Siguniang Shan Travel Guide, Sichuan
Stradling on the borderline between Xiaojin and Wenchuan of Sichuan Province, 260km from Chengdu, Siguniang Shan(also "Siguniangshan", "4 Maidens Mountain", "4 Girls Mountain) has four outstanding peaks, legend has it that each peak represents a girl of the 4 sisters, the heights of which are 5355m, 5455m, 5664m and 6250m from the eldest to the youngest in turn.
The highest peak, Yaoguniang(幺姑娘 / the youngest girl), also called the 'Queen of Sichuan's peaks', snow-capped all year round, still remains unconquered till today, though mountaineers from some countries made their way there and tried a lot of times.
The base for visiting Siguniang Shan 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.
>> Map of Siguniang shan
Usually 3 days, one day in each of the gullies. If you plan a trek through, then minimum 5 days.
Getting there & away
Travelers usually take Chengdu-Xiaojin bus to arrive Rilong and leave from Rilong.
There are 4 regular buses from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station to Xiaojin every day, starting from 6:30am till 12:00 noon, Y69.-, 7~9 hrs. You can also take the Chengdu-Danba bus, which passes by Rilong.
In peak seasons, there are also buses from Xinnnamen Station directly to Siguniang Shan.
Leaving from Rilong Town 日隆- wave for the Xiaojin-Chengdu bus at Rilong Town, the earliest one leaves Xiaojin at 6:30am and arrive Rilong between 7:30~8:00am. Another passing by bus available between 12:00~13:00.
Rilong town: private guesthouses offer clean and cheap rooms costing Y10/bed, Y30~40/std. dbl with TV and attached bathroom and. During the low season,star hotels offer up to a 70% discount.
Shuangqiao Gully:lodging is available at villagers'home at Y20/night. Food is also provided at around Y30 for 2 meals.
Changping Gully: simple guesthouses near the bridge run by local farmers provide ladging.There are also Tibetan tent available at Y25/dbl, you can cook by yourself.prices ranging from Y10~Y20, ideal for backpackers.
Legions of small restaurant in Rilong town offers cheap food, but due to the high elevation, rice can hardly be ripe.
You can have breakfast and dinner in the restaurant but need to bring some food for lunch when trekking in the gullies during the day.
There are three gullies accessible from the town. Each of them is different with their own scenic interests.
- 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 for Y5.
- 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 Rilong 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 3km uphill from the entrance.