Bamboo Sea (Shunan Zhuhai)
Bamboo Sea (Shunan Zhuhai) Travel Guide, Yibin, Sichuan
Located in the border of Changning and Jiang'an, around 70km southeast of Yibin via Changning, the extraordinary South Sichuan Bamboo Sea ("Shunan Zhuhai" in Chinese Pinyin) covers an area of 120sqkm of mountain slopes at an elevation from 600 to 1000m. In its central region, more than 5000 hectares of bamboo shelters 28 ridges and peaks, with many cultural relics and historic sites screened by the feathery green tufts. There are Bamboo Sea Museum, old folk residences on Mount Xijia and fish fossils. It is a comparatively big primeval ecological bamboo forest combining mountains, rivers, karst caves, lakes and falls with artificial scenes of long history.
The slopes within the Bamboo Sea are surprisingly dark, with the tall, slender trunks reaching up 10m or more. Paths lead into the forest, an unusual walk given such a large expanse of just the one type of plant. For the best views of the "sea", however, climb the hills above to a scattering of temples, from where the bowed tips of bamboo ripple in waves as breezes sweep the slopes. The best of the shrines is the Buddhist-Taoist Feiyun Dong , which contains some really grotesque Ming-dynasty sculptures.
>> Shunan Bamboo Sea Toursit Maps ( Entry Ticket: Y50 )
When to go: year-round
How Long: 2 days
Getting there & away
It's about 330km from Chengdu to Shunan Zhuhai. Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station has direct buses to the west gate of the Bamboo Sea at 9:20 & 15:30 every day (Y95, 3hrs). The Alternative is to take a bus from Chengdu / Chongqing to Yibin first, then travel from Yibin to the Bamboo Sea via Changning, Buses run high frequently between these places.
For moving on, take a bus back to Yibin first. Yibin Beimen station handles traffic to Chongqing, Chengdu and Zigong; for regional sights, catch a city bus from beside Daguan Lou south over the river to Nan'an bus station (15min; Y1), from where early morning services to the Bamboo forest and Gongxian depart. Ferries to Luzhou and Chongqing leave daily from the docks on the eastern side of town.
Zhuhai Shanzhuang in Wanli Zhen is the pick of the accommodation here, Y200/std. dbl room.
Shunan Binguan is the best hotel close to the west gate, Y300/std.room.
For anything substantially cheaper, you'll need to head 1.5km south to the Jiaotong Binguan (Y30-70). There are also many private hostels and guesthouses in Wanli Zhen, clean and cheap (Y15-100).
For somewhere to stay in Yibin, try either the reasonable Xufu Binguan, at 14 Renmin Lu, just west from the crossroads (tel 0831/8221582, Y150-200), or the new and friendly Post and Telecommunications Hotel (tel 0831/8247388; Y30-150), next to the post office on Nan Jie. If you want to vary the usual canteen fare, seek out the Jingsheng tea house - more of a dumpling and light-meal restaurant - on Renhe Jie, which runs south off Renmin Lu.