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China: Studies - Sidu: River and Mountains

Published: 10.1.2015
Spring was coming soon which lured us to the nature outside Beijing. “Why don’t you go to the Sidu river 十渡?“ one teacher–friend told us. The description suggested it is beautiful there: allegedly „Guilin桂林 of the north“. It is a vast karst area covering 300 km² in north China. This area was formed by the Tu-ma river. Sidu literally means “ten fords”. Today the fords are replaced with modern bridges yet they say the place has still some magic in it.

We set off one April morning. The road was beautiful by itself. We rode through villages, the road was wavy like a snake between mountains. Meanwhile we were enjoying surrounding nature. However, Sidu caught us off guard. Well, we had to expect it. But we are stubborn and we expected unspoiled nature. Instead, we got to a parking lot hearing distant music and screams of people doing bungee jumping. The civilization arrived there. Hence, we took our backpacks and set off in the opposite direction.

Š'-TU

So we walked and talked. We felt air getting warmer and everything was becoming merrier with the upcoming spring. After we encountered about tenth man offering us a pony ride for ridiculous price we decided to walk off the road and head right to the mountains. It was there where we really started to liking the place. Mountains were getting green, sun was warm, and we discovered hidden paths used by locals. We climbed up to the summit of one hill and watched swarming down by the fords. The noise was distant and we finally felt well that we avoided the crowds.

Š'-TU

Soon it was getting dark. We had no other option than to go back downhill. Yet we got lost a bit on our way. It got us to a small village near the fords. Two old ladies noted my fair hair and started talking to us. They told us with pride for how long they had been living there. We were sorry that we could not travel back in time with them to see the Sidu without bungee jumping and loud speakrs...

Š'-TU

The Sidu and the landscape surrounding is certainly worth a visit. If you do not have a car that can get you there, you can get there also by bus 917 that departs at Su-chuang subway station 苏庄, or you can take a train. You don’t pay any fee to enter the area. This does might not be true for some attractions where you simply have to open your wallet. Should you be interested mostly in landscape then you spend some money only to buy a ticked to the Sidu, and to buy some refreshment. Safe travels!

Š'-TU

Text/photo: Hana Bašová

 



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