The Wild West of Sichuan Province

Daniel O’Sullivan takes us to the wild wild west… in china. Read about his trip to Tagong, in the Sichuan Province in China!

The main square of Tagong. Photos by Daniel O'Sullivan. Click on photo to enlarge.
The main square of Tagong. Photos by Daniel O’Sullivan.

“It was at the third or fourth landslide of the day, where our van got bogged down for over an hour, that I started to think wistfully about the Yangtze river.
We’d eschewed a planned three gorges cruise in favour of a  manic jaunt over the highlands of Western Sichuan, and I was beginning to get second thoughts.
Half the mountain seemed to be trying to get to the bottom of the valley, and with a deadly rockfall in the area only the week before, karaoke and cabin fever suddenly seemed like a very attractive alternative.

My girlfriend and I were on our way to Tagong, a small village in Western Sichuan historically part of the Tibetan province of Kham, and the going was getting tough.
Our journey had already taken us a days travel by bus from Chengdu to the frontier mountain town of Kangding.
Once there we’d found that the onward bus to Tagong had been cancelled due to heavy rain, making it necessary to negotiate a minibus and driver for the rest of the way.

Standing on the rain-soaked hillside, just below several of tons of wet earth, things didn’t seem to be getting any better.

The third of fourth landslide of the day
The third of fourth landslide of the day

Suddenly however, the clouds broke and I remembered what it was that had brought us to this remote region in the first place. Just ahead mist was swirling around the nearby mountains. It was clear that we were heading somewhere wild, untamed, and barely accessible…”

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