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Dangling, Sichuan

by "Youduo", translated by Steven Chen** on 31.10.2004.

"Dangling is located in the Danba County of Sichuan Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,it has a total area of 368 kilometres squared. Magnificent snow-capped peaks, mountain lakes scattered like stars, warm outdoor hot-springs, verdantly lush primeval forests, slow flowing limpid streams, soft carpet-like grasslands, rare flora and fauna and the humble welcoming spirit of the Tibetan people all combine to make the Dang Ling Mountain Ranges an enormous multi-dimensional tourist destination for group sight seeing, mountaineering, scientific exploration, adventure tourism as well as eco tourism.

As a result of continental crust movement throughout the last 2.5 million years, the land in this region has been severely uplifted and split. From the east end of the Dang Ling mountain ranges (2780 metres above sea level) where two river mouths meet to the mountain ranges main peak Xiaqiangla, the lateral distance is only 21.5km yet the height difference is 2690 metres. The gigantic vertical drops create steep valleys, and cliffs that rise up into the sky like sharp knives. With its unique soil conditions, geographical landscape and climate, the Dangling region still preserves very much of its ancient environment, with fossil records of numerous extinct plants, animals and insects species from the Tertiary era (2.5 million millions ago) still found today. It has become one of most important resource grounds for natural history and specie genealogy in the world. While at the same time, it is also one of the most distinguished biological environments in the world, containing valuable natural assets worthy of conservation and scientific research. Its unique soil conditions, geographical landscape and all kinds of natural resources have attracted biologists and adventurers alike dating back to as early as the 1940s.

The Dangling Mountain Ranges traverse the northern section of the Da Xue Shan (Big Snow Mountain) of the Hengduan Mountain Ranges. The whole moutain range slopes from north west towards south east, lying on the longitude from north to south. The main peak Xiaqiangla (Tibetan for beautiful goddess) stands at 5470 metres above sea level, the surrounding 28 snow-capped peaks all exceed 5000 metres above sea level, creating a majestic scene where snow-capped mountains embrace and cross paths in the heavenly mist. The pristine 'beautiful goddess' mountain is revered by the local Tibetans as a sacred mountain; worshipers never cease, and the mountain has become the holy sight for Tibetan religious activities.

The name 'Dang Ling' originated from the beginning of the Tang dynasty, the ancient 'Dang Ding Qiang' people migrated to settle region in large numbers from the north, naming the main mountain to the south of their village 'Dang Ling' mountain. The 'Dangling' Mountain was also the highest mountain trekked crossed by the Red Army during the Long March. Even today, one can still see - littered on and below the Dangling Mountains - many wholly preserved remnants of words carved in stones left behind by the Red Army

The Dangling Mountains has splendid mountains and waters, brilliant scenery, diverse flora and fauna and a perfectly preserved natural environment. Perhaps it's due to the mountain's high altitude, every early October, the Dangling Mountains is shrouded in an enchanting autumn scenery. All the deciduous plants at the passing of the autumn breeze would transform their green leaves into gold or red, embroidering in the gleaming sunlight, displaying a full array of colourful resplendence, making the Dangling scenery ever more charming and beautiful. The whole plain is covered in a glaze of vivid forestry, a beauty that makes a person want to cry, each breathe they take as they walk is filled with the autumn air.

The hot-springs in Dangling are located in two areas, one at Benmu which is the rich in sulphur, and means 'fire bath' in Tibetan. The other site is at Kabu, encirlced by grassland which in Tibetan translates as 'grassland bath'. The two springs are approxiamately 4 kilometres south of the Dangling village, and the water flow never cease all year round, day and night the liquid output amouts to about 3000 tonnes. The water close to the hotspring mouth can reach up to 75 degrees Celcius. Chemical tests show that the springa belong to the type neutral, heavy sodium carbonic acid with healing properties. It contains many minerals that are epecially beneficial to the likes of headaches, stomach and intestinal diseases, diabeties, arthiritis. Surrounding the hot-springs is a picturesque primeval forest, sitting in the hot-spring bath, washing away the weariness from the travelling, indulging in the most that the hot-spring can offer. And when it's winter, the enjoyment only gets better as you take the pleasure of bathing in open snow: indulge in the winter scenery while bathing in the warm spring water, and if you are lucky enough and it snows, you can slowly relish yourself with the spectacle as snow flower fill the sky while you let your body relax in the warm bathe.

'Heaven Valley' is situated between the two rivers in the Dangling village and the bridge at Dandong County. Each October, the first frosts of winter would shower down upon the 'Heavn Valley's' peaks and valleys, the sea of forest under the falling snow puts on her aumtumn attires. Maple leaves as red as flames, cypresses as green as emeralds and golden birches cross radiate with the blue sky and the expance of white snow. The autumn in Heaven Valley are like one after another exquisite paintings carefully wrought by a great artist, you can't believe that you are actually seeing it in front of your eyes, but truly it does exist. "


*The text in Chinese was written by Youduo who is a famous Chinese photographer. Visit his website:
**The translation was made by Steven Chen. Steven is a student, currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. He loves to write bilingual(Chinese, English) prose and poems. His dream is to be a freelance poet.

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