I’m gonna leave the rest of Austria pictures for future posts and jump into the ones taken during the trip to China earlier this month, as some of our friends are eager to see them.
Zhang Jia Jie National Park in Hunan province has been a known tourist area for many years. The Avatar 3D movie released two years ago made it even more famous and popular. Since my wife and I haven’t really been to many places in China despite the fact that we were born in that country, we decided to take a side trip and go see it ourselves.
We’ve probably got there in bad timing. It was very foggy for the first two days and then rained heavily on the third. Walking on the mountain roads, it’s hard to see anything more than 100 feet away. The mountain is big but the local so-called environmental friendly vehicles can take you to major sightseeing spots. But I don’t see how “environmental friendly” they are. I thought they were electric cars when I read about them on the web. Yet they are just regular gasoline powered buses and winding through narrow mountain roads at 50 to 80 km per hour. We didn’t throw up probably because we didn’t eat much during those few days – didn’t have the appetite for the local food. I’m not saying they’re bad, but just too oily and spicy for us.
We stayed at the said-to-be the best inn atop of the mountain. We booked the mountain inn beforehand instead of in the city because we didn’t want to waste the time on traveling back and forth everyday and we’d like to take some sun rise pictures. But of course, we couldn’t see the sun or even just a bright circle in the sky the whole day due to the fog. It’s also very humid in the rooms because of the weather. The room facilities are probably comparable to the 1 or 2-star motel in the western world.
I did manage to take some but just okay pictures when the fog opened up a little bit and when we were in the valley looking upwards. Nevertheless, I threw away a hundred bad pictures. We decided to cut the trip short and go to Fenghuang (Phoenix) city one day earlier. One more unusual thing to us is, when trying to get on to the local bus (going to the train station, for example), you won’t find any bus stops. Just need to stay on the correct side of the street and wave when it comes. This is uncommon – again, not saying it’s bad – comparing to other main cities. Yet, Zhang Jia Jie has never been developed into a major city, though it’s been as tourist area for many years. Knowing Hunan is one of the poorer provinces in China, one cannot expect too much of the living conditions, the transportation and services for tourists. After all, it’s what it is. Just need to adapt.
The following are some highlights.
Copyright © 2011 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.