July and August are good season for traveling. Sichuan attracts many bikers every summer. The cycling usually starts from Chengdu and goes into the mountains.
The last trip was a cycling trip around Chengdu for a week. We started from Chengdu and passed Dujiangyan, had the first night by the former earthquake epic center Yingxiu. And then continued to cycle through Wolong Panda Reserve in two days before we met our biggest change when we have to bike up from below 3000 meters to 4600 meters in a day. The road was very good and views are excellent. Cycling down from the pass of Balang is like a reward from the hard working going up.
The day in the middle we had a hiking day at Mount Siguniang to shake the stiff off our muscles and also to see the great views of Mount Siguniang herself.
The second pass, which is called Jiajin Pass, that we decided to use a van to help us to go up instead of cycling. It felt like cheating but we didn’t have very good bikes so we agreed it was a good decision to use the van. The view at the second pass was splendid. We got up there early so we got the chance to see the great view of cloud and mountains below us. The longest day of cycling was the day from Jiajin Pass to Lushan going all the way down for 150km’s distance. We caught the rain for the next two days but we are lucky we didn’t stuck in the valley at Lushan as we heard the road was blocked by landslide the next day we were out. From Lushan it took us two days to cycle back to Chengdu.
We didn’t anticipate the pass being so difficult but the road was really good. It rains a lot but when it does not rain, the views make us feel the hard working totally worth. This trip is my longest cycling trip in my life and I felt cycling a lot of fun. The views that I saw along the way is really great.
Sertar Wuming Buddhist School is open to the public. Everyone can visit it in 2016. It is located 20km south to the town of Seda and one full day’s drive from Chengdu.
It is one of the favorate places in Sichuan for photographers. The stunning views of Sertar are of densely built monk dormitories and temples in the valley of Larungga. At present the road at some sections are still under construction but it will be compeleted soon. By then the driving will be shorter from Chengdu.
Ganzi Monastery is located at Ganzi town in western Sichuan in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Region. It is one of the 13 Huoer Holy Monasteries in Tibet.
It has a history of about 400 years and later destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and rebuilt in around 1980. It is one of the biggest monasteries in this area. The number of the monks topped in Qing Dynasty at around 3000 but today it has about 400 monks. It is also a Gelugpa Monastery. This monastery is four-story tall and many monk dormitories around the temple. One of the leaders of Ganzi Monastery used to be one of the three candidates of the 11th Dalai Lama. It inherited its tradition of Gelugpa study of Buddhism. Travelers visiting Ganzi can have drive to the monastery for only about 10 minutes up to the mountain side, from where you can view the whole town of Ganzi and also the mountain range lying by the south of the town.
Ganzixian is located in the northwest of Ganzi Prefecture. It is one of the centers of northern Kham. It is 385km northwest to the town of Kangding. Ganzi means holy and beautiful. This meaning does not exaggerated even a little. Ganzi is truly holy and beautiful. The history of Ganzi dates back to about 1300 years ago.
Over 95% of its population is Tibetan people. And the total population is about 60 thousand. Compare to other places in Kham, Ganzi is less drier but similarly cold. The town of Ganzi locates at the elevation of around 3400 meters. It has a lot of sunlight throughout the year.The town is currently under construction (in 2015) due to the need for more space to live and for a better traffic situation. This town will have its first airport in the next few years.