Dujiangyan, Chengdu, Sichuan

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The tour around Sichuan province was amazing and so was the Dujiangyan (Chinese: 都江堰; pinyin: Dūjiāngyàn). Thinking it through and through now, the irrigation site is one of the few rare accomplishments I have encountered during my few years in China.

The story was told of how the skilful Li Bing, the then governor of Shu (“Shu” was the ancient name of Sichuan) developed this mind blowing infrastructure on the Min River (岷江Minjiang), the longest tributary of the Yangtze to prevent flooding of the Min River and till today, it is still in use for draining off floodwater, irrigating farmlands, and providing water to factories.

The mind blowing part for me is that the tools available to Li Bing at the time, before the invention of any stuff that would have been of help, could not penetrate the hard rock of the mountain so cutting through rock and building the channel must have proved a far greater problem that we may be able to imagine, so he had used a combination of fire and water to heat and cool the rocks until they cracked and could be removed. It took about 8 years to complete and had 3 parts which were the the yúzuǐ鱼嘴 or Fish Mouth Levee, the fēishāyàn 飞沙堰 or Flying Sand Weir, and the Bǎopíngkǒu 宝瓶口or Bottle-Neck Channel.

To arrive at the fish mouth, we went through the Lidui Park, the Fulong temple, the Wish

Pool, the suspension bridge, etc. This project was indeed a feat. This and similar works are the deeds of people who seek ways to cause positive changes to their environment. I also think this system functioned for centuries because the people of Sichuan valued and worked hard to maintain it.

I am quite convinced that we can borrow a leaf or two from my trip to Dujiangyan. Not only that creating changes are important, but that valuing, preserving, and maintaining what is available are very important too.

Dujiangyan city is crowned China’s Most Charming Chinese City, China’s Excellent Tourism City, the Natural Historical and Natural City, Chinese City with the Strongest Sense of Happiness and China Longevity Village. Tourists can take bus No.1 and 4 or a taxi to the Dujiangyan Irrigation System Scenic Spot. 2. There are buses from Chengdu Chaidianzi to Dujiangyan city Passenger Transportation Center, started at 6:30 a.m. end at 7 p.m.

Pictures that might be of help

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