Wulong Our first visit to China was in April 2018

first_imgWulongOur first visit to China was in April 2018, touring Yunnan and Suchuan with Wendy Wu Tours. The tour originally included time in the Nine Villages Valley, reputedly one of the most beautiful areas in China, however, the area was closed to visitors by the Chinese government at the time of our tour, due to extensive earthquake damage. Wendy Wu substituted a visit to the Wulong Karst National Geology Park near Chongqing. We’d never heard of this area and some of our fellow tourists were disappointed with the change. Since we were newby visitors to China the change didn’t bother us. Our two days in Wulong turned out to be one of the highlights of our tour. We stayed at a very comfortable hotel on the River in the centre of town, the Yuzhu Garden Hotel. It was obvious that very few western visitors get to Wulong as we were the subject of much interest from the locals with lots of photos being taken of our group. Our hotel in Wulong was on the river and there were shops on both sides of the river and a walk across the bridge was very pleasant. Wulong has a population of about 350,000 with a surprising amount of high rise, (perhaps not so surprising as it is China after all). The scenery on our drive from Chongqing was also pretty spectacular mountain terrain.Longshui Fissure and GorgeLongshui Fissure and Gorge is also near Wulong and it is a totally different experience. The gorge is about 5 kilometres long and contains lots of stairs and walkways built into the side of the fissure. In places it is only metres wide and you are either on top of tumbling rivers or under crashing waterfalls. The walk itself is about two kilometres and again there is a shuttle service to take you back up.Whilst the walk is quite easy for a fit person it is wet and slippery in places and a raincoat or umbrella is handy, plus you need shoes with a good grip.To enter the gorge you descend a narrow tunnel with concrete steps, to a glass fronted lift that takes you down to the start of the walkway. Again the lift glass was opaque due to weather, so no views on the way down. The first part of the walk is in lush rainforest type vegetation with lots of twisting stairways. Once down at river level the clever Chinese have built floating concrete walkways into the fissure walls and over the river. From here you can hear and see the many waterfalls and rapids and there are lots of opportunities for great photos. The Wulong Karst area features spectacular karst landscapes, including the three main parts of Furong Cave, Three Natural Bridges and Houping Giant Doline. There are deep gorges, natural bridges, caves, crashing waterfalls and underground streams. We visited the Three Natural Bridges and the Longsui Gorge. The Natural Bridges area was used for filming of the Transformers movie, and there are transformer statues along the walkway to remind you. Both the Three Natural Bridges and Longshui Fissure are easily accessible by bus from Wulong if you are not on an organised tour. There are also regular bus services to the area from Chongqing.You can walk down stairs to the walkway but the elevator is better. Images and video: John Dunphy, Carole Dunphy The walk along the gorge is flat and easy and you get taken back to the top car park on a little golf cart-type shuttle bus from the end of the walk. The gorge is filled with beautiful trees and streams and the bridges tower above you. The Transformers statues do seem a bit incongruous, but they add to the enjoyment and were the subject of hundreds of selfies by the locals and us.center_img The three natural karst bridges are Tianlong Bridge, Qinglong Bridge and Heilong Bridge, with an average height of over 200 metres, and an average span over 200 metres; the largest natural bridge cluster in Asia. We descended into the gorge via a 40 metre glass-fronted lift that, unfortunately, had frosted due to weather damage, so we couldn’t see much until we arrived at the base. Descending down many steps we then reached a small temple and the start of the 1.2 kilometre walk along the gorge. Regular contributor, John Dunphy, and his wife, Carole, recently toured China’s Yunnan and Suchuan provinces with Wendy Wu Tours. This was their second tour with Wendy Wu Tours, having visited Japan in February 2017.Here, John provides a firsthand review of their discovery of Wulong, China. ChinaReviewsWendy Wu ToursWulong Our photos don’t do this magnificent national park justice, and you really have to go there to see how spectacular it is. Hopefully Wendy Wu will include Wulong in future tours. We found it pays to learn a few words of Mandarin in Wulong as not many of the locals speak English, or if they do they are too shy to share it.last_img read more