I have experienced the quietness and beauty of Mount Qingcheng, walked through alleys of Liujiang in a rainy day, climbed magnificent Old Emei Mountain, and visited towering Jianmen Pass, known as "If one man guards the pass, ten thousand are unable to get through".
Yet I had never set foot on western Sichuan.
It is a land people dream for. There you can enjoy sacred snow mountain, Tibetan villages amid rising smoke from kitchen chimneys, expansive grassland, and holy temples. God's will or not, a tour to western Sichuan was included into Meijing Company's 2019 summer travel. 720 staff members were divided into three batches to start a long-anticipated journey of western Sichuan in Bipenggou Valley.
In 9:00 a.m., our bus departed from Wenjiang Customer Service Center amid a bustling scene of the city. The bus headed toward Yingxiu along Chengguan Highway. The sky was dark and cloudy when we passed Zipingpu Reservior. We reckoned that blue sky will greet us when we passed through Yingxiu. Please note: the route running across Wenchuan stretches from southeast to the north. The southeast is the edge of Chengdu plain and the north to Wenchuan is Longmen Mountains. The bus drove against the current of Minjiang River. As elevation climbs, it seems that the bus was rush to embrace the blue sky and white clouds.
At noon, we made it to the first stop: Taoping Qiang Village.
With over 2,000 years history, Taoping Qiang Village features a shape of Eight-Diagram tactics. With the watchtower as the center, eight entrances and exits form a radial pattern, breaking the traditional Chinese ancient wall layout of east, west, south, and north gates. Within the village, 13 paths form a road network extending in all directions and connecting each household. Besides the wonderful road network, the village is equipped with a three-dimensional underground-ground-airroad network and defense system. All those are there for you to explore.
Historically called Ganbao Tun, Ganbao was a paramilitary unit in ancient times. Entering the village, you can see a broad drill ground, in the center of which is a command platform. The vivid copper statue tells past military stories. Built leaning the mountains, Ganbao Tibetan Village occupies a commanding position. On the mountain slopes, the towering watchtower still shows its past majesty.
After dinner, the annual party time of Meijing began. Versatile Meijing employees gave performance one after another. Their self-produced programs generated bursts of laughter. On the stage, the while T-shirts, short skirts, Pikachu hair bands and pasters, and lovely dance reminded us school years.
It was amazing to watch a cheongsam show in Tibetan and Qiang regions. Hearing the prelude of the song "Blue and White Porcelain", eight female employees of different departments appeared, starting to show a true self. Their mature temperament was very appealing as they walked up in cheongsam with ease and elegance.
At 8:30 a.m. of the next day, we arrived Bipenggou Villey Scenic Area. The bus ascended along the path amid heavy clouds and mist. Our first stop was Longwanghai Lake. With a lower elevation, the lake was shrouded by a layer of thin mist. It was a time when the sun had not yet risen, the lake looked quite hazy.
Entering the upper part of the lake, we were greeted by an amazing picture of blue sky, white cloud, and snow mountains. We climbed up along the pathway amid a harmonious scene of quiet trail and a running creek. After half an hour, we reached to Zhuomatan Lake. As a typical plateau lake, it gives a broad view combined with quiet lake, and towering and continuous snow mountains, majestic and gorgeous. After a short rest, we proceeded and passed White Horse Waterfall. It is a waterfall running down from perilous peaks of towering mountains, reminding you of feelings shared by heroes in martial arts fictions. After about half an hour of trekking, we arrived at Panyang Lake, the end of the journey.
With an elevation of 3,600 meters, Panyang Lake showed a picture different from that of Longwanghai Lake. Compared with half revealed and half hidden Longwanghai Lake, Panyang Lake is totally exposed to the sunshine. When breeze blew, the glistening lake surface looked like gold particles strewed under the sunshine. The best angle of viewing Panyang Lake is not to look into snow mountains from distance, but look back the road we followed at the foot of the snow mountains, where you can find the lake surface mingled with the skyline. We admired such a perfect picture of snow mountains, sunny sky, blue and glittering Panyang Lake, changing clouds, and the horizon where the water and sky merged.
The two-day summer travel in western Sichuan for the first batch ended here. We returned to our posts and continued to work, still reeling from the shocks from the amazing sceneries. It is a place I miss so much. Always forgetting the inner self amid daily hustle and bustle, I wonder how to get happy in my life. Maybe a travel to western Sichuan can give me an answer.
Let's go for another trip next time?