Dujiangyan Irrigation System (都江堰工程)

From Shuimo Town (水磨镇), we headed to visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation System (都江堰工程). I think it’s one of the most amazing things ever from ancient China!

From Wikipedia:

Dujiangyan (Chinese: 都江堰; pinyin: Dūjiāngyàn) is an irrigation infra-structure built in 256 BC during the Warring States Period of China by the Kingdom of Qin. It is located in the Min River (Chinese: 岷江; pinyin: Mínjiāng) in Sichuan province, China, near the capital Chengdu. It is still in use today to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometers of land in the region.[1] The Dujiangyan along with the Zhengguo Canal in Shaanxi Province and theLingqu Canal in Guangxi Province are known as “The three great hydraulic engineering projects of the Qin Dynasty”.[2]

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System is now a UNESCO heritage site (since 2000) and has a nicely landscaped garden around it. It’s amazing in the fact that something designed and built more than 2000 years ago is still in existence and functioning as per more than 2000 years ago! It’s quite mind-blowing isn’t it?

South Bridge (南桥)
Some tree
The tools used in ancient times in the irrigation system
the nicely landscaped garden at the Dujiangyan irrigation system
some temple at Dujiangyan - we didn't go in
part of the Dujiangyan irrigation system
the inner and outer river of the dujiangyan irrigation system
suspension bridge connecting the artificial island over the inner river
outer river
A modern modification to the ancient design
the most important part of the irrigation system - the fish mouth levee

The fish mouth levee uses the natural water flow and forces to filter the silt out of the water that flows into the Chengdu Plains. It worked then, it still works now. The guy who designed this, Li Bing (李冰), is a GENIUS!!!

That said, that night, we checked into Mareko Zhenfa Hotel.

Mareko Hotel: Worst hotel ever!
Mareko Hotel: Worst hotel ever!

Honestly, apart from the stain-less towels and wifi in the room (password: 12345678), the hotel is quite shitty. There was even a cockroach in the room!! 🙁

Also, they had zero service! We were told by out tour guide to put our luggage outside our rooms at 7.15am and our bus would leave at 8 am. At 8.10am, our luggage were still nowhere to be seen!

It turns out that their service staff hadn’t brought our luggage down. The worst part was that there was a storm outside and after a lightning strike or something, the power in the hotel went out! Some luggage were stuck in the lift. What a disaster!

After 10 minutes, they managed to restore power to the hotel and brought the luggage to the lobby and none of the porters bothered to bring the luggage to the bus! It’s quite literally a “wtf!” moment. We were paying them tips to do all these stuff but yet the staff were idling probably because they didn’t want to get wet by the rain. They let our tour guides (2 girls), tour leader (another girl) and the 2 bus drivers (guys) to stow all the luggage of 39 people into the 2 buses! They didn’t lift a finger at all!

If you ever are going on a packaged tour group to the Chengdu-Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong route, make sure that this hotel is not a stop when you’re in Dujiangyan. Same goes if you’re travelling on your own. This hotel is a big NO.

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