Songpan, 松潘 ཟུང་ཆུ་ 2920 mt altitude. That's lots of oxygen as we where coming back from 4400mt Huanglong!
It has been great to discover this little gem of Sichuan province. I learned this is the best place where to start expeditions and trekking over other areas of Sichuan. In fact, we were travelling back to Chengdu (200km away) from Huanglong and we decided to rest here as it was getting late. We really just had time for a glimpse of this nice ancient city and the best tour guide couldn't be anything but a tricycle taxi driver! Notice the challenge of sometimes taking pictures.. We were immediately impressed by its ancient monuments, buildings, bridges and city walls.
It was founded during the Tang dynasty but was rebuilt during the Ming Dinasty (1368~1644) and since then kept its style although it has been occasionally abused by time and earthquakes.
You will notice its protective walls, built facing the cardinal directions. The material used contains sticky rice and they are about 30 kilograms.
There are four major ethic group residing within the walls: Tibetan, Qiang, Hui and Han. This gallery portraits many times the Muslim minority, Hui. It is descended from the Persian and Arabic groups, mostly merchants who moved to China around the 7th century. While short it has been a pleasure meeting local people. We had a great sense of a relaxed society. Enjoying life peacefully until late.
I'll want to come back. I really miss its street lamps with very low light, the pure air, the laid back multicultural people and the possibility of discovering the rest of Sichuan just from here.
I've attached additional description in each picture. Please comment if you wish. Many thanks for visiting. Links by clicking the picture below or by clicking the following: http://www.sergiodg.com/china/sichuan/songpan
or for the slideshow (recommended), here: http://www.sergiodg.com/china/sichuan/songpan/slideshow