Dated: 2012-07-01 to 2012-07-03
Dear friends, to share the experience that we had, I am writing below some date wise travel details of our recent visit to Yanaan City and Hukou water fall.
It is the day one of our recreational tour and we left our dorm at 8.20am. The bus was air conditioned and comfortable in all aspects. After a rigorous travel of 3 hours we had our lunch at a local restaurant. It was a nice restaurant with classic touch depicting old Chinese culture with Chinese classical opera singers. During lunch some of the singers amused us with nice Chinese songs that we really enjoyed. Govt. of China has maintained very good roads and there are dozens of under passes and tunnels that save lots of time. On the way the guide was very caring and giving a stop after every 1.5 hour for 15minutes to be fresh at some resting area having excellent washroom and supermarket facilities.
Mausoleum of Yellow Emperor
By 11:50 we reached Mausoleum of Yellow Emperor which is a beautiful place to be visited. There was a beautiful lake with boating facility and lots of diverse lush green plant species spread up to one can see. The dominating one is Cyprus plants grown every where in thousands. Inside the mausoleum, there were some historic Cyprus trees. One of these trees is believed to be planted by Yellow Emperor himself and it is 5000 years old. We enjoyed all the scenic area and made lots of pictures and also had a fascinating boat ride.
After three hour drive, we reached Yan aan, the holy city of Communist Party of China.
Yan'an (延安) is a prefecture-level city in the Shanbei region of Shaanxi province which once served as the Chinese communist capital. Yan'an was near the endpoint of the Long March, and became the center of the Chinese communist revolution from 1936 to 1948. Chinese communists celebrate Yan'an as the birthplace of the revolution. During the Second World War almost all buildings, except a pagoda, were destroyed by Japanese bombing, and most inhabitants took to living in man made caves (Yaodongs). This is historic city from where once Chinese fought their war for independence with great courage against the offensive Japanese who brutally attacked China to extend their empire. The city was chosen by communist party leaders, probably due to its hard to access location. It is surrounded by huge number of big mountains for many kilometers. Even an air strike is practically very difficult with defense point of view.
The City is one of the most beautiful cities of China as there is big river passing through it and all the buildings have been built at both banks of the river. It is hard work of Chinese that the river banks have been thoroughly paved and properly managed. The mountains around are lush green and full of agronomic and horticultural crops. Being the ex hub of communist party, Chinese Government has given exceptional attention to this city and has provided excellent road, rail as well as airport facilities here.
The people of city are very friendly and behave nicely with foreigners. There are lots of yaodong (Cave house) in the city which is the ancient way to build homes in this area. A yaodong (?洞) or "cave house" is a particular form of earth shelter dwelling common in the Loess Plateau in China's north. They are generally carved out of a hillside. The earth that surrounds the indoor space serves as an effective insulator keeping the inside of the structure warm in cold seasons and cool in hot seasons. Consequently, very little heating is required in winter, and in summer, it is as cool as an air-conditioned room. The history of yaodongs goes back centuries, and they continue to be used in this modern age as well. Prime minister of China Comrade Zhu an Lai also loved in such Yaodongs that we observed with great interest.
Aansai Experiment Station
Next day, early in the morning we left hotel for Aansai experimental station, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After a tiring climbing up the mountain we reached the experiment location. This point had no water, but they had arranged it by using a water pump which runs with solar power. We wondered the hard work of the research worker who daily climbed the mountain and the expedition needed at least one hour tough walk against gravity. After lunch, we reached Chairman Mao’s residence and memorial hall. We also observed the places where the Chinese ex premier Zhu en Lai resided. We wondered, how simple was their life style and they in fact fought for the people of China and finally were able to build up a glorious future and strong united China to coming Chinese generations by their courage and hard work.
Hukou Water Fall
Next mooring we left hotel at 0800 and reached Hukou waterfall at 1030. It was a mesmerizingly gorgeous sight. The Hukou Waterfall 壶口瀑布Hǔkǒu Pùbù), the largest waterfall on the Yellow River. It is located at the intersection of Shanxi Province and Shaanxi Province. The width of the waterfall changes with the season, usually 30 meters (98 ft) wide but increasing to 50 m (164 ft) during flood season. It has a height of over 20 m (66 ft). When the Yellow River approaches the Hukou Mountain, blocked by mountains on both sides, its width is abruptly narrowed down to 20 m (66 ft) - 30 m (98 ft). The water's velocity increases, and then plunges over a narrow opening on a cliff, forming a waterfall 15 m (49 ft) high and 20 m (66 ft) wide, as if water were pouring down from a huge teapot. Hence it gets the name Hukou (literally, Flask Mouth) Waterfall. Beneath the waterfall is the Qilangwo Bridge which connects the two provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi. In the sunshine, the mist is refracted by sunlight to create a rainbow spanning the water like a colorful bridge. In 1991, Hukou Waterfall was named one of the "40 Best" national scenic spots. Due to its awkward location, Hukou was once very difficult to access. After the local government improved transport and tourist facilities, the number of tourists have rose exponentially. We made pictures and enjoyed the cute scenes here. The place is so beautiful and charming that we had sad feelings while leaving Hukou water fall. After another 5 hour drive we reached back Yangling to our dorm. Due to air conditioned bus, good quality of roads and countless tunnels in the mountainous area, our journey remained comparatively peaceful and comfortable.