Hometown of Pengzu(Taoist), City of Book -- Meishan City
Written by Li Zhongdong Tan Yibo
Geographical culture map of Meishan
Meishan is located in a corner of Chengdu, which is often overlooked by with overseas tourists whose minds are Leshan Mountain or Mount E’mei. The midstream of the Minjiang River and the downstream of Qingyijiang River run through the territory of Meishan City, and both sides are dominated by fluvial plain and alluvial plain. The most areas of Danfeng, Pengshan and Hongya are hilly. The eastern Meishan is located under the two wings of Longquan Mountain. In the west, most areas of Danling, Pengshan and Hongya are hilly. Red strata are widely distributed and Danxia landform is well developed.
As the hometown of the eminent family of Su in the Northern Song Dynasty, Meishan City has a profound historical and cultural background. That is what is called “Three generations of Ci poets from the same family composed of thousands of works and formed four literary genres.” As early as the Shang Dynasty, a strange man was born in the Pengshan County located in Meishan City, who was once sealed as a chief governor of Pengcheng before he returned home with honor. This weird person is Pengzu who incredibly lived over 800 years. Nowadays, Pengshan is still one of the regions with the highest proportion of centenarians. In the period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (A.D.907-960), two famous Taoist monks Zhang Yuan and Xiao Dedao in Meishan were respectively called “Dangong Zhang” and “Songzi Zhang”. These two famous Taoist immortals come from Meishan, indicating that this place is full of magic spirit. Lu You, a poet living in the Southern Song Dynasty, called Meishan as “a Town once producing thousands of poems”. On human culture, Meishan is the best in Sichuan. In the Song Dynasty alone, Meishan came out with 886 Jinshi (the former third-degree candidate in the highest imperial examinations). In terms of the literati cultural prosperity, Meishan tops the highest rank in Sichuan without any doubt.
The main scenic spots in Meishan city include Sansu ancesral Shrine of Meishan, Sansu Memorial, Wawushan Mountain National Forest Park, Heilongtan Reservoir, Pengzu Mountain (Xian Nvshan Mountain), The tomb of Pengshan Jiangkou Hanya, the Gaint Buddha in NiuJiaozhai, Zhongyan Temple, China Zhuyi (Bamboo) Town, Dongpo Lake Park, Long Gu Mountain.
Three Literary Giants within a family -- Sansu ancesral Shrine of Meishan
Sansu Shrine museum is the former residence of a eminent litterateur Su Xun and his two sons -- Su Shi and Su Zhe. It lies in the Shagou Lane in the southwest corner of Meishan City. In the Yuan Dynasty, the original residence was converted to Shrine in order to commemorate the Su’s family. It was destroyed in the war at the end of the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt in its original site in 1665. And since then, it was repaired and renovated ceaselessly. Within the Sansu Shrine, scenic spots available for visitors include Front Hall, Dining Hall, Qixiang Hall, Laifeng Pavilion, Yunyu Tower, Pavilion on terrace of Pifeng, Ruilian Pagoda, Baipo Pagoda, Monument Pagoda, Baoyue Pagoda, Kuaidyu Pagoda, Jingsu Pagoda, Lvzhou Pagoda, Bantan Qiushui Yifang Mountain, Caihua boat, Shuzhu Pavilion, Lv Yun Pavilion, etc. Shut by old red walls, the shrine museum was circumvented by the green water, supported by the ancient wood, covered by the green bamboos. And the halls are intersected with each other, and the couplets and plagues write neatly and orderly. As a whole, the ancient shrine with color is a fine place for a serene meditation.
Sansu Shrine museum is located in the South Avenue, Shagou Lane of the downtown in Meishan City, whose ticket price is 40 yuan for an adult and opening hours starts at 8: 30 to 18: 00. Here, you can enjoy a famous dish on the table -- Dongpo Pig Knuckle of Sichuan Cuisine which was founded by Wang Fu, the wife of Su Dongpo after the visit.
The land for the first craze about reading of Su Dongpo -- Zhongyan scenic region in the Qingshen County
The east bank of the Minjiang Riveri is about 13 km southeast of Qingshen County in which the three temples (Upper, Middle and Lower temple). And the Mount Zhongyan belongs to Longquan Mountain whose highest place is Cilao Rock. And Zhongyan Rock is composed of Mesozoic red stratum, which is a typical Danxia landform. The main scenic spots of Zhongyan include Linjiangxia Temple, Huanyu Lake, Niutou Hole, Qianfo Promenade, Xianrenchaung Rock, Yuquan Rock, Fuhu Stone, Dongpo Dushu Home Office, the ancient stream channel, etc. The green peaks set upright and the streams from the high mountain flow downhill. And the bamboo trees is hazy while the winding path leads to a secluded quiet place. Throughout the year, the temperature of Zhongyan is mild and is characterized a fine spring day.
Zhongyan was the place where Su Dongpo was in school. Also in this small county, Su was in love with his teacher Wang Fang’s daughter Wang Fu, leaving a well-known story of “marriage near Huanyu Lake”. In addition, Zhongyan also attracted many literati and scholars of different epochs such as Huang Tingjian and Lu You with it has its “rock mountain valleys that are no less beautiful than Emei Mountain”, leaving a large number of cultural relics.
Travel knowledge: On the Chengdu North Passenger Transport Center, visitors can take the shuttle bus to the Qingshen County and then transfer to the Zhongyan scenic spot, whose entrance ticket costs 15 RMB. Dongpo sausage, Mandarin Orange, bamboo plaited articles and the Shatian pomelo are the most famous local specialties.
Wonders on Mesa -- Wawu Mountain
Wawu Mountain was called Jushan Mount, Shushan Mount, Laojunshan Mount. In the Tang and Song Dynasties, the Emei Mountain and Wawu Mountain were called “a perfect match in Sichuan". It is said that Mount Wawu is the ascension place of Lord Lao Zi. And it is also one of the birthplaces of Taoism and the last habitat of the ancient Qingdi People. As a result of geological processes, the Wawu Mountain sees like a house with the shape of a piece of tile from any angle, and hence the name. It is also considered as the highest and largest “Mesa” in China. The average elevation of Wawu Mountain is 2830 meters, Due to its special geographical location, air humidity, wind direction and other conditions, the Wawu Mountain is liable to appear as clouds, lights, holy lanterns and other miraculous astronomical phenomena. Sometimes, the “three suns” may even coexist. The season of winter often lasts over half a year, and the snow in different postures was shown in the form of the multitude of frozen waterfalls. Surprisingly, the snow in the fir forest can be up to half a meter or longer. The Wawu mountain azalea scenic spot is also unique, which has a total of over 40 different flower colors of azaleas, and has the reputation of “the kingdom of world’s rhododendrons”. If you go along the “Buffalo Street”, you can see the wildebeest at a close range. The Mihun Ditch in the Wuwa Mount is very mysterious that can make the compass and the watch malfunction where tourists often get lost which was known as “Bermuda Triangle”. Therefore, it has been designated as a restricted area for the visitors. The serene Liujiang ancient town, located at the foot of the mountain is famous for the ancient banyan trees and stilted buildings.
Travel knowledge: Tourists can enter the Wawu Mountain from Meishan and Ya’an. One of the routes starts from Chengdu - Meishan - Hongya - Liujiang ancient town- Wawu Mountain and it takes about 4 hours’ bus of 208 km; the other one begins at Chengdu - Ya’an - Zhougongshan Mountain - Wangyu ancient town - Wawu Mountain and it takes about 3.5 hours’ bus of 194 km. In the Chengdu Xin’nanmen Station or Chengdu North Passengers station, tourists can take the shuttle bus bound of Yahong county, and then transfer to a tour bus and get off at the mountain’s gate. The ticket of Mount Wawu is 52 RMB; the tour bus ticket is 40 RMB and the aerial tramway ticket is 50 RMB. Hotels are mainly concentrated adjacent to the mountain gate (such as the Wawu Mountain Grand Hotel, Gongtong Villa, etc.) The farmhouses are located at Chenwan Village, Daoliuxi Village (Xinsi Village), Wangping Town, Liujiang Town and the Wawushan Town. Some of the local characteristic foods include Zhou Gong River Catfish, Cold bamboo shoots, Shoubo bamboo shoot, Laisanpan (pigs’ boiled meat), Hongya steamed dumplings, Wa larvae, Bobo’s chicken, Yami Honey. From the end of April to May, it is the best time to see the cuckoo bird while snow is best from the end of November to early March. “Revisit the wilson road” is a good outdoor hiking route.
Eternal masterpiece -- The Three Gorges of Pingqiang
The Three Gorges of Pingqiang, also known as Xiong’Er canyon, is composed of Litou Gorge, Bei’E Gorge whose overall length is 18 km and it is located on the Minjiang River, at the junction of Qingshen County and Leshan City. The section of the river was known as the Pingqiang River in the past, which was the main road departing Chengdu of the ancient times. According to historical materials, during the Three Kingdoms Period, Zhuge Liang traveled south and crushed the chaos in Pingqiang, in which he led the water-submerged warhorses and soldiers from Chengdu and gathered them all in the gorge. After a sudden strike, Zhuge’s troops finally pacified the Qiang ethnic people, hence the name. The river channels in the gorge area winds, and the trees on both sides are plentiful. Green water and the cross-strait peaks and red cliffs scattered each other, creating a beautiful scene together. Du Fu, Su Shi, Su Zhe, Lu You, Huang Tingjian, Wang Shizhen, Zhao Xi and other literary intellectuals have written many poems to admire this place. Among them, the most popular one may be Li Bai’s Poem on the Moon of E’mei Mountain composed in the Tang Dynasty, “The Moon over the E’Mei Mountain.The crescent moon looks like old Autumn’s golden brow.Its deep reflection flows with limpid water blue.I’ll leave the town on Clear Stream for Three Gorges now.O, Moon, how I miss you when you are out of view! ” Therefore, some others say that the fame of the Three Gorges of Pingqiang owes to Li Bai’s poem.
Travel knowledge: Tourists can enter into the gorge from Qingshen County or Leshan City. the Three Gorges of Pingqiang is an unexploited scenic area. After reaching the Litou Gorge six kilometers away from the Hanyang Town, visitors can rent a fishing boat.
Small rainy and misty city -- Liujiang ancient town
Liujiang ancient town lies on the shores of Liujiang River, a tributary of Huaxi River, 35 km southwest of Hongya County, which is called the “Mingyue Town”. It was built in 1140 of the Southern Song Dynasty. As time went by, in the middle of the Qing Dynasty, the two families - Liu and Jiang - made a joint venture to build a long slate-paved street and changed its name to “Liujiang Chang” in 1780. The ancient town was surrounded by mountains and hills. On both sides of the Huaxi River, there are over 100 old banyan trees with leafy trees and the splendid “Shou (Chinese character)”-shaped Zeng family’s courtyard could be overlooked in the air. The penthouse is the unique architecture of the folk houses in the western Sichuan area.
Liujiang River is also called “Liujiang with the misty drizzle”. On the nights of rainy days, a tour on the river is appropriate. Sitting in the riverside attic, with drizzle pattering on the boat and lights dimming the ancient town, you can listen to the raindrop and look back the stream flows, as if you seemed to melt in a painting of misty rain poetry.
Travel knowledge: Tourists can take the shuttle bus bound for Hongya at the new Nanmen station, and then transfer to the shuttle bus bound for the Wawu Mountain and get off the bus at Liujiang Town stop. Accommodation is mainly focused on rural home inns such as Liujiang Bieyuan, Guronɡ Inn, Shanshuige Inn, etc. The stilted building in the “Shuimu Shikong Inn” is a good place for tea drinking and sight view. Along the shores of Huaxi River, there are quite a lot of restaurants and delicious food in the ancient streets. Among them, the best-known dishes are “Wansui cold noodles” and wild spicy diced chicken. And the specialties in the Gaomiao wine, Hongya dried bamboo shoots, Rattan chilli oil. Please Take a swimsuit in the summer.