Sunset Surprise in Northern Chengdu

Authors: Malcolm Phillips (China Daily)


For a short time a magical moment was created, reminding us that there is more to Chengdu City than Chunxi Road.
Sitting on the balcony of my house in North Chengdu, I look out to the West. The view that on most days is uninspiring, but one day in last July I was in the best position in town. As the sun was setting I could see it was going to be a special day. The usual grey mist had been cleared and the mountains in the distance could be seen as a pale purple shadow on the horizon. Their blue greys were tinged with the orange and red glow of the late evening sun and thus the light show began. I was soon joined by people from the surrounding village who had walked to the top of the hill with their phones. It seems that a sunset in Chengdu is indeed rare as everyone was keen to capture this moment. It was certainly worth the wait as the sight of towering peaks bisecting the horizon, were highlighted in the glow of the setting sun. Golden hues outlined the distance clouds giving them a sharp definition and the reds turned to warm oranges, which in turn changed to salmon pink as the sun dipped.
For me this 'once in a 10 year sunset' was another example of the great variety and spectacle that is Chengdu, the jewel of Sichuan. A city with many hidden treasures from the tourist delights of Jinli Street to the office and accommodation blocks which define the city skyscape; from the huge monolith of the Global Centre to the three major ring roads. All these elements add to the diversity of the city. A true cornucopia of delights is hidden within Chengdu; small tea houses mingle with international brand names to vie for your RMB. A city where everything is available and most things are possible.
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