Songpan’s Stunning Bridges are one of the highlights of any visit to this gorgeous town.
The mountain town of Songpan 松潘 has undergone a lot of changes in recent years but some original remnants of its wonderful ancient architecture still remain. Two of those structures are the emblematic ancient covered bridges (Gusong Qiao 古松桥 and Yingyue Qiao 映月桥) that span the fast flowing Min river 岷江。 Below are our photos taken before the recent development.
Songpan’s Stunning Bridges and Ethnic Minorities
Songpan is an ethnically diverse town with Tibetans, Hui (Chinese Muslims) and Han Chinese all living together. It’s a great place to relax and has numerous tea houses along the river and next to the bridges.
We arrived in Songpan on a bus from Chengdu. The bus was going on to the national park of Jiuzhaigu but the driver was happy to drop us off in Songpan. We left Songpan on the early morning bus to Zoige on the border with Gansu and Sichuan.
The Bus arrives in Zoige at around 13.30, but the connecting bus to Langmusi (14.30) was full and we were forced to get a Taxi from Zoige to Langmusi with a couple of other stranded travelers. The road between Zoige and Langmusi is now a super highway and not the mud track we had to take.
The Songpan Festival was a marvellous spectacle. The spectators were spellbound by a riot of colour as Chinese dragons, Tibetan Qiang minority dancers, and Muslim Hui singers took over the town, paraded through the streets and usurped the public squares.
The real fun began after the Communist Party leaders had made their speeches, sped off to lunch in their limousines and left everyone to an afternoon of spontaneous revelry. Here are some photos of what they were enjoying.
Songpan’s amazing festival takes place in the walled town of Songpan. The town is the gateway to the scenic heaven of Jiuzhaigou 九寨沟 and wild horse treks to Ice Mountain雪玉顶. Songpan is also a destination in itself. It`s a pleasant town with plenty of old architecture, local life and some fantastic tea houses.
Songpan’s Amazing Festival Passing Through
When we passed through in 2004 we were lucky enough to stumble upon a huge festival where the local Muslim Hui and Tibetan Qiang minorities were celebrating their local culture and dressed in their finest clothes. Joining them were a host of Chinese Communist Party Bigwigs, including the then vice-president, Zeng Qinghong.
The residents of the entire town and surrounding villages turned out to see the festival. This small group of photos captures them enjoying the moment. Next week’s Photo of the Week will show what they were watching.