Shunan Bamboo Sea (The green bamboo sea in Southern Sichuan Province)
Shunan Bamboo Sea covers an area of over 120 kilometers with a 44-kilometer central scenic area, 8 surrounding scenic parts and 134 scenic spots. The bamboo sea consists of 28 ridges and peaks high and low and over 500 fantastic hills which are densely covered with various kinds of amazing bamboos. Winning a very high reputation home and abroad, Shunan Bamboo Sea is known as “ the State-level Scenic Spot in China”, “the First AAAA Class Tourist Attraction”, one of the “Forty Best Tourist Attraction in China”, “Chinese Biosphere Reserve” and the like.
Characterized by bamboo scenery, the Bamboo Sea has won its fame for its unique green and graceful bamboos which make every visitor wonder if they were in a fairy land of heaven. Embraced by the amazing green sea of bamboos which are waving softly in the breeze, you will feel as if you were a happy and lightsome fairy flying freely and playing cheerfully with the natural spirits in the end of rainbow. During the long history of China, there have been numerous writers and poets who had been to the bamboo sea and left their heated and hearted praises. Huang Tingjian, a poet in Northern Song Dynasty, was so impressed by the scene that he commented, "The waves of the bamboo spread to thousands of miles, which inebriates me like good wine". Legend has it that he used a broom as a pen and wrote three huge characters, "Wan Ling Jing" on the Huangsan Stone.
Shunan Bamboo Sea, one of the most beautiful lands of happiness, with many cultural relics and historical sites, screened by the green bamboo, is a fresh and clear garden of Yibin city. Bamboos are here, there and everywhere. In winter far and wide there is nothing to be seen but the silvery white; in summer all one can see is verdant. It is a rare green Bamboo Sea in the world. Clumping, Running and Mixing Bamboos are distributed in the zone. There are above 30 kinds of bamboos such as Nan bamboo, fishpole bamboo, concave bamboo and so on. The special types of bamboo are Cifang Bamboo, Qiong Bamboo, Ci Bamboo and other types of ancient bamboo in the 1,300 square meter primitive jungles. An ecosystem of various plants has formed. There are 1,345 kinds of senior plants, 369 kinds of vertebrate animals, 260 kinds of invertebrate animals on the ground and 240 kinds of hydrobiont in the zone. And there are 32 kinds of animals under I-Class or II-Class State Protection including Clouded Leopard, Golden Vulture, and 20 kinds of plants under state-level protection including Tree Ferns and Taxus.
Bamboo Sea, Dinosaurs, Stone Forest and Suspended Coffins are "four wonders" of South Sichuan. Bamboo Sea was rated as a national major spot of beauty listed by the State Council in 1988. Bamboo Sea extending over 500 mountain ridges is luxuriantly green, especially in summer. In a boundless expanse of green waves there are a lot of scenic spots, such as Ancient Cave of Immortal Residence, Forgot -Anxiety Glen, Multi-colored Cliffside Waterfall, Inky Stream and Flowing Waters etc. At nightfall the music of lutes and the croaking of frogs rising one after another are sweet sounds that are seldom heard in the world. This makes people have the sense of lofty mountain and flowing waters.
A tour to the graceful and elegant bamboo sea, is a tour to a splendid and magnificent bamboo culture of long history, a tour more mysterious and interesting, far from the noisy big cities and the polluted air.
Products and crafts
Many kinds of bamboo handicrafts, bamboo poles, bamboo furniture, bamboo flooring, eatable bamboo shoots and so on are produced largely in Shunan Bamboo Sea, which has made this area a famous home of elegant bamboo products. In many kinds of special local bamboo products of Shunan Bamboo Sea, there is one called Bamboo Fungus (also called “Sunzhu Fungus”) which is very famous for its high quality. It contain high protein and low fat; it’s good for people’s eyes and lung; what’s more, it has some special medical use which can help people strengthen their health and lose their weight. Now, the Bamboo Fungus has won its irreplaceable fame home and abroad and has been sold to over 30 other countries and regions.
Qicai(Seven Colors) Flying Waterfall
Located at the Wanli County which is to the east of the center of Shunan Bamboo Sea, the Scenic Area of Qicai Flying Waterfall is one of the four famous top scenic spots of the Bamboo Sea. Covering an area of 3.25 square kilometers, this beautiful place displays to the visitors the marvelous natural spectacle of splendid waterfall flying straightly from the top of the steep cliff. The clean and cool streams flow slowly out from the forest deep inside the mountains, they join together in the Gourd Valley between the Shigu (stone drum) Hill and the Shiluo (stone bell) Hill. It is said that when the silent night comes, the resonant sound of water reecho between the hills, and the hills response with the beats of drum and the rings of bell, they fit in such a perfect harmony that people have long considered it as one of the God’s masterpiece. With the drop height of over 200 meters and the large discharge of stream, the waterfall flies down amazingly like a fairy dressing a holy dress from the heaven. When the sun is shinning at noon, the waterfall looks like a grand soft curtain waving to the sky. Amazingly, when going through the waterfall, the sunlight breaks into different beautiful colors and shines splendidly. The magnificent colorful waterfall, the exciting natural sound, the green hills, the fresh air, the beautiful sunshine… everything is fantastic at the time.
There is a flatform beside the cliff near the waterfall. Standing on the flatfrom, you can have the full excellent view of the whole beautiful Qicai Flying Waterfall. The flatform looks so dangerous that people think it well worth its name Luohun (to scare your soul) flatform. So please do take care of yourself while standing on the Luohun flatform.
Wangyou (to forget the sadness) Valley
Wangyou Valley is situated at the quiet land about one kilometer away from the Wanling Bridge in the tourist terminal center of Shunan Bamboo Sea. Wangyou Valley, one of the famous scenic sites of the Bamboo Sea, features in its wooden gate, the peaceful and beautiful valley, the winding clear streams, the green and special bamboo groves, the singing birds and the bright flowers.
The Fairy Lake is located on the top of the hill where the Xianyu Cave situates. Covering an area of over 20 square kilometers, the lake is 12 kilometers away from the Wanling Bridge. The pleasing reflection of trees and bamboos surrounding the lake makes it very mysterious. It looks as if there were a pretty fairy playing gracefully in the lake, with her soft and smooth hair waving on the shinning green water. Walking around the Fairy Lake, feeling the surface of the lack rippled in the breeze, you will find yourself being hugged in the peaceful embrace of the clear nature; you’ll find everything around you is a feast for the eyes.
Tip：Rafting across the Fairy Lake is the only way to the Tianbao Hamlet. It only takes 2 yuan.
Tianbao Stronghold (Hamlet)
Tianbao Stronghold is built over 140 yeas ago on the steep cliff 1000 meters above the earth. It is considered the most dangerous and greatest scenic site in the Shunan Bamboo Sea. There are 13 strong stone gates in the cliff, each of them leads to a strategic and critical cave having been used to protect against the Taiping Army of Shi Dakai [one of the leaders of the Taiping HeavenlyKingdom(1851-1864) in the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911)] by the local government.
Legend of Shunan Bamboo Sea
According to the ancient Chinese legend, the “Wanling Mountain” where Shunan Bamboo Sea lies is the holly red rock that “Nü Wa” (It is said that there were no men when the sky and the earth were separated. It was Nü Wa who made men by moulding yellow clay) had missed when she was mending the sky. (In ancient times, the four corners of the sky collapsed and the world with its nine regions split open. The sky could not cover all the things under it, nor could the earth carry all the things on it. A great fire raged and would not die out; a fierce flood raced about and could not be checked. Savage beasts devoured innocent people; vicious birds preyed on the weak and old. Then Nü Wa melted rocks of five colors and used them to mend the cracks in the sky. )
It is said that there was a fairy named “Jinluan” in the heaven. The pretty fairy had a light hand for knitting. One day, while she was wandering, she found that the Wanling Mountain on the south of the earth was so bare and desolate that she burst into tears. Without thinking of the rules, she went down on earth and began to knit the Wanling Mountain green. Unfortunately, she was caught for having broken the rule of the heaven while she was still knitting whole-heartedly. Of course, she would be punished heavily for what she had done. The fairy who was responsible for guarding her, fairy Yaoqing, the daughter of a heaven official named Nanji, was such a kind-hearted girl that when she knew the fact, she couldn’t help sympathizing fairy Jinluan. So she stole her father’s permission card for Jinluan, and led her to the South Gate of the heaven. Suddenly, the god of the South Gate appeared and the two fairies were caught immediately and Jinluan was put into the prison of the heaven. Yaoqing, who was supposed to be put into prison too, was sent on earth thanks to her father’s loyalty and his good relationship with other gods and goddesses. The emperor of the heaven ordered fairy Yaoqing to go on earth and knit a beautiful green muslin blanket for the Wanling Mountain. When the green muslin blanket is big enough to join the edge of the heaven, it’s time for Yaoqing to come back to the heaven to get together with her father. Hearing this, Yaoqing was so happy because she was so willing to make the bare Wanling Mountain green and beautiful. When the time of seeing Yaoqing off came, Nanji sent his beloved daughter a magic broom; the goddesses also sent her many jewels, green jades and emeralds which could help Yaoqing to sow on Wanling Mountain as green seeds. Vega, the weaving goddess, presented her a piece of precious snow-white ribbon. The ribbon could be turned into clouds and rain when needed.
Flying down the heaven, Yaoqing arrived at the desolate Wanling Mountain. Everyday from morning till night, Yaoqing spread the seeds of green jades and emeralds, waved the magic broom and the snow-white ribbon. She didn’t rest until she saw lines of bamboo shoots speared out of the earth. By and by, miles and miles of green bamboo fields grew better and better, they spread the whole Wanling Mountain and made it a beautiful green land of fantastic bamboo. The beauty of the fascinating Shunan Bamboo Sea today is exactly the great green blanket knitted by the fairy. The green bamboo sea extents to the edge of the heaven, and fairy Yaoqing knew that it’s time for her to come back. Looking at the amazing green blanket, she danced and waved the snow-white ribbon happily before leaving the earth. The ribbon flied and fell over the bamboo sea. It is said that the clear Yujiang River through the Shunan Bamboo Sea today is really the ribbon left by the lovely fairy.