Wandering for the Ancient Trade Channel from Ya’an to Xintian
by Liu Qiankun
Abundant rainfall and warm weather, made the vegetation here is extremely lush. Along the way, we looked at the cliffs on both sides of the road, and also at the wild trees and flowers, talking and laughing until we arrived at Gaoqiao, after 4 hours since moving out. The sky was gradually getting darker. Gaoqiao was once one of the top eight tourist sites, due to an extremely clear vision of the moon there in the night; but now we could not find the scenes in the old days. We inquired the locals, and was told that Xintian station was more than 10 kilometers far, which left us speechless.
As for the trail, the locals generally describe the distance with how much time to be spent on feet; because of the differences between people’s physical capacity, the time spent must be different. We took pictures on the road, finding the direction, which slowed down our original planned speed. So, when the night falls, the only thing we hoped was that there could be a car to come. Fortunately, a two-row-seat truck stopped in front of us and offered us with a ride. The carpool time was about 5 km, after which we visited in Shijia Village. The village was originally called “the stone bridge”, being another post in that era. The village seemed not old but not new, with several houses built during the late Qing Dynasty, but more were living residences built during the 80’s and 90’s.
As we went along the Ying River, the sky became already dark, and finally we arrived at the destination – Xintian station, where there are still hundreds of existing old-fashioned huts, courtyards, the markets are still; because of the construction of the new town, the business functions are no longer available, but we still can be informed with the rich situation in the history from the dozens of traditional pubs, shops, the old bustling, which only exist in the old people’s memories of the glory days.