Songpan Travel Guide, Sichuan
Located in the northern part of Sichuan, Songpan is a small minority town and a stopover place to/from Huanglong, Jiuzhaigou or Zoige. but worth exploring. With the ethnic minorities people of Hui, Tibetan and Qiang inhabiting there, Songpan itself is so very lively. The style and atmosphere senses quite special there.
More importantly, Songpan is a historic town, featured by a peace-craving political marriage of Princess Wencheng in the 6th century BC of Tang dynasty and the Songpan Battle in the famous 25,000km Long March(1934~1936) of Chinese Red Army. A sculpture and a monument was built in Songpan to memorize the 2 historical events respectively.
Horse treks / walled-city with 7 ancient gates / Old bridges
When to go?
Apr.~Oct. While Jun ~ Aug. is the perfect time to visit its neighboring Zoige Grant Grassland
How long ?
2 ~ 4 days,depends where you want the horse trek to
Getting there & away
From Chengdu: take the Chegndu-Jiuzhaigou via Songpan bus at around 8:00am in Chengdu Xinanmen or Chadianzi Stations(Y106 / 8 hrs). Arrival at 16:00. Better buy ticket beforehand.
From Jiuzhaigou: take Jiuzhaigou-Chengdu bus at 7:30am in Jiutong Bus Station (Y27 / 3hrs) and get off at Songpan.
For moving on, comfortable touristy buses are available from Songpan to other destinations. Departure between 6:00~8:00am to Chengdu (Y75 / 8hrs) , Jiuzhaigou(Y30~40 / 3hrs) , Zoige(Y78 / 7hrs) , Hongyuan (5hrs), Maerkang(Y81 / 9hrs).
Just stepping out of the new and quiet Songpan Bus Station, you will see hostels standing in great numbers along the roadside. Y15~20/bed or Y30/room, shared bath room.
Not so many choices around the bus station. Get into the so called “ancient city” through the main gate, snack booths and restaurants are available everywhere. Nanjie(South Street) is famous for local specialty.
- Walk into the Songpan walled city to seek the old wooden bridges with artistic sculpture and painting on it and to experience the minority people's laid-back life style.
- Step onto the rampart to have an overlook around or take a walk outside along the wall to the main old gate Guanyangmen, where you can have a panorama of the Songpan City.
- Visit the Hui village and Mosque along the riverside
- Take a 2~3 days horse trek to test the resistance of your bottom.
- 2 horse trek agencies in Songpan, the Shun Jiang's and the Happy 's, 200m away from the Songpan bus station at the left side of the road, they are just upstairs and downstairs and offer the same quality services. The boss can communicate with foreigners in very basic but clear English.
- Price- Y100/day incl. a horse, 3 meals, tents, beddings, Tibetan clothes, rain gear and an attentive guide. The guide takes care of everything for you.
- Destinations - Xuebaoding / Munigou are the most popular ones.
- Drawback - the changeable weather in the plateau / no hot shower and poor hygiene during the trek / the average food / walking the horse rather than riding…
The weather changes dramatically. Bring rain gear when walking outside. Rainbow turns up fairly often.