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BEIBEI DISTRICT   

Jinyun Shan

Just a short bus or mini van ride out of town towards Bishan, make a left turn and it's all uphill from there.  A narrow windy road threads it's way skyward beneath an enveloping canopy of bamboo and forest timbers. Just below the car pack is a small Bamboo Sea.  The park is still home to many farmers who supplement their incomes with B'n'B's or a simple meal.  Hiking paths of varying grades criss cross the mountain but it's a short steep 300m climb to the twin peaks.  

Entrance Fee Y15
Restaurant serving simple dishes just inside entrance
Refreshments sold throughout the park


Jindao Xia Ͽ
 
The mountains surrounding Chongqing are riddled with beautiful river valleys and stunning gorges. Jindao Xia  Golden Knife Gorge is one of the more well known and accessible for hikers and makes for a good days outing. Jin Dao Xia is situated north east of Beibei on the back side of the rugged Hua Ying Mountains about 90 mins drive via Beibei from Chongqing. Beibei, regarded as a garden city is the home to hundreds of small plant nurseries and orchards many of which can be viewed from the road. 

Between Jindao Xia Village and the entrance to the park is the Ancient Village of Pianyan Gu Zhen on the banks of the small creek. Little remains of the village except the Temple and a few surrounding buildings and houses and it is quickly being overshadowed by newer modern structures on the opposite bank of the creek.



It's a one way walk of about six kilometers, the first kilometer being the steepest with an almost vertical drop to the valley floor via a thousand or so steps. From the first viewpoint it looks like a long way to the bottom and one can almost reach out to touch the far side of the valley where farmhouses and small patches of fields dot the slightly less steep slope. The soft tinkle of cow bells floats on the misty air assuring farmers that their stock is near at hand. 

Once in the valley floor the hike is easy going beside the crystal clear stream as it flows into the ever narrowing gorge. Small bridges criss-cross the stream and a modern concrete plank road hangs precariously from the steep rock walls of the fissure gorge. A multitude of wispy waterfalls drift sprays of water, more or less, depending on the seasons from high above the stream. Suddenly a stream of sunlight glances off the damp rock walls and water droplets dance in the light like strings of pearls. Beneath the plank road water tumbles from one rock pool to the next revealing a bottom lined with smooth worn pebbles.

The gorge narrows until the walls are almost touching and the steps descend into a long, deep and narrow pool. At the far end a small dam holds back this small body of water. The ferry man poles the flat bottomed, steel punt through the gorge pushing off from either wall. Once through the gorge it opens up enough to bath the overhanging bamboo groves in ample light. In this picturesque and peaceful spot beside the small lake there is teahouse restaurant which is an ideal spot to break the walk and stop for lunch.   The ferry man explains there are no fish, only crabs in the stream because it often floods and carries all before it downstream. There is much evidence of the force of the water flowing through this narrow, twisting valley.

A short distance further on the gorge narrows once again and waterfalls flow once more. Some of the plank road has been rebuilt much higher above the flood levels of the stream to avoid being washed away. This final section is a wonderfully serene and secluded walk above the sometimes clear and gently flowing but often turbulently boiling waters beneath. 
 
Legend of Jindao Xia
 
Zhang Kun, is a legendary hero, said to have lived in the village of Pianyan at the foot of the Hua Ying Maintains during the Yuan Dynasty. Despite his families poverty he was well versed in polite letters and martial arts, had high ambitions and a chivalrous manner. He worked as a lumberjack cutting firewood to support his family. One evening he is said to have lost his way in the heavily wooded mountains. While taking in the intoxicating scene of the rising full moon throwing her gentle light across the valley, he saw a bright glimmer of light in the distance.
 
Skilled in the art of Wushu he quickly makes his way to the glimmer of light to discover a gold knife half buried in the stone wall. Without thinking removes the gold knife with slides easily out in his hand. Quietly pleased, he told himself that the gods must have something important for him to accomplish. With his new gold knife he is able to cut his way out of the valley through the thickets of bramble and thorns.
 
After returning home Zhang Kun raises an army in the mountains, eventually beginning a revolt agains the Yuan Dynasty. Emperor Ming of Dia Xia bestows upon him the title of 'Duwei' recruiting him to lead his army against the Yuan, utterly defeating them in Fuzhou after which he is promoted to General and referred to as Jindao Zhang by Emperor Ming. The people of his hometown named the place where he found his gold knife, Jindao Xia, in memory of his infamous deeds.
 
Taken from a poor English translation at the site and may contain some errors.
 
Getting there and away:
 
Express Bus to Beibei from several locations in Chongqing cost betweek Y12/15 for 30/45mins
 
Buses leave from Beibei to Jindao Xia village regularly Y6/7 each way Approx 1hour
 
From Jingdao Xia village to the park entrance there is a choice of mini van or motorbike taxi. Mini vans will cost about Y50/60

From the park exit to Jindao Xia village the same deal applies and this is not a well paved road.

Date: 01 Dec 08    Views: 870    Comments: 1          

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