Dujiangyan is a city about 75 km from the west of Chengdu. The city is famous for its 20,000-year-old irrigation system, considered one of the great technological achievements of ancient China. Dujiangyan is also home to a giant panda reserve and offers interesting hikes, including trips to Mount Qingcheng, nestled in the tranquil Taoist mountains.
Dujiangyan is a favorite of Chengdu residents, who like to rest on weekends because the weather is cool even in the hot summer.
Dujiangyan irrigation system
The irrigation system was designed by Governor Li Bing and his son in 250 BC. This system can recover large amounts of water during the monsoon season in time for reuse during periods of drought.
The irrigation system of Dujiangyan is divided into Yuzui, Feisayan, and Baopingkou. All three parts play an important role in managing the Minjiang River. They work in harmony with one another to ensure against flooding and keep the fields well supplied with water:
Yuzui, Fish Mouth Dam in Chinese because of its shape, is an artificial dam that divides the Minjiang River into inner and outer streams. The inner stream can carry 60% of the river’s flow into the irrigation system during the dry season, while the outer stream protects the people from flooding.
The Feishayan or Flying Sand Weir connects the inner and outer streams. When the water flow has exceeded the upper limit of Baopingkou, the excess water will overflow from Feishayan to the outer streams.
The Baopingkou or Bottle-Neck Channel works as a control valve. The channel distributes the water to the farmlands in the Chengdu Plain, while the narrow entrance works as a check gate, creating the whirlpool flow that carries away the excess water over Flying Sand Weir.
After the construction, Sichuan became the most productive agricultural region in China and was called “the Land of Abundance”. To commemorate the achievements of Li Bing and his son, local people built a grand traditional Erwang Temple.
With Qingcheng Mountain, the ancient irrigation system of Dujiangyan is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Opening Hours: March – November, 8h00 -18h00; December – March, 8h00-17h30
Tickets: 90 RMB/person
Address: On the Minjiang River at the west of Dujiangyan, Dujiangyan
Dujiangyan Giant Panda Reserve
China Conservation and Research Center for The Giant Panda has three bases for the protection of giant pandas, and the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Reserve is one of them, the two others are Wolong and Bifengxia.
Covering 50 hectares, now more than 40 giant pandas and five red pandas live in the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Reserve. The center offers volunteer programs that give visitors a chance to get close to the cute pandas and learn about their field training programs. During the program, participants work with staff to care for the pandas.
Open Hours: 8h00 – 17h00
Tickets: 58 RMB/person
Address: Shiqiao Village, Qingcheng Town, Dujiangyan City, China
Mount Qingcheng is one of the birthplaces of Taoism in China. The whole mountain is covered with evergreen forest all year round, so it is called “Qingcheng” Mountain, which literally means “Green Mountain”. The whole area can be divided into two parts. The anterior part is the Front Mountain which covers 15 square kilometers and is the main scenic spot of Qingcheng Mountain. Most of the historical and cultural sites are located here, such as jianfu Palace, Tianshi Celestial Cave, and Shangqing Palace. The second part called Back Mountain is a beautiful and peaceful natural landscape, covering an area of about 100 square kilometers. The attractions here are mainly waterfalls, caves, primitive forests, etc. In summer lots of Chengdu people live here to escape the summer heat.
Opening Hours: March – November, 8h00/17h00; December – March, 8h00/18h00
Tickets: Front Qingcheng Mountain: 90 RMB; Back Qingcheng Mountain: 20 RMB; Ten-Thousand Buddha Cave: 5 RMB; Crystal Cave: 10 RMB.
Address: Qingcheng Mountain Town, Chengdu
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