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Explore Chinese Countryside - Discover Hidden Treasures

Siguniang, Sichuan

Siguniang Shan (Four Sisters Mountain, Four Maidens Mountain or Four Girls Mountain) has four outstanding peaks. The highest peak is Mt. Siguniang 6250m, also called the 'Queen of Sichuan's peaks' is snow-capped all year round. The heights of the other three peaks are: 5355m, 5455m and 5664m.

The base for visiting Siguniang is a small Tibetan town named Rilong 日隆镇. There are two sections to the town, the main street and a village, about 500m to the west of the town. The main street has many souvenir shops, hotels catering mainly to tourists on package as well as eating places. Many of the old houses in the village are being converted to hotels and hostels.

The area around Siguniang had been a major tourism destination for at least ten years. Tourism development is set to pick up further since Siguniang had been designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2006. More on Tourism Development at Siguniang.

Attractions

There are three gullies accessible from the town. Each of them is different with their own scenic interests. Click here to view a sightseeing map.

Shuangqiao Gully 双桥沟 (34.8km): It is the most visited valley. Entrance fee: Y80. Tourist bus: Y80 (cheaper at off-season between December and March). Entrance to the valley is about 8km away from Rilong. One needs to catch local transport to get here. All transport going to XiaoJin 小金 also passes the entrance. Cost is 5 RMB.

Changping Gully 长坪沟 (29km): Entrance fee: Y70. Tourist bus: Y40. Entrance to this gully is only a short walk from the east end of town. The tourist bus can only reach a monastery (actually a ruin) about five kms from the entrance. Tourists have to either rent a horse or walk the rest of the valley. This gully has a close-up view of Siguniang at Muluozi 木骡子.

Haizi Gully 海子沟 (19.2km): Entrance fee: Y60. Entrance to the gully is about 400m from town, on the road towards Chengdu. This gully is still in pristine condition and there are no villages within it. It is less visited by Chinese tourists. There are five lakes within this gully. It has the best views of all four peaks of the Siguniang among the three gullies. Great views at both sunrise and sunset can be had at Guozhuangping 锅庄坪, around three km uphill from the entrance.

More on hiking in these alpine valleys: click here

Accommodations

Rilong town: from flashy hotels to cheap guesthouses. During the low season, hotels offer up to a 70% discount.
Shuangqiaoguo gully: accommodation is available at villagers at 20 RMB/night. Food is also provided at 30 RMB (2 meals).

Changping Village: some simple guesthouses near the bridge are run by local farmers, prices ranging from Y10 to Y20, ideal for backpackers. From Changping village, it is possible to walk an hour to Guozhuangping 锅庄坪 in the Haizi Gully, the best place to admire Siguniang Shan in sunset. However it is inside the entrance and so entrance fee is payable. Fortunately the entrance “closed” at 6pm, meaning the staff will not bother to collect entrance fee if one enters the gully after that.

Getting There

Rilong Town 日隆. See a Location Map. Siguniang Shan is located 220km from Chengdu. Both Chadianzi Bus Station and Xinnanmen Bus Station in Chengdu have regular buses to Rilong, leaving normally early in the morning. The journey takes about 7 hours (more for 2006/2007 due to road works).

Ratings
All the 3 gullies of Siguniang has its own beauty and characteristics. There are variety in the sceneries and development stages. One can witness advanced tourism development in Shuangqiaoguo and still relatively untouched pristine nature in Haizigou. Away from the town, this area is beautiful with mountains, lakes and villages.

When to visit
Rainy season: from May to September. Best time to visit is in October and November.

Maps: A Sightseeing Map, Location Map

Links: Photo: Please go to our gallery. For a great essay on photography at Siguniang, please read http://www.olegnovikov.com/cptg/sichuan/siguniangshan.shtml)

Last Visit: in October 2006
Written by CBP in November 2006



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