Du Jiang Yan, Chengdu
The master engineer behind this irrigation and water control project was Li Bing. He perfected the system of flood control and management so well that for 2200 years all that was needed was just to maintain and touch up the existing infrastructure.
I came from a civil engineering background and that helped me to appreciate not just Li Bing's technical mastery of complex water engineering concepts but his genius in adopting the simplest (i.e. cheapest) strategy to tame the river and irrigate the land. Without doubt Sichuan would never be able to feed 30 million people if not for Li Bing's breakthrough irrigation works.
Truly if you want your child to grow up saying,' I want to be a civil engineer too', bring him to Li Bing's temple and see how the people venerate him for his achievements.
Du Jiang Yan , an irrigation system built about 2,000 years ago and still working in flood control.
Walk on the hanging cable bridge, do not be afraid. A travelogue will be added later.
Du Jiang Yan, an ancient irrigation systyem, is on UNESCO World Heritage List, see website for details.
From Chengdu, try to catch the long distance bus to Du Jiang Yan city. It's about an hour away. I spent an afternoon there and saw some of the greatest scenery i'd ever seen. Rivers, mountains, leaves, and even 1700-year old trees. On your way out, wait for the bus to take you back to the city and switch to the bus coming back to Chengdu. (You'll have to look into that). Overall, definitely worth the visit (and the 2 rolls of film i took there!)
Tip: The sunsets are breathtaking.
We took fast train from north train station to Dujianyen for 15yuan, it is about 30-40min. From train station, yu can take a taxi to the park it is about 40yuan, or you can take taxi to the bus center for 10yuan, then take bus#1 for 1yuan to the gate. We took a taxi for 50yuan to a spot that we can overview Dujiangyen. It is a bit father on the hill from the gate. We were told it was where chairman Mao overview the area. There is a guy collects 10 yuan as 'site' fee.
Chengdu north train station is an old station, was told it will be closed by the end of 2012. All will be from east station which is pretty new and modern. In north station, There are windows in the far right side to sell fast train tickets, there is also a window #11 to sell tickets for military, disabilities, foreigners. Note, the ticket windows with odd numbers will close for lunch between 11:40-12:20, even numbers between 12:00-12:40. Also you would need to show ID passport to but tickets
A heritage site in Chengdu, there's a temple with a good aerial view of the delta. There's a plaque with a quote by Deng Xiaoping, which roughly translates to "for the benefit of future generations".
At the river, you can cross a very unstable drawstring bridge. Tourists are advised by loudspeakers not to sway the bridge violently - quite inevitable if there're many people on the bridge simultaneously. If you are hydrophobic or have very weak knees, maybe it's not such a good idea to venture onto that bridge.
This spectacular site is reviewed separately on this VT page.