Wangjiang Park is one of Chengdu's three famous cultural relics, along with Wuhou Memorial Temple and the Thatched Cottage of Dufu. The park is significant because it is dedicated to a versatile and beautiful Tang Dynasty (618-907) female poet named Xue Tao.
Visitors to the park can enjoy poems and couplets written by the poet, as well as quiet moments in the sea of bamboo and a panoramic view from the top of Wangjiang Tower.
Xue Tao was born in turbulent times, thereby being named "tao" (涛), which means 'rough water' in Chinese. Over the course of her life, history records that Xue Tao composed over 500 poems, a noteworthy accomplishment due to the fact that during the Tang Dynasty, women were held at a lower social status than men. In a period of China's history where prolific poets were many and held in popular esteem, Xue Tao's talents as a poet elevated her above many of her contemporaries and drew the admiration of many followers.
Xue Tao drew inspiration from spending time in bamboo forests, and to celebrate her, Wangjiang Park boasts the finest garden of bamboo in Chengdu. A special effort has been made to cultivate a variety of bamboos in the park, with over 150 kinds of bamboo from China and abroad growing in the park.
Wangjiang Tower, also called Chongli Tower, is the most magnificent structure in the park, standing 39 meters (128 ft) high. The tower has a total of four levels, two square tiers leading up to two octagonal ones on the top, and those who look closely can find exquisite sculptures adorning the eaves at each level. The view from the top is worth the trip up, a view over much of the park.
Any time of year, visitors to the park can draw inspiration from the swaying bamboo that fills the park, much as the poet Xue Tao did many centuries ago, and we recommend taking the chance to drink tea made from the Xue Tao Well water, as well.