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Adrift in a sea of green

By Huang Zhiling | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-25 07:54
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A traditional homestay that is popular with visitors as it is within walking distance of the Southern Sichuan Bamboo Sea Museum. [Photo by LIU LANYING/FOR CHINA DAILY]

For those looking to escape the concrete jungle, maybe it's time to dive into the bamboo forests of southern Sichuan.

Stranded in the forest of steel-and-cement structures, urbanites are impatient to embrace nature on weekends.

A natural forest that people in Sichuan province tend to visit is the Southern Sichuan Bamboo Sea in Yibin.

The 120-square-kilometer Bamboo Sea is the largest primeval bamboo park in China and its average temperature seldom drops below zero degrees Celsius in winter when many parts of the country are covered with snow and ice.

Known as one of the country's 10 most beautiful forests, it has been a popular tourist attraction since scenes from the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon were shot there in 2001.

Two years later, the bamboo forest got an ecotour rating when it was listed as a world-class bamboo reserve in December 2003, becoming the fourth tourism destination in China to be granted Green Globe 21 certification.

Located in Canberra, Australia, Green Globe sets the global benchmark for certification of environmentally friendly tourism sites. Certification is based on Agenda 21 — which embodies the principles for sustainable development, endorsed by representatives of 182 countries and regions from around the world during the United Nations Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.

The Bamboo Sea covers Changning and Jiang'an, two counties under Yibin's jurisdiction. Amazed at its vast expanse, Huang Tingjian, a poet from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), described it as "bamboo waves". As Huang was an influential man of letters, his description gave rise to the forest's popular moniker — the Bamboo Sea.

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