A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about land

ZhangJiaJie

aka Zheh Zheh Zheh

sunny 30 °C

After check in, we discovered an awesome place for dinner that catered for our non-meat-eating friends - Evan and Mich. This was to become our local for the next few days. We rotated a very varied menu of dumplings, noodles or fried rice - they were all nom!

9124287762_17569275cf.jpg

Next morning was our big trip to Zhangjiajie National Park. YAHOO! We were all mega excited. Neil was waiting and hoping for his jaw to drop at the sights. And it was jawdropping. It was amazing. We didn't arrive til 12 noon, which actually turned out to be a bit better as the morning haze had lifted and the views were better. On our entrance to the park, we witnessed a young Chinese fellow holding a plastic bag full of snacks and goodies, being attacked by a pack of monkeys! They all stormed him and grabbed his bag and ran off. The poor fella nearly had a heart attack. Mental note. Do not carry any food in sight of the monkeys.

We started out by getting the cable car up to the top of the mountain to avoid the 3500 steps up. The cable car was EPIC.

9124311548_fcbc698bda.jpg9124315066_35d45767f0.jpg

It was SO HIGH UP and pretty scary for Michelle who, as I may have mentioned, is terrified of heights. (JUNCTION THEORY LISA WILL YOU SHUT UP!) ;)

It was amazing. I've never seen such awesome rocks in my life, and here we were just cable-carring it up between them. It was fantastic - really impressive. These stacks are apparently formed from years of erosion - mostly ice expanding and cracking during the winter. Once we got out of the cable car, the two lads power walked ahead of us as they only had 1 day in the park and wanted to squeeze in as much as possible, whereas we had two or 3 days if we wanted. Good thing too, there was so much awesomeness to see, it took us ages to get around. There were tons of monkeys on patrol on route. We witnessed another girl getting her corn on the cob yanked out of her hand - Jungle Book Stylee. We were considering telling her about the monkeys when we passed her but then we thought she'd be ok. 1 minute later, her COTC was gone. :D

The park had never-ending Jaw-dropping scenery, with each rock more impressive than the last.

9124368036_f479786066.jpg9123736677_36e77843c9.jpg9125996164_a0536ebbbf.jpg9126008434_aef819056c.jpg9124310489_f7dd6a6511.jpg

It was a truly awesome and unique landscape. It was very packed with tourists though. One gentleman farted in my direction! I dunno who looked more surprised - me or him! :D I stupidly thought taking the steps back down again would be a fun idea and a bit quieter.. Once again - my bad! It took ages and was pretty harsh on the knees and poor Michelle's feet, who had now developed a whopper heat rash on her legs. EEK! We hotfooted (boom boom) it back to the hostel to stick her in a bucket of cold water.

We bid farewell to the two lads who were off in different directions. We were sorry to see them go as we had a great laugh altogether with them.

Next day, Chelle's legs were in bits, but like a trooper, she decided to go back to the park. We stuck her in a long flowy skirt and flip flops and decided to do the park as easily as possible. We entered the park from a different entrance today. This way was much busier with tourists, but did provide lots of free buses around the park which were actually great. Today's scenery was just as good, with an even scarier cable car ride. Chelle was doing some heavy breathing on the floor of the cable car. .BWAHAHAHAHAHA. The weather wasn't as clear today but the landscape was still terrific.

9126531954_730ae7f420.jpg9124325549_c28d75a8a2.jpg9126385248_afbaf9e1fd.jpg9124093903_3cccebf233.jpg9122079769_108f7b885c.jpg

Another awesome day out for the lads. We kept bumping into this Swedish couple at every stop too. We passed a few Echo points too, where I did a few big whistles into them, and someone whistled back. HURRAH! Pretty feckin cool. We had a great laugh and Chelle was very good at putting up with my general impatience and excitement. ;)

Later we chased a giant roach around our room and Chelle booked us into a fancy hotel for our last night together tomorrow. awwwwww.

The following day I had a frustrating encounter with train personnel trying to buy a train ticket. The lady took my passport, wouldn't give me a ticket, kept pointing at something, while everyone behind me shouted over my head at her. Tum tee tum. I needed a break. We stocked up on supplies and headed to our fancy hotel for a few beers and a day of lazing around, which was great.

9124356129_113f07c187.jpg9124346857_d26bea5b70.jpg9126586412_e271ae996f.jpg9126620638_a5c1f5ebed.jpg9124486211_b3e805fde1_s.jpg9126746220_4e4f3854d2.jpg

Once again, the next morning, I was super sad to leave another awesome travelling companion and I got a bit teary-eyed and felt tres emotional for the rest of the day and my 24 hours of train journeys to Chengdu. Luckily everyone I met was super nice to me today. Staff in the station restaurant were super helpful, I met a gang of lovely Canadians in the waiting room and a young chap named Chong was in the top bunk beside me on the train. We chatted away to each other using apps and pictures. He also showed me a skeleton mask he had in his bag. (as ye do).
:)

Posted by squeakylee 02:32 Archived in China Tagged scenery land awesome avatar stacks epic pandora zhangjiajie Comments (0)

PANDALAND

aka Chengdu

sunny 34 °C

I was up and atom at 6am so was rustling around again in the dorm probably annoying the ladies. Dunno which dorm room sound is worse - snoring, bags rustling or zips being opened and closed. :D These ladies were Norwegian and had been volunteering at Pandaland for the past week. They were due to do two weeks but they left after a week cos they said it was so boring. Apparently there was nothing to do in the evenings and they weren't even allowed to hug a panda for free!! Yikes.

Anywho myself, Victor and Michel meant to be on the road to Pandaland by 8 but we had a long breakfast, then had to wait an hour for a bus, so we were pretty late getting to the Panda Breeding Research Centre. The bus to the centre was great fun. We were chatting to a young Chinese girl and everything was getting lost or confused in translation between the four of us. We got to the centre about 10 ish and luckily the pandas weren't asleep yet. We skipped all the videos and museums and Swan Lake and all the other krap and just went straight to see the big Pandas. There were loads of them and they were all very lively. (Bar one guy who'd fallen asleep on his swing). The lads were great fun to watch. We didn't get to hug a panda as it cost something like 100 pounds sterling for a quick hug. Who has that kind of dough to blow on hugs??? Drugs - maybe.. Rugs - maybe not.. Hugs - they should be free.. ;)

9138386321_39d52bf6e0.jpg9140775768_9394de2760.jpg9140853778_83d8c52bda.jpg9141024772_fd1667c10d.jpg9138829349_1c5c6f85dc.jpg9141255690_af6b7473c4.jpg

After our panda fix, we got a taxi back to our hostel for lunch and then hopped a bus to LeShan to see the Big Buddha. The Big Buddha is carved into the side of a hill and is 71 metres high. His ears alone are 7 metres high. Tis the WORLD'S LARGEST SEATED BUDDHA. A monk built it in 713 as he thought it would help calm the rivers that met below it, and guarantee the safety of those who lived and sailed along the rivers.
This mad monk apparently gouged out one of his eyes to convince people to donate money to the building of the Buddha - just to show he was serious like. :D

So after asking about 10 people where to get off the bus, we got there eventually. A young Chinese girl who wanted to practise her English on us, befriended us and led us around. The Buddha itself was super cool - very impressive altogether. I think it may have even been better than the PANDAS!

9140270767_d8e02c5784.jpg9140279665_6182e518e5.jpg9140274147_93c3a014b9.jpg9142494726_1f97419222.jpg9142492010_4468c9b1ca_b.jpg9140260427_8781effbd6.jpg

So after a few hours chit chatting, step climbing and picture taking, alas we had to go get our bus back. Was a long trip for a short visit, but it was well worth it imo. Had great fun chatting to the two Swedes - they're both lovely funny guys. Felt like I'd known them for years!

Back in Chengdu, we went on the hunt for the Shamrock Irish bar and pints of Guinness. The lads were a little dissapointed to hear I didn't really like Guinness. (as many people have been - ''no Guinness, no Irish accent - sheesh are you really Irish??'') Victor told me of the time he'd been to Ireland and his hosts had brought him to TEDFEST! LOLOLOL - well now there's an intro to the real Ireland for ya! - a half empty remote island off the coast of Western Ireland, populated with madzers dressed as priests and nuns and little old ladies. hahahahaha.
We had the most delicious Westerny food in the Shamrock and lots of drinks. The lads told me their story of how they'd ordered some ''Bar Snacks'' in Russia to accompany their beers, and were given a whole fish each. bwahahah. Even the locals were asking them ''Where are you from? - Do you eat whole fish with beer in Sweden?'' Guffaw. We had a hape of drink and a great laugh. Woke up my roomies again to move dorms - serve them right, going to bed at 10pm - GET A LIFE YOU YOUNG WANS! ; )

I swear there was a tiger sleeping in the bunk above me - he was growling away all night. In the morning he offered me his spare breakfast. ??? :D

And yet again, I bid farewell to 2 more awesome travelling companions. The lads were off to ZhangJiaJie. I armed them with maps, too much confusing information and hugs and I went off to the train station to catch my train to Kunming. Unfortunately, I went to the wrong train station. What an Idiot! I just rocked up to Chengdu East and wandered around aimlessly looking for my train, til a young girl told me I had to go to Chengdu North station, which was a half hour away. Arrtggh.. Grabbed a cab and just made it. Fifth sleeper train - feel like I'm living on sleeper trains!

Posted by squeakylee 01:14 Archived in China Tagged buddha big bar land panda chengdu leshan shamrock swedes nom Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]