Friday, September 28, 2012

China Trip Day 5 : Jiuzhaigou

I woke up with sore throat that day. I didn't know that the tap water there contains of high concentration of Chlorine. I pour some water into a clear glass that morning and the water color was almost white with chlorine particles flowing. Don't ever drink tap water in Jiuzhaigou! We had breakfast at 7.00 am. The breakfast was traditional Chinese breakfast. Mantau (plain bun) with some vegetables. They also served yellow color hot soup with only rice as its’ ingredients and it was bland. So just imagine you put some rice into a bowl of hot water and drink/eat it. That’s what it tasted like.

We headed to Jiuzhaigou National Park at 8.00 am. It took about 30 mins from our hotel to reach the place. There were so many China group tours there. I didn’t see any foreigner at all at that day. If you have plan to visit China, avoid China holidays. China itself has a very large number of local tourists. 

On the way from parking lot to the entrance, I found something really unique and fascinating. I saw the drainage at the road side and it had 2 water colors, blue and brown. The blue one is the water from inside Jiuzhaigou national park and the brown one is just regular drainage water. Pretty cool isn't it?

Jiuzhaigou is famous for its’ beautiful scenery. The best time to visit Jiuzhaigou is on autumn where the leaves are in different colors. It’s located in high land and it is cool on summer. The main attraction in Jiuzhaigou is the crystal clear blue water. Unlike other water in the world, which is blue due to the color of the sky, in Jiuzhaigou National Park the water itself is blue. It was a cloudy day when I was there. The sky was in total white, but yet the water is still perfectly blue. Very beautiful! There are 9 scenic view points in Jiuzhaigou. The park is really huge. In order to go from 1 place to another we had to ride the park buses inside. There is a resting inside the park where you can have lunch. They sell various kind of Chinese foods. I must say the public toilets here is more acceptable than the ones we found the day before, but yet still smell and dirty. Just like my experience when I rode subway, there was no different with the bus line here. It was raining in the afternoon and the pushing got reaaalllyyyy worse. The worst of all time.

If you have plan to visit Jiuzhaigou on summer, you better prepare sunblock, sunglasses, cap/hat and umbrella. Summer is monsoon season in China, but yet the sun is still shinning. You can have a bright sunlight in the morning but then raining so hard in the afternoon.

Shuzheng waterfall
Sleeping dragon lake
Rainy afternoon
Swan Lake
Five flower lake
Grass lake
Crystal clear blue water
Arrow Bamboo Lake
Five color pond
Primeval forest
Nuorilang waterfall
We were told that we had to go back to our bus in the parking lot at 5.30 pm. When we reached the parking lot, we couldn’t find the bus. We called the tour guide and he said the bus had moved because there was no vacant place there. He said with our back facing the parking lot, we had to go to the right. We walked quite far but no sign of the bus. We went back to the parking lot and called him again. When we told him our direction. he said we walked to the wrong direction. He told us to go to the correct direction then he hung up. I was so confuse!! He said we should go right but then he said we were wrong. @_@

We spent about 30 mins wandering and it was already pass 5.30 pm. I was afraid the bus would leave without us. I was so frustrated. My mom called him again and he told us to ride a taxi to the destination then he hung up. WHATT?? Where is the destination?? And I didn’t want to take a taxi. I had paid quite expensive for the tour! I got reeeeaaalllllyyyy pissed off! At least a tour guide should waited at the exit until all tour members gathered then walked together to the bus right? But see how he treated us. GEEZ!!

I called him again and he told me to find any tour guide and gave the phone to him, he would told the tour guide the direction to the bus. After wandering again for some time, we found a female tour guide. She helped us called our tour guide and later she told us to go to Xi Lai Den Hotel about 400 meters away. The bus is in the parking lot next to it. We walked along the road tried to find the hotel. After quite far, we didn’t find any hotel with that name. I asked another tour guide we met on the road. She pointed at a billboard not so far from our place and told us, “You can see Xi Lai Den hotel from here, it’s right over there.” then she walked away -.-“ I didn’t see any Xi Lai Den Hotel billboard. We decided to walk to the direction she pointed and I found Sheraton hotel. When I looked at the billboard closely, there was “Xi Lai Den” in Chinese character written under Sheraton. YES!! Xi Lai Den is Chinese name for Sheraton. How should I know that?? When they knew that I’m a tourist, can’t they just told me to go to Sheraton instead of Xi Lai Den? OH MY!! Frustrating!!

We were there but still couldn’t find the bus. We called our tour guide once again and he told us to give the phone to any Chinese people we found on the road. After waited for about 10 mins, finally a family passed by. I asked the father’s help to call our tour guide and he gave us a direction to the bus. We walked to the direction he told us and FINALLY we found the bus! It was already 6.30 pm. I thought we were the last people who haven’t board on the bus. But no, we weren’t. There was a family who haven’t boarded. Apparently they found difficulties find the bus too. See? Even local people were having a hard time. What about us, who barely understand and speak the language?

It was the most frustrating experience I have ever had in my whole life! Remember when I said I didn’t bother to remember the travel agent name I booked the tour from at the first post? My story above is my reason why. Traveling should be relaxing right? but I filled with so much anger and frustration at that time. Due to such bad experience I had, I promised myself not to join any group tour in the future. I’d rather do a self traveling and get lost. I’ve lost my way couple times on my self traveling before and none of them made me frustrated.

From Jiuzhaigou we went Tibetan medicinal shop. A man told story about something which I didn’t bother to listen because I knew it was a tourist trap. I was right, after the story ended, the man took us to some Tibetan medicians. I refused to enter the room. Some workers forced me, I kept shaking my head and  went outside rightaway. From what I heard, they will tell us that we have some illness and encourage us to buy their medicines which are very expensive. They don’t like if you don’t buy them. So I passed.

At night we went to a Tibetan dinner banquet. It took place in a Tibetan family’s house. There were singing and dancing entertained us during the dinner. I didn’t eat anything there. I had no appetite for Tibetan foods. The smell made me nausea. A Tibetan woman told us a little bit about Tibetan culture. I understood some of her stories. She said a Tibetan man can get married to many women. 7-8 wives are not many for one man. There is a different between not married and married woman clothes. Tibetan people are like to dance. Most of Tibetan girl or woman can dance. They learnt it since they were a child.

After the singing and dancing performances, the people went outside to dancing together around a bonfire. Me and my mom didn’t join them. We just stood outside the gate and watched them dance. At 9.00 pm we went back to the hotel and had our dinner. Just like other meals, our dinner was rice with some vegetables.


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Poppy said...

Wow what an experience ... thanks for sharing.
The service is pretty bad huh? I'm scare now, planning to go there soon :(

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