Friday, 21 August 2015

Asian Adventure - Zhangjiajie (Yuanjiajie/Jangjiajie) - Day 2

We slept pretty well but had some issues in the room in the morning (toilet, water on bathroom floor, internet not working again). Breakfast was fine as I finally found out where to get fried eggs. Lily arrived and we walked up to the bus station and took the bus up to the mountain-side. 

The bus drivers were astounding. The buses are big like Greyhound coaches and they are going up a twisting narrow mountain road. The ones coming the other way appear to be over the middle line, and our bus felt the same, but somehow they missed each other. We passed several coming the other way, and it felt as though we were going quite fast but I checked the speedo and it was just under 40km/h. There we paid extra to avoid the long queue and got into the lift and went up 300m in just of 1 ½ minutes. 

We walked a couple of kms around the top looking at all the mountains, especially the one which was the inspiration for the floating mountain in Avatar. The crowds were thick, and the going was slow. 

Click to play video (1min 40sec)

When we got the lift down we were the only ones in it. Then it was back on a bus, and back to the town, where we had lunch at our Hotel – chicken and mushroom soup, boiled cabbage, cooked yam with seaweed, and some kind of big pork mince patty (as big as the plate). It was all pretty tasty. A new driver arrived and we drove just over an hour to Yongding, where we visited the Tusi Palace. On the way, we passed many roadside stalls where locals were selling their goods and had a glimpse of another amazing mountain range.

The Tusi were a Minority, and their Emperor had this palace built. There was a temple which held a lot of their ancestral artefacts, and a village behind it where we tasted tea made out of some sort of berry, watched a local village person knife-juggling and saw some tribal dancing. 

Click to play video (3min)

On the way to the hotel, we called in at a supermarket to get a few supplies for the following few days. The new hotel seemed ok, but once again quite jaded. What looked like a big stain just outside the bathroom on the carpet turned out to be a huge wet spot. 

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