Trip to Chongqing

Page 5



Rice planting.

My six hour bus ride from Leshan to Chunqing could easily have been the same trip 50 years ago in Taiwan.  It was rice planting season, and everywhere were farmers, up to their knees in muddy water, preparing the soil and planting seedlings.  Only once did I see a hand tractor used.  In all other instances, the plough was pulled by water buffalo.  In the farm country, only a few farmers seemed to have motorcycles or even bicycles.  Walking was the means of getting around, and for longer distances it meant walking to the nearest road or river and catching public transportation.  I was astonished at how little of China's prosperity had reached the farm country.

The main highway I was traveling was a two lane road, much like the old north-south highway in Taiwan before freeways.  However, as we got closer to Chongqing, it did become toll way, part of a huge joint toll way program with Hong Kong and Singapore corporations.  The foreign company builds the toll way and spits the profits for 50 years.  The road then reverts to 100% China ownership.  In many sections the road was under construction, and the bus weaved left and right trying to avoid treacherous mud puddles.

At one intersection, our progress was stopped by a truck stuck in the mud.  Its load of old rubber tires was offloaded by enlisted passers by, and after half an hour, another truck pulled it out with a cable.

As we traveled east, the hills turned to mountains and in the last hour of the trip we passed through five long tunnels.  When we emerged from the fifth tunnel, we were presented with the high rise buildings of Chongqing, the third largest city in China.



A tributary of the Yangtze.

Afternoon Mah Jong.

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