Qingcheng mountain entry, better late than never..
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What I did
Saw the 2,000 year old irrigation system & Green mountain
We got up at 5am and it was pouring rain. Stamen and I had both checked the weather report and it predicted an 80% chance of rain. Things weren't looking so good. Jimmy Hoang and Will Cutler were already on their way to the train-station, Stamen, Anna and I were set to leave but it was so early in the morning that the west and east gates were still locked at our university. The only gate that stays open all night is the south gate which was out of our way
The gates were locked there as well! We were able to wake up the sleeping guard and with very bad Chinese we convinced him to open the gate and let us out. We then hailed a cab and headed to the train-station. If I haven't already mentioned it before, Chinese cabs are really cheap compared to back in the states. Have you ever taken a cab with a buddy after too much to drink one night? You get home and it cost you guys about twenty-something bucks! Well here most cab rides are going to be under twenty kuai which is about $3.00.
So we get to the train-station and we go to buy our tickets. But there's one problem, they want to see our passports!! Three of us didn't bring our passports because we figured we wouldn't need it for a forty minute train ride(later when I bought a ticket for a 28 hour train ride to Beijing they didn't need to see my passport...weird).
So Will, Jimmy and I have to take a taxi back to their apartment, then swing by my dorm and then all the way back to the train-station
So we get our tickets and board the train. Everyone pretty much dozes off while we ride. We get to our stop at Dujiangyan and then Will and I rush to find a bathroom. Luckily there is one right outside the station. There is a lady outside and she charges us half a kuai(maybe 8 cents) to use the bathroom and then we hop on a bus which takes us directly to the Irrigation System scenic spot.
As you enter through the front gate there are statue-fountains and flowerbeds lining the main road. Of to the left there are a few small ponds with tons of large koi fish of many different colors. We bought some fish food and started feeding them. These guys must have been really hungry because they fought over every last morsel.
We then headed through a historic building/giftshop to where the river split from its man-made fork.
Ok so some background on this Irrigation System. This dude Li Bing was the governor of the region a long time ago and he wanted to solve the problem of annual flooding up and down the Min river
He choose to build a levee and then to redirect much of the flow of the river over the Chengdu plain. This allowed thousands of people to live safely by the river-side and created a vibrant agricultural center in the Chengdu basin which allowed the Sichuan Province to become an important part of China. Anyways, the thing still works to this day...
We checked it out and then climbed up a trail to a six-story pagoda and I took a short video of the view from the top floor(which can be seen in this blog entry!)
We then left the Scenic spot and walked around the town a bit, winding up at a small lunch stop and grabbing a snack. One of the cute, little waitresses insisted on getting a picture with Will and I for her Renren page(Chinese facebook).
We then headed to the Qingcheng Mountain
A Chinese girl asked us if we had any American coins. Nothing valuable just something for her collection. She loved western TV shows and had a modest coin collection. She didn't have any dimes yet so I gave her a dime and some pennies. She asked us if we liked the show "Friends")its very popular still, in China). I always find it a bit humbling that I meet so many Chinese people that are respectful and interested in western culture. They don't like it more than China, they are just open to the ideas and culture of different places.
All in all it was a pretty fun trip!