Sichuan Tour. Day 7, 20 May, rest day in Danba

Danba, like many towns in China, owes its existence to a river. In Danba’s case, it’s 2 rivers — both of which meet at the confluence where the town sits. The bigger, more important one is the Dadu river, and it was made famous largely due to Mao Tze Tong’s Long March, and their crucial crossing of it at Luding, 133 kms due south and downstream of Danba.






New uses for old tyres. Notice the special sewing machine next to the man

Danba lies in the eastern side of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It is here that the Tibetan influence becomes more and more apparent as one moves eastwards. Danba is no different. The town’s claim to fame is Jiaju Tibetan Village,  a few kms out of town, and voted the most beautiful village in China. Understandably, I gave it a miss. Hordes of tourists are not really my thing.

Instead, on my first day off the bike, I decided to visit a less visited village not far out of town. It’s called Suopo, and the only reason it is less visited is because the only access to it is a pedestrian/motorcycles-only suspension bridge. Real tourists, you see, avoid walking too far to get to a tourist site, which was fine by me. But, the lure of big-bucks tourism has reared its ugly head. I can see a modern bridge being built about 100 metres from the old one. Before long, the lazy tourists will be bussed right up to the ancient stone towers of Suopo village.

The dirt road that runs alongside the main road and the Dadu river leading to Suopo. The bridge leading to the village is just ahead.

The only link to Suopo village...but not for long

This boy took me to see the best towers in the village for just 50Y


Some of these towers date back a thousand years

To get to one of the towers, we had to hike up a small hill


My guide was pretty good with a camera as well. Here, I've just climbed up to the top of a tower

My guide took me to visit this house when I asked if it was possible to do so

I even went inside to peek at a bedroom

The nice owner of the house

One that's being built. All materials come from the river

In China, they are very practical when it comes to baby clothes...just pee, poo and go, without having to take off any clothes

Villge lasses at a xiao mai pu

This one very obligingly posed for a portrait

I’ve decided to change my plans and instead of riding straight down south following the Dadu to Luding, I’ve decided that I want to go further west into Tibet country — Tagong and its vast grasslands. But, the thing is, I won’t be able to keep to schedule if I rode there. As well, there’s a 4,200m mountain to cross, and my Balangshan ordeal is still fresh in my mind. So, I do the next smart thing — go by public transport over the mountain into Bamei and then ride the last 30km or so into Tagong.

3 thoughts on “Sichuan Tour. Day 7, 20 May, rest day in Danba

    • Yea, the guide really earned his pay that day. Good chap. More importantly, he didn’t take me shopping :-))

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