Dujiangyan Things to Do
The ticket for the irrigation system is definitely worth its money (about 90 RMB). First of all for the spectacular project of course (really amazing how it functions), but also for lots of other things. The walk on the hanging bridge is an adventure on its own already, then there's the whole scenery of mountains, trees and water, there's a temple...more
The main dyke was partially built by Li Bing's men, using boulders in bamboo baskets, and then the inner channel excavated. The key to the whole system is the point at the northern end which splits the river into two channels. The point is very carefull shaped and works with the contours of the Yuzui dyke to split the river water. The second...more
In front of the Baopingkou lies the Feisha or Flying Sands Spillway which is an essential part of the whole system and allows much of the silt and boulders to be swept away from the irrigation works and back into the Minjiang River. Now the spillway is covered in boulders, much of it cemented in, which is not altogether surprising as this is what...more
Sitting on the rocky promontory overlooking the Botleneck - or Baopingkou - the Fulong Temple was built to celebrate the taming of a vicious dragon. The creation of Chinese legends by means of his genius and engineering skills seems somewhat undermined when Li Bing needs that bit more to prove that he was truly great: so he is portrayed as slayinhg...more
Most visitors make a beeline for the spectacular views of the Dujiangyan Irrigation Works, but it is worth prolonging the suspense a little longer and taking time to see the gardens at Lidui Park.The main avenue from the entrance goes stright to the Fulong Temple and the Duyiangyan Museum. Statues of all the great men involved with this engineering...more
In fact, Li Bing was not even the first to recognise the advantages of managing the Minjiang at this point. There is some evidence to suggest that 4000 years ago (!), the local Caocang tribe of the Yu people were already harnessing the water for irrigation, although there are no remaining groundworks at all.The museum by Fulong Temple has a working...more
A similar principle applies right next to the bottleneck by the Fulong Temple, where a churning "bowl" of water can be seen. In the flood season, any silt and boulders here are swept over the much newer spillway. The water entering the irrigation system next to the Fulong Temple has had 99% of the silt removed by harnessing the natural actions of...more
The Dujiangyan Irrigation System is both simple in concept but also very cunning. It is a combination of genius and location.The Minjiang River pours out onto the plain from the Minshan Mountains here, but just as it does it is forced to turn south because of a low ridge, the Yulei Shan. The river curves further just at the southern tip of this...more
Duyiangyan lies on the east bank of the Minjiang river, at the very western edge of the great Sichuan bowl. The Qingcheng mountains rise up steeply on the western bank, and this is where the Minjiang river flows out into the plain.The main entrance to the Dujiangyan Irrigation Works is at a square outside the Lidui Park, although there is another...more
No.88 Qingcheng Avenue, Dujiangyan, Sichuan, 611844, China
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
We only stayed here for one night, and practically only slept and took breakfast here. The room and...more
No.32 Baihualing Road, Dujiangyan, Sichuan, 611830, China
In this restaurant in a side-street in Dujiangyan I had one of the best meals in China. One of the main reasons for this was the ‘tu dou ni’, really well-prepared mashed potatoes. When they put it on the table I really didn’t trust it because they put a hill of mashed potatoes in the middle of some slimy sauce, but it tasted delicious. I can’t...more
There is a small open-air teahouse at the foot of the steps of the Fulong Temple. It is a pleasant place to sie among the trees and alongside the rushing waters of the irrigation canal. Outside the park, there is a long line of pavement cafes and restarants stretching alon the northern bank of the irrigation canal for more than a kilometre.more
11 Hotels in Dujiangyan
When you get out of the exit at then end of Lidui Park (near Gongyuan Lu) you look at your left where you will see a beautiful bridge, named Nan Qiao (see picture). On both sides of that bridge there are lots of restaurants and bars. We were there in the afternoon when there were almost no people there, but our guide said it's really nice and crowded in the evening. We didn't go back in the evening however, because the place also attracts lots of people trying to sell you something. We were there for about 45 minutes in the afternoon and at least 5 people came to our table. Some of them were really persistent and even sat down at our table. I really don't like that, so we didn't go in the evening.
BUT: I discovered ding ding tang there.
Dujiangyan Local Customs
Dujiangyan is definitely an interesting city to visit, but getting English language information about the place is very difficult indeed. It is a common problem all across China - even in Beijing and Shanghai.
If you earch for places or sites on the Internet, you will find that 95% of the entries are identical on a mass of Chinese tourism related websites. This is tedious, and these websites rarely provide much useful information for visitors (although they do whet the appetite for more!).
Then you get the glowing, gushing stories about cities that provide masses of lists and statistics that are 100% factually accurate and 100% useless.
A classic case is a report on Dujiangyan that simply lists all the wonderful awards that the city has won and the 'titles of distinction' that "categorises" it. I just want to share this with you:
"Dujiangyan is a brilliant city in Southwest China, and was awarded with many famous titles:
- China's Top Tourist City
- Key National Park
- National Model Ecological Area
- National Hygienic City
- National Historic and Cultural City
- National Landscape City
- City with Advanced Culture
- National Award for Best Living Environment
- Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve Living Environment
- The Most Glamorous City of China." (Source: China Daily)
It's all basically meaningless and pointless. How exactly does it help the city? Where, exactly, doesone find out what these various "distinctions" actually mean. Do they mean anything?
What is the point of being a (or *the*) "Most Glamorous City". Who is defining "glamorous"?
All very bizarre.
Dujiangyan Warnings and Dangers
Every single year, a number of visitors to Dujiangyan do not return home.
The water flowing into the bottleneck and then through the main three channels past the town are very deep (upto 5 metres deep) and incredibly fast flowing. The sides are almost vertical. If you fall into the water here, you will die. Take great care when walking on the paths alongside the canal. Although most of it is well fenced or walled, the wall is quite low and there are gaps where a child can slip through.
Do not under any circumstances walk down onto the 'Flying Sands Spillway' or the newer spillway by the bottleneck. Although some photographs in the museum show people wandering around here, it is an extremely dangerous place to be. The Dujiangyan "system"is 'automatic': the waters rise and fall extremely quickly and the dry spillways can become two metres deep in fast-flowing torrents 200 metres wide in a matter of seconds. None of this can be quickly controlled by the sluices and, in any case, the system is esigned to protect a million hectares of Chengdu Plain land. The authorities are not going to risk the lives of 500,000 people to save you.
The same cuation is needed for the main riverbed. Although the main river is now normally almost dry for most of the year, if the sluice gates are opened it will send up to 800 metres of water per second down the channel without warning.
Dujiangyan Off The Beaten Path
As the local governor of the Shu prefecture, Li Bing commissioned a hydraulic survey (this was in the 3rd century BC while most of Europe was living in straw huts). One of the key elements was that although the site was nearly perfect, it needed a canal at a critical point and there was a ridge in the way. Li Bing's solution was to cut a channel...more
There is still much controversy over the history of Dujiangyan, exacerbated by political propaganda connected to the construction of new dams in the area. The story is not quite as clear as the guidebooks suggest.The history of the Dujiangyan rests on two historical accounts, the "Historical Records" and the "History of the Han Dynasty", but also...more
All has not been well at Dujiangyu during the last decade, as a huge dam (the Zipingpu dam: 150m high wall, the height of a 50 storey skyscraper) has been constructed nearby upstream of Dujiangyan. In addition, a further dam was proposed actually at Dujiangyan (the Yangliuhu Dam).Fortunately, the plan for the Yangliuhu Dam has now been shelved...more
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