Itinerary : Chengdu – Wenchuan – Maoxian – Songpan - Jiuzhaigou
Once again we packed our luggage and boarded to Jiuzhaigou by bus. A driver picked us up at hotel at 07.00 am and drove us to gathering place. The bus should come at 08.00 am but it was late. It arrived at 08.40 am. There were 37 people who joined the tour and we were the only foreigners. The tour guide speaks only Chinese and doesn’t understand English at all. Worse, he can’t read our name that is written in alphabet and he called us “You two” during the tour -.-“
The road to Jiuzhaigou is curvy but the road is good. Only in some spots the road are in maintenance due to the impact of Sichuan earthquake back in 2008. The traffic was already crowded when we departed. If you are planning to go to Jiuzhaigou by bus from Chengdu, it’s better to go as early as possible to avoid traffic jam. Our bus was comfortable enough and air conditioned. The scenery along the way to Jiuzhaigou is incredibly beautiful.
|Yak ; if you want to take a picture while sit on it, you have to pay|
We passed Wenchuan that impacted by earthquake. There were still so many ruins of broken roads and buildings left in that area. I couldn’t imagine how it was when the earthquake happened. Even 4 years after, the condition is still bad. They started to rebuild the road and buildings there. What I found cool about the roads to Jiuzhaigou was some tunnels went through the mountain. They actually hollow the mountains out to make a tunnel through it. I don’t know about other countries, but I never seen one in Indonesia. One of the tunnel only allowed one car line pass through it. Each lane was given 1 hour, so we had to wait for an hour until our turn to pass.
Landslides are still common in this area, especially in rainy season. It was rainy season when I was there. I kept praying for a good weather during the road trip to Jiuzhaigou and thank God the weather was totally fine that day. The escarpment at the road side were still wrapped by wire net just in case they would slide.
We passed some counties and stopped in several places for lunch and resting. The lunch is served per table, each table consists of 10 people. The food will not be served if the people in your table have not reached 10 persons yet. The menu was mostly vegetables and a fish. I didn’t mind with it. At least the taste is better than food in Beijing.
During this road trip was when my public toilet nightmare came true. I succeeded avoid the public toilets in Beijing and Chengdu but failed at that day. The only word that I can say to describe the public toilets is DREADFUL. The stories out there about how bad China’s public toilet is, they are all true. They’re dirty and smell. Most of the doors can’t be closed and the ones can, they can’t be locked. Sometimes the flush didn’t work and no water to flush the toilet manually so there were often many “leftover” inside.
The worse one, there are toilets with no door. Only a large room divided into some small chambers. Each chamber is sealed with a waist-high wall. There is a flowing gutter under. How to use it? Simply squat on the gutters and do your thing. There’s a water tap at the far end and it will flush in certain period. If the water has not come out yet, what’s there stays there. DO NOT LOOK DOWN! Don’t ask why. I know you’re playing film or picturing things in your head right now while you read this. Whatever they are, believe me your brain is not messing up with you.
Jiuzhaigou is part of Tibetan area. The tour guide taught us some of Tibetan words. The thing is I didn’t really understand what he was saying. I guess my brain was already tired with all Chinese language thingy and started to give up. I only remember one word, “Jasitele”. That’s like “how do you do” or “ni hao” in Chinese or “annyeonghaseyo” in Korean. The reply is “Jasitele syok”. That’s all I remember.
We arrived at our hotel at around 5.30 pm. It was a 4 stars hotel. Due to the poor accommodation there, a friend told me that if you stay overnight in Jiuzhaigou, you have to stay at at least a 4 stars hotel. The hotel was so standard. Our room was a twin a room. The room was okay, the beds are as hard as in Beijing and Chengdu, the carpet is dirty. The bathroom is clean but no soap nor shampoo nor towel. We brought our own from home. The good thing is they provide hot water for 24 hour. Some of hotels in Jiuzhaigou only provide hot water in bath times (6-8 am and 7-9 pm).
|View outside hotel|
|The hotel (I don't know the name)|
At that night we watched a Tibetan song and dance show in an international hotel nearby. The ticket wasn’t included in our tour fee so we had to pay it by ourselves.
The show ended at 8.30 pm and I was wondering about the dinner. I asked the tour guide and he replied, “You two haven’t had dinner?” Apparently they already had dinner before went to the show and he didn’t notice we weren’t there. I didn’t remember he told us when the dinner was. Well, I guess I didn’t hear or didn’t listen when he talked about it. We ended up eat a cup of instant noodle that night.
Tibetan song and dance performance – RMB 180