High above Zhenyuan

This post is part of my Guizhou-China blog post series.

I don’t remember whose idea it was, but half of our group decided to hike all the way up to the pavilion that overlooks Zhenyuan and the valley. This was early in the morning and way before breakfast. One fellow even decided to count the stairs on the way down and came up with 882. In the end it was worthwhile because we got treated to a great view and an additional surprise.

Zhenyuan nested between mountains along the Wuyang river

The view from the pavilion was wonderful. The trail continued past the pavilion and I ventured further for another few hundred feet. Then suddenly the trail was on top of a wall. It looked like a small version of the Great Wall to me. Only later did I learned that this was indeed part of the southern section of the Great Wall of China, also called the Miajiang Great Wall. It was around 190km long and built in 1554 by the rulers of the Ming Dynasty to defend their kingdom against the Miao people of the south. Wow, I am really excited since I did not expect to see the Great Wall on this trip. Now I wished that I had walked further and spent more time on the wall. Oh well, this has to wait for another trip.

Southern section of the Great Wall (Miaojiang Great Wall)
Southern section of the Great Wall (Miaojiang Great Wall)

Being up so high on the mountain provided an excellent view of Zhenyuan, the pavilion upfront and the hills surrounding this ‘little’ town. I put little between quotes because the population is 230,000 with 40,000 permanent residents. So it is not that small after all.

Panoramic view of Zhenyuan from the southern section of the Great Wall

It was very scenic up here on the mountain, but they had power lines all over the place. Not just one or two. I loved how the Wuyang river meandered through the hills. At one point it almost looked like the sun would win against the cloud cover. It didn’t happen. But do you notice all the wires?

Wuyang valley dominated by power lines
Wuyang valley dominated by power lines

From high up, the Qinglong Dong Temple doesn’t look that big. And the previous day I didn’t see that there were other buildings on top of the complex. Definitely something worthwhile to explore, specially to get to a different point of view for a night shot.

Qinglong Dong Temple (aka Black Dragon Cave Temple)

After breakfast while waiting for the bus I hoped to get a shot of a boat in the middle of the Wuyang river. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. Nevertheless, but I am pleased with this shot.

Zhusheng Qiao bridge arch and reflection

When I turned around after taking the previous shot, I saw this lady posing next to the river. It looks like this is a common theme: rent dresses and have a photographer ready to capture an image for the photo album. This time they used real dresses instead of the throws they had in Guiyang.

Posing in traditional costume

But now time was up to board the bus and head to the next destination.

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2 thoughts on “High above Zhenyuan”

  1. Daniel, HOW AWESOME! We were that near to the great wall. I have learned a valuable lesson. If I ever go on another photography trip with you on it ‘ I will FOLLOW you’!
    These shots (and all I’ve seen of yours) are outstanding. Thank you for posting and for telling us this story. Warm regards, Becky

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Becky! If I had known, I would have told you guys!

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