embroideries still enjoy a high reputation for their bright colors and delicate designs, ranking among the four main embroideries in China. Chengdu was the place where the bronze culture, an indispensable part of ancient Chinese culture, originated, the place where the Southern Silk Road started, and the place where the earliest paper currency, Jiaozi (not the dumpling!), was first printed. It is listed among the first 24 state-approved historical and cultural cities and owns 23 state and provincial cultural relic units.
Litang is a county in the southwest of the Garz┷ Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province of China.
In 2001 it had a population of 47,500. Several famous Buddhist figures were born here, including the Kelzang Gyatso, the 7th Dalai Lama, Tsultrim Gyatso, the 10th Dalai Lama, four of the Pabalas, and has strong connections with the epic hero Gesar of Ling, as well as the 5th Jamyang Xaiba of Labrang.
Litang Town itself is located at an altitude of 4,014 metres. It is on open grassland and surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is about 400 meters higher than Lhasa, making it one of the highest towns in the world.
The annual Litang Horse Race, held at Litang from August 1 to 7th, is the most celebrated holiday on the Chinese Tibetan grasslands. The Tibetans will come from far away and set tents to wait for the big days very early. After the wonderful ceremony with traditional Tibetan dancing and songs, the most exciting event is the horse race. The brave riders will take their pretty decorated horses to participate the races and showcase their excellent horse riding skills, such as picking up the scarlet on the back of a fast running horse, shooting at targets while on the gallop, etc. The women are all in their most beautiful best with magnificent jewelry as they shower their applauses on their heroes. The festival is also a good time for trade and various Tibetan-style goods are exchanged here amongst the visitors from all over.
When to go
Sichuan is bordered by the Tibetan Plateau in the west and by the Three Gorges and the Yangtze River in the east. The eastern part of the Sichuan basin is ringed by lofty mountains and experiences a subtropical and humid climate. The western part is considered the highland area and experiences frequent fog with intense sunlight, but low temperatures. The annual rainfall in this province is 1000 millimeters and the average annual temperature is 16.5C. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan and is the cultural and industrial center for the agricultural Chengdu Plain. Chengdu was one of the first centers of printing in China and has been famous for its luxurious satins, brocades, and lacquer ware since the 13th century. Chengdu is also home to the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base, one of the most important centers in the world for the captive conservation of the Giant Panda. The Research Centre has evolved into China Panda City. Panda City encompasses a museum, as well as the Chengdu Zoo.
Sichuan is known as the 'Land of Abundance' and has three places on the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List: Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, Huang Long Valley (Yellow Dragon Valley) and Mount Emeishan including Leshan Giant Buddha. Visitors to this province can experience a wide variety of beautiful landscapes including plateaus, mountains, ravines, basins, hills, plains, rivers, lakes, hot springs, waterfalls and limestone caves. In addition, tourists can visit important historic relics and taste the delicious spicy Sichuan Cuisine.
Mt. Emeishan Emeishan is one of the four most sacred Buddhist Mountains in China. Local legend has it that the mountain derived its name from two peaks that face each other and resemble eyebrows. The undulating peaks, covered with lush forests and green bamboo occupy an area of more than 300 square kilometers (116 square miles) in southwest Sichuan Province.
Mt. Emeishan draws many types of visitors, from pilgrims making sacred journeys to climbers attempting to scale the magnificent heights. Most of the monasteries and temples on Mt. Emeishan were built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD), while others were added later. As a well-known Buddhist sanctuary, Mt. Emeishan once had more than 100 monasteries. The mountain is known for its steep cliffs, lofty peaks, roaring waterfalls, gurgling springs, towering trees and fragrant flowers.
Mt. Qingcheng Qingcheng Mountain is located just southwest of Dujiangyan. Mt. Qingcheng is also known as Green City Mountain because the towering peaks covered with a dense forest of ancient trees are thought to resemble city battlements. Nestled among the lofty trees are 108 monasteries, temples and pavilions with the highest peak, Laoxiaoding (Old Heaven Top), rising 1,600 meters (5,250ft) above sea level.
Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area Jiuzhaigou is a deep valley of stunning natural beauty, approximately 620 square kilometers (240 square miles) and is located in north Sichuan. It is a national park and has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The name Jiuzhaigou refers to the 9 Tibetan villages that are situated in the valley. The valley has a variety of natural scenery - lakes, waterfalls, snowy mountains and lush green forests. There are also more than 100 lakes of various sizes and shapes that sparkle with color in the flickering sunlight.
Huang Long Valley (Yellow Dragon Valley) Huang Long Valley has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. In 1992 it entered 'China World Cultural and Natural Heritage List'. It covers an area of about 700 square kilometers (270 square miles) and has two parts: Huang Long and Muni Gorge.
Huang Long has unique scenery, rich natural resources and a primeval forest. The majestic and unrivalled emerald lakes, layered waterfalls, colorful forests, snow peaks and Tibetan folk villages blend harmoniously into the mountains and sparkle like jewels. Huang Long is known as a 'mountain fairyland.'
Dujiangyan Irrigation Project of China The Dujiangyan Irrigation Project was completed around 250 BC during the Warring States Period. Prior to its construction, the Chengdu plain was prone to flooding in the winter and drought in the summer.
Libing, a governor of Shu in the Qin state, created the system. Libing employed a method of channeling and dividing the water to harness the Minjiang Rivers. This was accomplished by separating the project into two main parts; the headwork and the irrigation system. The project effectively controls flooding and provides a method of irrigation.
Leshan Giant Buddha Leshan Giant Buddha is an enormous statue carved into the side of Lingyun Mountain. The Buddha is over 71 meters (230 feet) tall and is wide enough for more than 100 people to sit between its feet.
The massive carving began in 713 AD during the Tang Dynasty and was completed in 803 AD. The Buddha overlooks the confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers and is reputed to be the largest carved stone Buddha in the world. A local saying says, 'The Mountain is a Buddha, the Buddha is a mountain'.
Gongga snow mountain
Mount Gongga also known as Minya Konka, is the highest mountain in Sichuan. It is situated in the Daxue Shan mountain range. It is the easternmost 7000 m peak in the world and the third highest peak outside of the Himalaya/Karakoram. The peak has large vertical relief over the deep nearby gorges. A rope way has been constructed that can transport tourists across the glacier below the mountain to a cable car station at 3600 meter altitude.
In 1930 the explorer Joseph Rock, making the first attempt to measure its altitude, mis-calculated its height as 30,250 feet (9,220 m) and cabled the National Geographic Society to announce Minya Konka as the highest mountain in the world. This measurement was viewed with suspicion from the start, and the Society's decision to check Rock's calculations before publication was well-founded. Following discussions with the Society, Rock reduced the claim to 7,803 m (25,600 feet) in his formal publication. In 1930 Swiss geographer Eduard Imhof measured 7,590 m. A second, better-equipped American team returned in 1932, and did an accurate survey of the peak and its environs. Their summit altitude measurement agreed with Imhof's figure of 7,590 m. Two members (Terris Moore and Richard Burdsall) of this small expedition (only four climbing members) succeeded in climbing to the summit.
The city of Kangding also Dardo, Darz┷do or Dartsedo is the capital of Garz┷ Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the province of Sichuan. Kangding is the administrative capital of Kangding County. It has around 100,000 inhabitants.
History Dartsedo or Kangding was for many centuries an important trading town where Chinese brick tea was carried by porters from Chengdu and other centres to trade for Tibetan wool. On July 1, 1786 an earthquake of 7.4 on the Richter magnitude scale ruined nearly the entire city."Tachienlu is surely sui generis; there can be no other town quite like it. Situated eight thousand four hundred feet above the sea, it seems to lie at the bottom of a well, the surrounding snow-capped mountains towering perhaps fifteen thousand feet in the air above the little town which, small as it is, has hardly room to stand, while outside the wall there is scarcely a foot of level ground. It is wedged into the angle where three valleys come together, the Tar and the Chen rivers meeting just below the town to form the Tarchendo, and our first view of the place as we turned the cliff corner that here bars the gorge, was very striking, grey walls and curly roofs standing out sharply from the flanking hillsides."
During time of the Republic of China administration, Kangding was the capital of the now-defunct province of Xikang. -- source: wikipedia
Yading, the "Shangri-La" discovered by Joseph Rock in 1928, is renowned for the 3 holy peaks, which were blessed in the 8th century by Buddha Padmasambhava of projecting his divine light onto the range and naming the 3 elevations after 3 bodhisattvas. The south peak Jambeyang (or Jampelyang, Yangmaiyong) of 5,958m is the avatar of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. The east peak Chanadorje (or Xianuoduoji) of the same height represents Vajrapani , the Bodhisattva of Wrath. The north peak, Chenresig (or Chenrezig, Xiannairi ) of 6,032m, the highest of the trio, symbolizes Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Mercy. The 3 peaks are the patron saint of the Tibetan. It's said that if a Tibetan pilgrimage to the shrine 3 times in life, he can be blessed with all he desires. Therefore, pilgrimage to this holy range is a long-cherished wish of each Tibetan. Yading is one of China's most awe-inspiring nature reserves, Tibetan's holy land. Every stunning vista here is celebrated with a gompa, prayer flags or Mani Stones. On this adventurous trip you will take in relatively remote areas of Tibetan culture - small towns reminiscent of the wild west, rolling landscapes characterized by wheat and barley fields and Tibetan houses.
Mt. Siguniang - Four Sisters
The Siguniang Mountains, meaning 'Four Young
Women', is named after the legend of four women who spared their lives to
save a panda from a snow leopard.
|4WD Overland: (Kham region horse racing festival in 1st Aug every year) Chengdu -Litang- Dege - Luhuo - Rilong - Chengdu|
|4WD Overland: Chengdu - Kangding - Litang - Yading - ShangriLa/Zhongdian - Tiger leaping gorge - Lijiang|
|Chengdu-Leshan-Mt.E'Mei||Chengdu-Ya'an Bifengxia-Panda center||Panda center|
|Chengdu-Lhasa by air with permit||Chengdu-Xichang-Lugu lake-Lijiang by vehicle||Daocheng / Yading|
|Chengdu-Lhasa by train with permit||Chengdu-Litang-Lhasa-Everest by vehicle||Mt. Siguniang|
|Chengdu-Guiyang-Kaili||Chengdu-Xi'an-Pingyao ancient town-Beijing||Mt. Gongga|
Home | Contact us | Reservation | Volunteer Journeys | Fine Art Studio
Copyright 2012-2014 EcotourChina All Rights Reserved