A Travellerspoint blog

October 2013

Hongjiang old town

The next day I was woken up by some sort of carnival music which seemed to be traveling around, passing by my motel once every 10 minutes. It was 7 am. No problem, I relaxed with some tea and went out for some noodles for breakfast. See how well I'm assimilating???<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;"> Anywho, the ancient town of hong jiang was really nice, although not really good for anything but taking pictures. There were ruins of an old temple, a restored brothel and a newer temple too. I got bored pretty quickly and left after a couple hours.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;">When I finally found the bus station, there wasn't a bus leaving until 3:40. I reluctantly bought a ticket and headed out to find my Halloween costume. Why not right? I wanted to get a real Chinese lady dress but nothing was really what I wanted. Then I found this insane green leopard print dress that fit pretty well and I thought I might make a good Peggy bundy with it, but better judgment got the best of me and I put it down.

Then I stopped at the 2 yuan store and guess what I found. A cheap mask of a communist revolutionary fighter! I already have a camo jacket and some cargo pants, so all I had to do was get me a toy sniper gun and I was ready to go! Lucky me, they had one at the same store! My halloween costume was done

Still with three hours to spare before the bus came. Feeling hungry, i went looking for the riverside restaurants described in the book but they were in complete ruins and locked up, burnt down or demolished! So, I picked up some sort of fried dough with peppers and mushrooms inside and a beer, sat down by the river in the sun and read a book with the old men under the willow trees. <br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;">The bus home was almost an hour late and the waiting room stunk like pee so I tried to wait on the platform. I had to fight with the manager lady to stay out there, it was quite bizarre.

By the time I got home, it was 11 p.m. I had to walk from the train station because my bus home stops at 10 p.m. Sad face.

Noodle shop

Noodle shop


Me vs. noodles

Me vs. noodles


About hongjiang

About hongjiang


Entrance

Entrance


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Demolished temple

Demolished temple


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Art in the brothel

Art in the brothel


Brothel

Brothel


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


Dafo temple

Dafo temple


Dafo temple

Dafo temple


Hongjiang old town

Hongjiang old town


The river in Hongjiang

The river in Hongjiang


Old men under the willow trees

Old men under the willow trees


Trying on stuff in the market

Trying on stuff in the market

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Saved by Lonely Planet, again.

After my q&a session I headed out for hong jiang from the south bus station. It takes about an hour just to get there, but I was pleasantly surprised when a bus to my destination was leaving within an hour from when I arrived at the station.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;">The buses are pretty rickety here, and expensive compared to the price of everything else. It was full of people and by the time we got to hong jiang it was at least 8. I managed to find one motel and at first the lady at the desk kept shaking her head at me. I whipped out my guidebook and this hotel was in it and I had the Chinese characters right there so she couldn't say I wasn't allowed to stay there. I gave her all three of my ids and none of them seemed to satisfy her. Even my passport. She called someone else who was nicer and I got my room right away. For $15 it was way worth it.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;">

On the bus

On the bus

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Why, Hengshan, Why???

For my last adventure of the week, I decided to go to the Taoist mountain of "fire". There are five for all the earth's elements and the one in my province happens to be the one that is governed by a "fire keeper" guy.

I couldn't get out of bed early enough, so by the time I made it to Hengshan, I had to take the minibus up to the summit. Luckily there was still quite the hike up to the top, so I didn't feel like a total sloth for doing that.

It was a really nice sunset.

I walked down the hill part way, and found a traditional Chinese opera that was playing in the square. When I bought my bus ticket home, it said 23:00 on the slip of paper they gave me. So, I assumed I could board my bus at that time. Wrong. I showed up at 9 p.m. just in case. Of course, no one was there. I tried to talk to some guy who was standing in front of the buses but he didn't seem to know what I was talking about. I called May and she translated some things for me, but the real matter was that I'd have to go and find a place to sleep until the morning. Ugh. Beautiful mountain, horrible bus service.

On top of Heng Shan

On top of Heng Shan


Heng Shan summit

Heng Shan summit


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


Heng Shan

Heng Shan


archway

archway

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Tea island

I had enough of lines so I decided to go to less touristy places the rest of the time I had off. The next day, I headed to Yueyang, where I would attempt to board a ferry to a mysterious island where a very special tea is grown. When you make it, the leaves stand up straight, like needles in your pot. Ok, so Yueyang is only 1.5 hours away. I got there at about 10:30 but got hopelessly lost in a crazy, smelly Chinese market. I was so traumatized I couldn't even take pictures. Another hour or so later I finally ended up at the place I needed to go. I printed a map this time and it was wrong so I got lost one more time. Ha! This probably sounds HILARIOUS to you, but it's really not. Being lost in china sucks. A lot. Anyway, eventually I found a tour guide who attempted to sell me a ferry ticket at double the price. I showed her my book which said the real price and she backed down. Yeah, go try and screw someone else less informed, lady! She told me where to get the cheaper ticket and I got on the boat with everyone else. Guess what?! No lines or crazy crowds on the island! It was cool, I bought some tea for Joe because he was working and I'm cool like that. Plus I think he hates me for putting him through trauma on Thursday. This is a tiny island, folks. But surprise surprise, I managed to get lost once again. Five hours of wandering after I got off the boat, I found the boat again. I dunno what is going on with the geographers around here but the maps they make are ridiculously inaccurate. Agh! Somehow I ended up in a weird construction site, and then went around in a giant crazy circle a few times, feeling like I was going nuts, all alone in the middle of giant tea fields somewhere on an island in the middle of a giant lake. Just crazy. Again, starving and frazzled I found a lady selling ice cream and knew I was getting close! She pointed where the ferry was and I found it and went back to the train. I was too tired to go and see the Yueyang tower or any other ancient sites in the city. I was two hours early for my train home and they wouldn't let me switch the time, so I went for noodles which took me at least an hour to order. That killed some time and before I knew it, it was time to board my train home. Without a seat again, harrumph.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;">

The train was packeddddd

The train was packeddddd


Neptune?

Neptune?


Ferry

Ferry


Ferry

Ferry


Me on the ferry

Me on the ferry


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Junshan island

Junshan island


Changsha train station

Changsha train station

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Mao&#39;s house, plus mosh pit

The next day I got up way early and walked to the train station to catch the 6:30 train to Shaoshan, Mao's birthplace. Wrong choice for "national week". There was a mosh pit and riot to get to his little mud house and look around. This time, I decided to give in to the waves of humanity and just ride along with the crazy pushers and shovers. It provided me with less stress, but more bumps and bruises than necessary.

This took about three hours and all the energy I had left in me for the day. I met a couple of nice Chinese students on the train who helped me buy a mini bus ticket, but I lost them in the crazy line.

It was a big hassle getting back to the train station too, because the minibus I paid for only went one way around the loop, so I had to go all the way around before I got back downtown. I was tired and about an hour early for my train so I fell back on my old standby dinner, beer and ice cream in a park. Lucky me, there was a nice park right next to the station. I didn't have a seat again but I was early so I just sat down and went to sleep wherever and some girl said I could have the seat anyway. I tried to tell her I could move, but I didn't insist, too tired.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height: normal;">

Mao&#38;#39;s bedroom

Mao&#38;#39;s bedroom


Mean tour guide

Mean tour guide


On the minibus

On the minibus


In the line

In the line


Me vs. Mao

Me vs. Mao

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The end

In the morning I got up and left Joe to sleep. I couldn't sleep because I was feeling really meowy and plus, I wanted to see if my pass was good for one day or two, so I took that hour long bus ride to the "village" where I found out it wasn't. I was a little disappointed but oh well, I decided to go home. I didn't have a seat on the train which sucked but I chummed around with a policeman and dozed in the dining car for most of the way home.

Train home

Train home


Wulingyuan

Wulingyuan


Wulingyuan

Wulingyuan

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)