Visiting Chengdu in the Path of Poetry Part.1
Historically, Chengdu was a city with a flourishing culture and economy, which made it extremely attractive in its time. As the old saying goes: "All literati go to the State of Shu." Scores of poets came to this place and left various poems expressing their feelings. Modern visitors can avail themselves of these literary legacies to guide their trip through Chengdu, roaming around the cultural relics and feeling both tradition and modernity coexist in an ancient city.
The First Station
Stroll along the Huanhua Stream
Tour Guide: Lu You (Song Dynasty)
Quatrain of Plum Blossom
"Fragrance flows twenty miles from Qingyang Palace to Huanhua Stream."
Huanhua Stream, in Western Chengdu, is one of the most referred to places in Chinese poetry about the city. It brings beautiful scenes to wherever it flows through. Poets often used exquisite words to portray picturesque landscapes along Huanhua Stream. However, the place means more than that to modern Chengdu people: it is representative of the flowing scenery in a city comprised of clear water and green trees.
Attractions: Huanhua Stream ties several local scenic spots together, such as Huanhuaxi Park, Qingyang Palace, and the Shu Brocade and Embroidery Museum, offering tourists the best opportunity to enjoy idyllic landscape along the way.
Transportation Options: Take Metro Line 4 to Caotang Road North Station; take Bus No.58 to Songxianqiao Station or Bus No. 53 to Dashi West Road Station; take taxi to Huanhua South Road or Caotang Road.
The Second Station
Read poems in Du Fu Thatched Cottage
Tour Guide: Du Fu(Tang Dynasty)
My Cottage Unroofed By Autumn Gales
"If only I could get a great mansion of a million room,
Broadly covering the poor scholars of all the world, all with joyous expressions."
It would be a pity for tourists to miss the Du Fu Thatched Cottage if they visited the Huanhua Stream. Du Fu, a great realist poet from the Tang Dynasty, built a cottage near the Stream and lived there for four years after coming to Sichuan, where he wrote more than 240 poems. His works described the Tang Dynasty transitioning from boom to bust, and were loved by people from different ages. Wei Zhuang, a poet from late Tang Dynasty, rebuilt the cottage, which afterwards was repaired multiple times. As a result, it still stands by Huanxi Stream to this day.
Attractions: "Shaoling Thatched Cottage" Tablet Pavilion, screen wall, and Gongbu Shrine enable Du Fu Thatched Cottage to become a famous scenic spot for understanding Chinese classic literature and ancient poetry.
Transportation Options: Take Metro Line 4 to Caotang Road North Station; take Bus No. 19, No. 35, No.52 or No. 82 to Du Fu Thatched Cottage Station.
The Third Station
Look at the Sanhua Tower from Baihuatan Park
Tour Guide: Du Fu/Li Bai (Tang Dynasty)
"West of Ten Thousand League Bridge, a single thatched cottage,
the waters of Hundred Flowers Pool are my Canglang."
On the Flowery Tower in the Town of Silk
"The sun shines on the Town of Silk, the Tower is steeped in a morning glow, strewn with flowers."
Baihua Pond and Sanhua Tower, which were mentioned in many Chinese ancient poems, can still be found in Chengdu. Inside the Baihuatan Park, stone bridges, rivers, and ancient ginkgo trees echo each other, creating a harmonious view; a potted landscape in the Bonsai Miniature Landscape Garden is another reason to keep tourists lingering. Outside the front gate of Baihuatan Park, Sanhua Tower stands near Jingjiang River, mirroring the famous verse written by Li Bai.
Attractions: Canglang Bridge, ginkgo trees, and potted landscape in Baihuatan Park; Jinjiang River and ginkgo trees lying on both sides of Jinli West Road in front of Sanhua Tower, which are popular sites for Chengdu photographers.
Transportation Options: Take Metro Line 2 to Tonghuimen Station (walk about 800 meters after getting off); take Bus No. 126 to Fangling Road West Station or Bus No. 58 to Qingyang Palace Station.
The Fourth Station
Travel back to Shu Han at the Wuhou Shrine
Tour Guide: Du Fu (Tang Dynasty)
Forever such triggers streams of tears from heroes henceforth.
Although the Three Kingdoms, a period of the tripartite division of China between the states of Wei, Shu, and Wu, lasted no more than 50 years, the three states and their respective heroes rising during this time have attracted a mass of "fans" worldwide. The Shu, or Shu Han, was founded by Liu Bei in 221 and settled its capital in Chengdu. Wuhou Shrine is a temple to commemorate Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang, and other heroes of Shu. It was built in 221 when Liu Bei established the Hui Mausoleum, and then was reconstructed at the original site during the governance of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, maintaining the former layout until now. Wuhou Shrine is the only place in China built in honor of both an emperor and his minister in one temple, and the world's most influential museum about the ancient relics of the Three Kingdoms.
Attractions: Zhaolie Temple of Han, Hui Mausoleum, Zhuge Liang Hall, and the Three Sworn Brothers Temple allow tourists to learn about the history of the Three Kingdoms period and the loyalty, intelligence, and courage advocated by the heroes of that time.
Transportation Options: Take Metro Line 3 to Gaoshengqiao Station (walk 900 meters after getting off); take Bus No. 334 or No. 335 to Wuhou Shrine Station or Bus No. 8 to Wuhouci East Road Station; take taxi to the place directly.