Travel Report: Beijian Bridge, Taishun County.
Beijian Bridge Taishun County.
November 2017. Located in Sixi Town, Beijian Bridge is one of Taishun County’s most picturesque spots. Initially camouflaged by a stupendous one thousand year old camphor tree, you’ll need to make your way to the start of the lake’s stepping-stones before the bridge fully reveals itself.
Perched eleven meters above water level, Beijian Bridge was built in 1674 in the early years of the Tang Dynasty. It was conceived as a sister structure to the nearby Xi Dong Bridge.
Beijian Bridge, Taishun County.
It’s only once you cross the stepping stones and reach Beijian Bridge that you realise just how immense this old tree is. Look out for the large family of koi fish, who often swarm close to the water’s edge to accept scraps thrown in by tourists.
Beijian Bridge is also home to around half a dozen people. Their families have lived here for generations, running shops, street stalls and a restaurant all catered towards tourists.
Taishun County, China.
Beijian Bridge doesn’t get many foreign visitors. Hence I found myself subjected to plenty of laughing, pointing and staring. Even more than I usually get in China. The ladies pictured below were selling traditional Chinese sweets such as Mahua, a fried dough twist encrusted with sugar icing.
Once you’ve pottered around, take a short stroll to the end of the street to get some choice reverse angles of the bridge.
Entering Beijian Bridge that afternoon, I found myself utterly captivated by the moody, autumnal views of Sixi Town.
In the other direction, I was able to look back at the way we’d come, with lovely views across the lake and its stepping stones.
Once you’ve crossed Beijian Bridge, you’ll be met by three stone statues. These are the men responsible for its construction. Sadly, I wasn’t able to learn much, beyond their dates of birth and the bridge’s period of construction.
There’s also a cool museum here dedicated to Taishun’s covered bridges, including a photography exhibition detailing every structure.
The museum sits in an old barn and is free to enter. From what I understand it keeps unpredictable opening times, thus I was delighted that the gods were kind to me that day.
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