Luding Travel Guide, Sichuan
Located halfway between Moxi(Hailuogou) and Kangding, as a major traffic connection point between western Sichuan and Chengdu, Luding is a small, bustling town with precious little to see in the town itself, though it's full of nondescript places to eat and so busy in spring that an overflow of produce from stalls has to be laid out on sheets in the narrow main street.
However, for travellers with a keen interest in China's communist history heading towards Hailuo Gou Glacier , the scruffy, two-street market town worth a brief stop between buses, with plenty of time to soak up some history at the Luding Bridge, one of the great icons of the Long March.
Getting in & out
Daily buses between Kangding, Moxi and Chengdu all pass through Luding. Moving on, there are daily buses to Chengdu (6hrs/Y90-100),Ya'an(4hrs/Y50), Shimian (3hrs/Y20).
Minibuses run regularly to Kangding and Moxi for Y20.
If you do find yourself overnighting, there is a choice of cheaper lodgings close to the bus station.
Chezhan Lvguan(Bus Station Hostel) - this relatively clean guesthouse tached to the bus station may be your best bet, Y15/dm, Y30/dbl...
Or, you can try the comfortable Yagudu Hotel and restaurant, where they don't speak a word of English, despite a scattering of signs.
- Luding Bridge/ 泸定桥
The 100m long Luding Bridge was built in 1706 of Qing dynasty, calligraphy by Emperor Kangxi remains at the east end of the bridge. The bridge has a unique structure with nine iron chains spanning the torrential Dadu River.
Despite its architecture however, Luding would never be so well known now if it were not for the battle here in May, 1935 between the Red Army and the Nationalist (KMT) Government, which is considered one of the turning points of the Long March.
The Red Army reached Anshunchang on the southern side of the Dadu River but were unable to cross the rapids there. Pressured by enemy troops, they decided to head upstream to where a nominal Guomindang force, baulking at destroying the only crossing for hundreds of kilometres, had pulled the decking off the Luding suspension bridge, but left the chains intact. On a forced march, the Communists Red Army covered the 100km to Luding in just two days, where 22 heroes braved heavy fire to climb hand-over-hand across the chains and take Kuomintang emplacements on the west bank.
Though substantial by local standards, the bridge is simply a series of 13 heavy-gauge chains spanned by planks which look as if they might have been pirated from a packing crate. The Dadu flows roughly below, while temple-style gates and ornaments at either end lend the bridge an almost religious aspect. On the near side is a ticket office (Y5) and a gold-lettered tablet detailing the events of May 29, 1935, while a pavilion on the far side houses a museum with period photos.