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“When time stood still - 2.28 pm 2008-5-12”

2008 Earthquake Memorial Site
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
2,287 reviews
1,508 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 810 helpful votes
“When time stood still - 2.28 pm 2008-5-12”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

On our way back after visiting Wenchuan and Maoxian, our guide detoured and stopped for us to view the 2008 Earthquake Memorial Site. This was actually the site of Xuankou Secondary School which was destroyed during the earthquake. The buildings remained as they were after the quake and the whole area has been cordoned off and made a memorial site. Sadness filled our hearts as we walked the grounds that cold afternoon. A plaque at the site detailed events of that tragic day in May where more than 43 students, 8 teachers, 2 workers and 2 family members perished.

The town surrounding the school has been completely rebuilt. Our guide told us that money for that was donated by the people of Hong Kong. Children play in the streets and people go about their daily chores.

Silence was in the air as we left the memorial site. Each of us left to our own thoughts.

Visited December 2012
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English first
Kuching, Malaysia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Poignant Place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2011

We were part of a tour group of 10 and had just finished our visit at the Jiuzhaigou Valley, and were making our way to Dujiangyan, Chengdu after leaving Mao Xian county, when our tour guide made an impromptu stop at this place. It was not part of the itinerary but I was glad that we had the opportunity to visit this poignant and moving memorial to those who had perished and suffered in the devastating Great Sichuan Earthquake of 2008.

Wenchuan was the epicenter of the 7.9 M earthquake in the Sichuan province which occurred at 2.28pm on the 12th May, 2008. As we left Jiuzhaigou Valley and wound through the mountains towards Maoxian county, we could not help but notice the destruction and devastation left behind by the Great Earthquake. Although it has been only a little more than 3 years,we could see that much effort had been poured in by international organisations as well as the Chinese government to rebuild the towns and cities to its original state before the earthquake, and they did an excellent job indeed.

Yet, enroute, we saw physical reminders of the earthquake ,with intermittent signposts deliberately put up by the Chinese authorities as well as fallen highways , blacked out tunnels and roads blocked by landslides. We were told horrific stories, in particular, how our tour guide's friend was in a bus load full of tourists after having had an enjoyable trip to Jiuzhaigou and also making their way to Chengdu( the exact route we were taking) when the earthquake happened. They were on the highway caught in slow-moving traffic ,with the mountain on one side and the raging Minjiang River on the other. when suddenly, he saw gigantic rocks falling onto the car in front of his bus as well as on the cars behind and the cars were then pushed by the falling rocks into the raging river below. Fortunately for his tour group, they were unharmed and it was 3 days later when they managed to be rescued and in the meantime, they sustained themselves with biscuits and water kept on board the bus.He came out physically unscathed but was mentally scarred by the whole ordeal of knowing and seeing firsthand how his fellow countrymen perished in the torrents of the river.

When we got to Wenchuan, it seemed like a small city with good infrastructure and at a glance, one would think it was just like any other ordinary town which we had passed through with its fair share of shops and modern buildings.Our coach stopped at the memorial site , we got out and immediately we saw the site of Xuankou Middle School. Right in the middle of the school courtyard, was the clock which stopped at 2.28pm , the time of the earthquake. The 5 storey building was now at ground level. Upon close inspection of the rubble, one could see school bags and clothing.It was a very touching and moving experience, walking in the school grounds amongst the rubble, knowing that some 50 people perished in this site alone.Not as many compared to some other school perhaps, but still , seeing buildings which were left in its original state during the aftermath for myself drove home the reality of how destructive the earthquake was.One would have a heart of stone not to be moved ; my heart went out to the victims' families and the survivors.

The memorial site, dedicated to all who perished in the Sichuan Earthquake, is not usually part of a tour package but it is a worthwhile visit (entrance is free) if only to drive home the reality of all the news articles we had read about from wherever you were at the time of the Great Sichuan Earthquake of 2008. It was for me and will be for you a thought -provoking and poignant experience.

Visited September 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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