Bill Stranberg (more chengdu)|
If you haven’t heard it yet, by the time you arrive, you’ll hear it blasting out of small shops, big shops, mountain sides, and well, nearly everywhere. People will travel from miles around to see the city and its surrounding mountains that inspired the famous love song.
There’s a lot to take in the first time you roll in to Kangding. The city is wedged between steep cliffs with a raging river running through the middle. The river flows towards a giant God carving in a cliff side.
Kangding and Chengdu have similar commonalities, both have their own popular scenic attractions that draw in tourists but they also draw tourists because both cities serve as platforms to get other places. Chengdu gets you to Kangding and Lhasa, but Kangding takes you to the untainted. Common trips extend to Tagong, Danba, Gonggashan, Ganzi, to name but a few.
The city itself can be navigated with relative ease, seeing as it’s the shape of a hotdog. Roaming up and down the streets will afford you the chance to soak in the local culture, buy some Tibetan music and maybe a nice colorful cowboy hat. Try the local food and all the while bare the mountains in mind. Once you’re ready, climb up Paoma Shan for a fantastic view of the city and its beautiful surroundings.
About half way up Paoma Shan, you’ll come to a clearing, and if you’re lucky, it’ll be circled with tents and within you’ll find locals singing, dancing and jesting. Off near the ascending mountain, you’ll find the lyrics, in Chinese and broken English, to the song that made Kangding famous.