The journey from Maoxian to Shuimo Town

We left our hotel in Maoxian (茂县) and headed towards Dujiangyan (都江堰).

our hotel in maoxian
sights on the way back
sights on the way back

The bus stopped to refuel and I saw a bunch of natives setting up shop to sell their produce. The tomatoes in the basket were massive!! It’s almost the size of my hand!

road side vendors

Also, the walnuts they were selling were freshly plucked from the trees! It was the freshest walnuts I’ve ever tasted!

fresh walnuts

As we moved along, we once again passed by the scenes of the earthquake area. Yes, it was very depressing once again.

earthquake damage
whatever left of a village

As we passed a little town called Yingxiu (映秀), our tour guide pointed out the ruins of a collapsed school. It was very, very sad. 🙁

Collapsed school

You can’t see it clearly from the photos as it was taken from our slowly moving bus. We didn’t stop to visit the place for time and logistical reasons.

Apparently, the school collapsed while there were teachers and students still in the building. 🙁 As the damage in the region was too extensive, the local government decided not to prioritize the clearing up of the collapsed building as it is as they had didn’t have enough resources to excavate the bodies out. Besides, there was no way anyone could have survived in that building collapse.

As a result, they local government has designated the collapsed school to be a memorial of the victims of the earthquake.

rebuilt housing in Yingxiu for the survivors

Right beside the collapsed school are newly rebuild infrastructure to house the survivors. It was heartening to see that those people have a roof over their heads and a livelihood to move on from the earthquake. Definitely very emotional a journey.

A little further down the road from Yingxiu was the epicentre area of the earthquake:

epicentre are of the earthquake
the changed landscape of the earthquake epicentre area

While I stopped geography after ‘O’ levels, I love geography enough to still be able to remember what I’ve learnt in school about plate tectonics and the physics and chemistry behind it; though I must stress that I’m no geologist.

I could see that the whole area was practically defaced by that 8.0 earthquake. It was quite literally moving mountains and changing rivers. I could see that huge areas of the mountains bald of vegetation from the landslides and how all the mud that got swept into the river has changed its course. All in a few minutes. It humbles you once again that you are but a speck in nature.


Still, with every calamity brings out the best in people (well, most people anyway). The speedy reconstruction work to rebuild the lives of the survivors are heartening. It gives hope of a better tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “The journey from Maoxian to Shuimo Town

  1. hi,
    thanks for you’re report and the nice pictures.
    I’m planning to travel to this area in Sept, but can’t find any hotels in Wenchuan and surroundings that can be booked online.
    do you know of any hotel?
    thanks in advance!
    Hiromu from Germany

    1. unfortunately not. i was on a group tour so i didn’t get to explore the area in detail. most of them are not connected online or even if they are, the information is sketchy and they don’t have online booking facilities (apart from big name hotels)

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