The Min River

The Min flows down from the Tibetan Plateau, through Dujiangyan where a 2000 year old irrigation project splits the river into two parts: one headed south to Chengdu and the other, which rushes along the mountains — and the fault line — all the way down to the Leshan Grand Buddha, where it swirls at the Buddha’s feet with two other rivers, before draining into the Yangtze.

It is an amazing river. I always loved to stare at it as it rushes through Dujiangyan. I stood at the Southern Bridge and watched the eddies and waves slap into each other as the river runs white and silver through the town. The Min is always fast and powerful. The locks at the irrigation project control the flow, but in summer the locks open a bit to keep the “inside river” — which irrigates the Chengdu basin — from flooding.

Right now extra water released fro the Zipingdu Dam and from the quake lakes farther north has made the river a raging torrent, splashing high against the walls and battering the pillars of the Southern Bridge.

I am off to Mianyang. Again.

Sascha Matuszak
Sascha Matuszak

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