Sichuan travelogue – Luding and Kangding

After lunch in Moxi, we set out to Kangding. On the way, the bus stopped over at Luding (泸定). It is 2 hours drive north of Moxi.  Here, the famous landmark is the chain bridge which was first built in 1701. This bridge was the scene of a battle in 1935 when a group of Red Army soldiers stormed it against warlord soldiers loyal to Guomingdang. Mao ordered the bridge to be secured, in order to escape from the pursuing Guomingdang army. A vanguards of the Red Army marched 120 km in  less than 24 hours to reach Luding. Twenty two brave soldiers crawled on the bridge and carried out the assault successfully against opposing side forces.

The bridge which is about 120 metre in length, crosses the Dadu river (大渡河).It is still being used by the residents.  On end of the bridge leads to the main shopping area with modern buildings, while the other side is mostly old dwellings.  Luding town is not bad looking, and part of it look rather well developed.

Kangding town is another 2 hours drive from Luding. It  was an important town of the ancient tea-horse route. Presently, it is the administrative capital of the Ganzi prefecture. The town is built on  narrow strip of land surrounded by mountains, including on called Paomashan (horse race mountain). There is a canal with fast flowing mountain water that runs along the town, giving it a distinctive feature.  Stayed in a hotel called the  Love Song Hotel (情歌酒店). The love song refes to  Kangding Love Song, a famous Chinese folk song.

It has stopped snowing then, though there were still patches of snow on the ground and roof.  At a the newly built town square with gigantic screen which is situated across the Love Song Hotel, many people could be seen dancing in a circle. They seemed to be doing a Tibetan dance. A number of Tibetan folks in traditional attires can bee seen here.  Monks are also common sights.  The Tibetan here are also known are of Khamba tribe, and known to be warrior like. A number of the men have long flowing hairs. This is the only area in China where I have seen PLA soldiers marching.

My one night stay in Kangding means there is hardly time for me to get to know this place better. Perhaps in the future …


Luding chain bridge


Luding bridge over Dadu river


View from the bridge


Residents using the bridge


Luding bridge – visitors can wear Red army attire at the entance and have photos taken


Luding town centre




Jangding – view from front of hotel


Photo taken while walking along streets of Kangding


Another view of canal in Kangding – patches of snow can still be seen


It was almost 630 pm in Kangding


The Love Song Hotel is at the centre


Dancing at town square



About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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