My first and third years in China were spent teaching at Sichuan University of Arts & Science in Dazhou, Sichuan province, central China.
Of all the places that I have taught in China, I have done the most sightseeing in Sichuan. It’s arguably the most beautiful place to teach English in China.
Sichuan has an interesting combination of modern and historical buildings as well as miles and miles of beautiful countryside and scenic mountains.
In particular, I have been lucky enough to have been taken on trips to Chongqing, Dazhu, the Kaijing Hot Spring Baths, Langzhong, Quxian and Yanglie Waterslide Village.
Here’s an overview of each of these wonderful places.
Chongqing is a major city in Sichuan province and one of China’s five National Central Cities. This means it’s important and it’s big!
Administratively, it is one of China’s four directly controlled municipalities. It has a population of more than 32 million people.
Situated on the Yangtze River, Chongqing is in a sub-tropical climate zone and is often swept by monsoons. In other words, the weather can get a little crazy sometimes.
While Chongqing is an important industrial area – it’s the country’s third largest center for motor vehicle production and the largest for motorcycles – it’s still a nice place to visit.
Away from the urban areas, Chongqing has some beautiful mountains with miles upon miles of green fields, picturesque caves and traditional Chinese buildings.
Some of the scenes from the film ‘Curse of the Golden Flower’ were shot on location here.
Scenes from a famous movie were shot at this site in Chongqing, Sichuan province.
In the countryside, there are ample opportunities to go donkey trekking. In the evening, you can even see a cultural performance set against the backdrop of the mountains.
Dazhu, the main town of Dazhu county in Sichuan province, is a small town by Chinese standards but has a rich history.
It’s famous for producing a unique alcoholic rice dish which is more of a soup or porridge than a drink. Dazhu is also home to one of China’s many political prisons.
The scenic area of Dazhu which I visited consisted of mountains, vast green fields, acres of cherry blossom trees and lakes. It is simply stunning.
Cherry blossom trees in Dazhu, Sichuan.
Qu County, or Quxian, is another lovely part of Sichuan. It’s under the administration of Dazhou City.
Formerly known as Dangqu, the county is best known for its historic monuments. The most significant of these is a partially preserved mausoleum complex with gate towers belonging to the Shen family, dating back to the Han Dynasty.
Quxian is also known for its natural beauty and has many rivers, waterfalls, caves, a gallery of beautiful paintings and sculptures, a temple and acres of green fields.
You can find picture-perfect scenery like this in Quxian, Sichuan.
Langzhong Ancient City
Lying in the middle section of Jialing River, Langzhong Ancient City is one of China’s four great ancient towns.
Langzhong resembles a large chessboard dotted with orderly houses and surrounded by rolling hills and flowing rivers.
Walking along the main street, you will almost feel as if you have gone back in time.
You’ll see people in traditional costume, the most notable of which is the Monkey King of Chinese folklore. Even your hotel will be built like a traditional Chinese building!
There are numerous tourist attractions in Langzhong. Zhang Fei Temple, also known as Huanhou Temple, has a long history and can be traced back to the Three Kingdom Period (220-280 AD).
General Zhang Fei guarded Langzhong for seven years and sacrificed a lot for the development of the city. After his death, the local people constructed the temple to commemorate him.
Souvenir shop in Langzhong Ancient City, Sichuan.
The Ancient Examination Hall (Gongyuan) used to be a place for emperors to select wise advisers. It was also the place where ambitious students took their imperial examinations during the Qing Dynasty.
Tengwang Pavilion is a splendid and grand palace complex. It was built by the order of Princess Tengwang, the daughter of Emperor Gaozu-Li Yuan of the Tang Dynasty. This was where celebrities, scholars, poets and writers gathered to discuss literature, music and art.
Yanglie Waterslide Village
When I was invited to go on a trip to Yanglie Waterslide Village, an image of a swimming pool with slides immediately came to mind.
The first question I asked, much to the amusement of my colleagues, was “Should we bring along our swimming costumes?”
Unfortunately, there is not one swimming pool to be found in this village. It is simply a scenic location with beautiful lakes, mountains and rivers.
The village is a great place to hire tandem bicycles and bicycle cars.
Kaijing Hot Spring Baths
The Kaijing Baths consist of a fairly big modern building with a number of indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Outdoor swimming pool at Kaijing Hot Spring Baths, Sichuan.
The indoor pools are extremely deep and there are a number of very high diving boards.
This was the first time in my life that I jumped into a pool from a diving board 10 metres above the ground. There was another diving board about double that height but I did not dare try that!
If you’re thinking about teaching English overseas, why not consider Sichuan province in China?
Do you agree with Kim that Sichuan is the most beautiful place to teach English in China? Have your say below.