The Yibin Bamboo Sea—a sprawling expanse of green about four hours' south of Chengdu, near the border of Yunnan—makes a splendid hiking getaway for the Chengdu resident. The numerous paths offer plenty of options to the visitor, from well-traversed paths that can be completed in a few hours to little-explored areas that can fill a whole day. From high ground, the splendid scenery of the entire bamboo sea unfolds, and on even slightly windy days, the tops of the bamboo seem to gently roll along like waves in the ocean. In the park, bamboo rafts with accompanying bamboo paddles are available for rent, and floating down a quiet river is a particularly peaceful activity.
This area is also well known for having a beautiful temple carved into the side of a cliff that overlooks a valley of rice fields. One-time entrance into the park is RMB85 per person; accommodations are available inside for around RMB50 per night (off- season). The park is very large, and getting around can be troublesome, so hiring a driver is recommended (one can often be found as part of a package with lodgings for a more economical option). From Chengdu, the trip can be done in a weekend, but for a more leisurely stay, a four-day visit is ideal.
Yibin Bamboo Sea (宜宾竹海)
Travel time from Chengdu: approximately 4 hours
Park entrance: RMB85/person
This article was originally published in CHENGDOO citylife Magazine, issue 33 ("What's Going on in Chengdu").
Photos by Dan Sandoval