Jiangyou lies in the center of the Sichuan Basin, a region of fertile soil, unique cuisine, and an abundance of silk - a beautiful respite from the extremes of the Silk Roads to the west.
One of China’s most important historical figures - the poet Li Bai - was born in this small town in the Sichuan Basin. Although he was born 1300 years ago, his legacy still lives on here. A tranquil park sits in the middle of town, bearing his name and reflecting his poetic nature through carefully crafted waterfalls, rock gardens and vegetated landscapes. The secret to immerse yourself in this ancient culture? Find an open seat at one of the numerous tea shops, sip the drink as if you live here, and observe the surroundings. To your right are old men engaged in a fierce mahjong competition. To your left are students painting the landscapes as if out of Li Bai’s poems. Across the river are a group woman moving gracefully, in synchronization with time itself here.
Surrounding Jiangyou are yellow rapeseed fields, limestone gorges and monuments to Li Bai, crossing high passes and fertile basins, and ending at a cave system sacred to Buddhists. As you traverse the basin, gaze at the western horizon which offers views of the precipitous mountain ranges that extend to the Tibetan Plateau. As symbolic with Jiangyou’s living traditions intertwined with its past legacy, the mountains itself are ever changing and ever shifting to form a stronger Sichuan. In 2008, an earthquake tragically ripped through this landscape, displacing towns and villages, and ending the lives of so many. However, the strength of this region lives on as the people have rebuilt and continued their cherished customs, as they have for a millenium.
THE SILK ROAD JOURNAL
How We Got Here
By train across China, starting in Wenzhou and finishing Jiangyou, approaching 30 hours. Jiangyou was our home for six months.
The numerous visits to the tranquil Li Bai park, one of the best examples of Chinese gardens, and a place to witness the unique way of life of Sichuanese.
Experiencing life here for six months, as the pace is slowed down, the food is rich, and the friendships long lasting.
S N A P S H O T S O N T H E R O A D
W H E R E W I L L Y O U R J O U R N E Y T A K E Y O U N E X T ?
The first venture into China was peaceful and serene, where tea was shared with locals and landscapes appreciated. The journey towards Hangzhou continues, where the ancient capitol awaits (COMING SOON) or bypassing it entirely for the Yellow Mountains.