Rain Gear during late summer and early autumn. Please check the weather reports before you set off to there. Please check on any medication for relief of Altitude/Mountain Sickness or diarrhoe. Garlic supposedly helps for Altitude Sickness. There are tourist shops along the way to the tourist destinations in the mountains selling bottled oxygen. You may want to buy them just in case.
Too crowed to visit the gentle giant
We - the four of us - had hired a car for the trip from Chengdu. The car was - alas - a bit too slow for the traffic on the express way. So it took over two hours (one way).
When we visited this large statue it was impossible to do it by boat. The river was too high and too strong. Getting in line was also no option, as it was very, very crowded. We estimated six hours of waiting time (our tour guide said four, but he is an optimist). So we just walked to the other sites, which are well worth a visit. The small village offers some restuarants, there are some nice paths through the woods and the monastery was very nice. From one point we could just see the upper part of the Buddha, and we're sure that he saw us!
"Background and history"
Built in 316BC during the late Warring State peropd, Chengdu boasts a 2300 year history. As early as 4th Century BC, the Shu State move its capital to where Chengdu city is presently located.
In the year 311BC, the Qin people built a city wall of 6km in circumference and about 25m in height, which marked the formal establishment of Chengdu city.
Over thousands of years Chengdu has been known for its history of silk brocade manufacturing. During the Wadai Dynasty (907-960AD) the top of the city wall was extensively planted with hibiscus flowers resulting in Chengdu being referred to as Hibiscus City, a name by which it is still called today. The city saw brisk night fairs at the time and today people can still see such names as Business Street and Button Fair Street, a reflection of the city's historical commerce.
Chengdu was the first city in the world to use paper money (Northern Song Dynasty, 420-471AD) and the first to extract and use natural gas (Western Han Dynasty 206BC-24AD). Chengdu is also renowned for its history in lacquer ware making, woodblock printing, irrigation techniques and tea drinking culture.
In 1985, an ancient building complex was unearthed by the west city gate of Chengdu. It was identified as a palace of the Shang Dynasty, built more than 3,600 years ago, adding another 1,000 years to Chengdu's already rich history.
Now, Chengdu is the centre of science and technology, commerce, finance as well as leading hub of transportation and communications in Southwest China. The local teahouses, restaurants and bazaars (also known as free markets) are still the popular places for people to visit, sip tea and sample the Sichuan hot pot.