If we were having coffee, I would tell you good morning and thanks for joining me for another weekly chat. It’s good to be back after four days of minimal sleep and maximum walking and yes, coffee with lots of milk and sugar sounds heavenly.
I’m back from my road-trip as I mentioned last week. The last two days had been nothing but uploading pictures and rest. The bags of gifts and souvenirs lay untouched in the suitcase. I’ll begin passing those out next week, maybe…
If we were having coffee, I would tell you the trip was fascinating. It was one that’s filled with good memories as well as bad and a trip full of interesting and beautiful places I would be eager to go again and again. Shall we begin?
The weather wasn’t great from the get-go. We left Zhongshan (中山) at around 7:30 am on a tram for Guangzhou (广州) to catch the high-speed train to Changsha (长沙), a city in Hunan (湖南) Province. I’d bet it’s a beautiful place to visit when it’s not cold and rainy.
After an interesting lunch with a bunch of rude and snobby middle-aged women, we hopped back onto the bus and traveled to Orange Isle (橘子洲头), a place where Mao Zedong had spent a lot of his younger years. The picture above is looking back at the city from the island. We didn’t get to visit the entire island since our tour guide only gave us an hour to wander. Until next time, I told myself as we left.
Day two started out sour. After being shoved, elbowed, and pushed out of line twice by Korean middle-aged women at the breakfast buffet, I was cranky. Who does that to someone who just wanted to get a plate and some fruit? I wasn’t fighting for the food. There’s plenty to go around and this is a 5-star hotel, for crying out loud.
Note to self: Bring own breakfast.
The first destination for the day was 土司城 (Tusi Cheng). I spent the time snapping away instead of listening to the sweet-voice lady tell the history of this fascinating place but let’s be honest, even if I did listen, I couldn’t understand a lot of the words she’d said and I’m not really familiar with Chinese history. I know, shame on me.
After a brief fight with the middle-aged women on the bus (who did they think they are? Scolding me like I was a child), we stood in line and waited for our turn to ride the cable-car up to Tianmen Mountain (天门山). I won’t go in depth, there’s another post for that. All I can say is it’s a must-go tourist destination.
That is frost, by the way, NOT snow.
After a brief two hours on Tianmen Mountain (天门山), it was time for lunch. Once again, the ladies rudely dug into the dishes. It was like they’ve been starved. Anyway, after lunch, we traveled to Baofeng Lake (宝峰湖), a lake with tiny islands and rock foundations shaped like the faces of the characters from Chinese myths and tales.
For example, can you spot a pig face in the rock in the picture? That’s Zhu BaJie (猪八戒), a character in the well-known tale, Journey to the West (西游记). The lake also had a beautiful waterfall.
After dinner, we were left to wander freely about town. The spot we visited was Xibu Jie (溪布街), a street that offered a variety of nighttime activities like bars, eateries, and souvenirs. After an hour or so, I walked away carrying four bags of healthy snacks – gifts for the elderly.
That day was the hardest. After getting attacked by bedbugs the previous night, I was really tired.
Note to self: Don’t pick the added bed. Always go for the beds that’s already in the room.
We visited the ZhangJiaJie glass bridge (张家界玻璃桥) and the Grand Canyon. The day was also foggy and misty. Once again, I won’t go in depth, that’s another post. For now, enjoy the pictures.
It must had taken over 1,000 steps to descend the canyon and by the time I reached the bottom, my legs were like spaghetti. Try doing the Stairmaster for 30-minutes and that’s how you’ll feel.
In fact, I still have trouble walking up and down the stairs. So you have to be pretty fit to conquer this canyon. The view was worth it though. At the bottom of the canyon, along the boardwalk, you will get to see a beautiful waterfall. I even shot some long-exposure photos. Some came out all right while some did not. I didn’t carry a tripod with me since the goal for this trip was to travel light.
Next time, I’d say, next time.
After lunch, we visited a Miao village. Miao is pronounced like “meow”. What is a Miao village? A village with a majority of population made up of the ethnic group, Miao, and they sure do have a fascination with silver.
That night, after reaching the hotel around 10:30 pm, the guide recommended us to take a walk along the river to experience night-life.
At this hour? No thanks.
My aunt and her friend went instead while I got into bed and went to sleep catching up on some blogs.
We spent the final day of the trip touring the city of Phoenix (凤凰), the city I didn’t get to tour the previous night.
I didn’t get home until after midnight that night and boy, was I glad to sleep in a bed that I didn’t have to guess if it was riddled with bedbugs.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you thanks for listening and the coffee because you’re buying. 😀 I’m looking forward to chatting again next week.