Monday, October 1, 2012

China Trip Day 6 : Huanglong, Day 7 : Chengdu

It was raining very hard in the morning. We had traditional Chinese breakfast, same as yesterday and headed to Hunglong. Before went to Huanglong we stopped by at another Tibetan house. At first I didn’t know what it was for. We all gathered in their so called livingroom. One Tibetan young girl told us about Tibetan culture which of course I only understood a little. The more I heard her story, I finally understood that it was another tourist trap. She introduced us to some kind of Tibetan belt made of metal and she said even the doctor in Beijing said it’s good for back. She told more story about more Tibetan accessories related to health and as I guessed, she sold those accessories. Most of the people were so attracted but me, my mom and some others went outside back to the bus.

It was already almost mid day when we left that place and we went to a restaurant to have lunch. We were still queueing the toilet when we heard the bus honk for so many times. I didn’t care. I need to use the toilet. I didn’t want to get any renal failure or renal stone. When we went back to the bus, the tour guide mad at us and said we were late from our schedule. I didn’t respond to him, not even looked at him. I just kept walking to our sit like nothing wrong. It is nothing wrong to do number 1, right?  

After lunch we stopped over a jerked meat shop. The people shopped there like crazy. I went inside for about 2 seconds then went back outside. The smell inside made me nausea. There are many food stalls at the courtyard. I wanted to buy BBQ meat but my sore throat wasn’t fully healed yet so I bought a yoghurt instead.

After spent about 30 minutes in that shop, we headed to Huanglong. Huanglong is located about 3000 m above sea level. We stopped at another place and a woman board on our bus sold Chinese medicine. I had read in some blogs before I went to China that we might need a medicine to dealing with altitude. There’s Chinese medicine called “Hong Jing Tian”. I read in a blog, that medicine took 2 days to work. I bought it in Beijing for RMB 65/box and drank it 2 bottles in the morning and 2 bottles at night for 2 days in a row. That woman near Huanglong sold Hong Jing Tian for RMB 150/box. Robbery!! All of our tour members bought that medicine. That woman told them to drink 3 bottles at that moment before went to Huanglong. I don’t know how my body reacts to altitude normally but I was okay. I didn’t feel any dizziness, nausea or anything. Maybe the medicine worked, maybe my body could deal with altitude well, I don’t know.

The road to Huanglong is very twist and turns. The tour guide told us not to sleep during the trip to Huanglong. He said if we sleep, we could ended up very tired when we reach Huanglong and probably had to rest on the bus and can not enter Huanglong. We reached Huanglong at about 1.30 pm. It was drizzling all day when we were there. Remember to wear a jacket because it was cold eventhough it was summer. It was 17 Celsius degrees but since Huanglong located so high above sea level and it was raining, it felt like less than 15 degrees. I wore shorts but I noticed I was the only one, the rest wear trousers and everytime they saw me they looked amazed. It was okay for me to wear shorts, it wasn’t that cold. In fact my body can deal with cold weather well, so it really depends on how your body dealing with cold.

We took cable car to go up the mountain. I suggest to take one way cable car and then walk on your way down. The scenery on the way down is way more beautiful than the way up. Just like the day before in Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong was packed with many group tours too. We queue for about 1 hour before finally reach cable car station.

Huanglong is famous for its’ multicolor water ponds. On the way up there was nothing much of the scenery. It was only forest along the way. After walked for about 1.5 hours, finally we reached multicolor ponds. Too bad it was cloudy and I didn’t bring DSLR camera. I couldn’t take clear pictures of it.

Like what I mentioned before, the scenery on the way down was more beautiful. You can found small streams, waterfall, another clear blue and green water ponds, mountains and a temple.

It took about 1.5 hours more to go down to the parking lot, so the entire hiking time was 3 hours. Don’t forget to bring water with you and wear a very comfortable waking shoes. It was more tiring than Jiuzhaigou but the air is fresher and the scenery is  very nice too. We bought some kind of Chinese flat bread from a lady near the bus. We left Huanglong at 6 pm.

On the way back to our hotel the tour guide informed us that we couldn’t stay at the booked hotel due to the landslides. The way to the hotel was closed. O….kay…. He said all hotels in Jiuzhaigou were also full booked so we couldn’t go back to Jiuzhaigou. He told us something again which I didn’t understand and the people in the bus were getting furious. After negotiating with the tour members (I guess) with some yelling they all agreed to find another hotel on the way down to a county (I forget the name). The way down to the county was so scary. It was a total dark, no lamps at the road side. The road was typical mountain roads with so many sharp twist and turns. We had no dinner. The tour guide only bought us 2 pieces of small bread each. At about 10 pm we trapped again in another traffic jam due to the landslides. Perfect!! We stopped at some hotels but they were all occupied. Finally at 3 am we got a hotel. We had to paid for RMB 60/ person. I was a really long and tiring trip.

We continued our journey back to Chengdu at 11 am. The local Chinese tour members got refund RMB 100/person due to last night condition. We didn’t get any because we are not local. Yeah.. fine.. whatever. I was lazy to argue or anything. All I wanted was go back to our hotel in Chengdu ASAP. We reached Chengdu at about 4 pm. We were dropped at a road side. Someone should pick us up and drove us to our hotel, but they couldn’t make it. The tour guide gave us money and told us to take a taxi. Geez!! Thank God it was the end of our join-a-China-local-tour disaster. I was so sick of it. Whether you understand and can speak Chinese fluently or not, if you are not a Chinese local people, DO NOT join any China local group tour. AWEFUL!! We were only resting at our hotel for the rest of that day. I just couldn’t wait to fly back to Beijing the next day.

Huanglong one way cable car- RMB 80


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