Arrived in Zhangjiajie (ZJJ)

Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
Trip End May 04, 2013

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Flag of China  , Hunan,
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Arrived in ZJJ, checked in, dumped my bags and walked around all afternoon just figuring out the town basically. There was a very friendly vibe here, instead of being stared at constantly, I was only stared at some of the time and said 'hello' to every now and then.  This is supposed to be on the tourist trail a little more than my brief stop in Liuzhou, but still I didn’t see another westerner all day.  I figured that it’s just because it is the low season right now.

I’m really starting to notice the weather changes now too... it’s cold enough to be wearing a fleece all day and definitely can’t go out in the evening without wearing a coat – there is a part of me that is looking forward to heading south now to the warmer climates, although still loving China and wanting to stay here longer nonetheless.

Anyway, I decided I was going to go to the National Park the next day and sat with the guy at the hostel’s reception and asked him a plan for best tackling the hike.  He was running through a map with me (in his best English) and telling me I can stay at the hostel’s sister hostel inside the park itself.  After about half an hour of figuring out ‘3 hours to this point, 2 hours to reach here’ etc, the hostel’s owner shows up.  His name was Gong, speaks better English, changes my plans slightly and gives me his telephone number.  He says he knows somewhere I can stay after the park in a nearby town called Wulingyaun and that on my second night, I should call him when I’m finished in the park.  Apparently there are a couple of tourist spots in Wulingyaun that are not even mentioned in Lonely Planet and they’re worth visiting.

When my plan was sorted, he asks me if I have eaten dinner and offers to take me a nice Chinese restaurant just round the corner, I take him up on the offer and we head out.

I was expecting another Chengdu incident where the man ordered us oesophagus and stomach, but he gave me the menu and asked me what I liked.  Luckily there were photos, so I flicked through and pointed at one that looks like it was either beef or pork, with green chillies/peppers and rice.  He ordered a couple of other things and checked with me that I liked spicy foods... of course I do.

The food arrived and it was amazing, perfect spiciness and the dishes he ordered were also pretty damn good too!!  We drank a couple of beers, ‘gambei’ – cheers in Chinese – and talked about my travels, my old work and his job/family etc.  He is 30, a tax man for the government and owns 2 hostels (in ZJJ) and a hotel in Fenghuang.  He looks and seems older, but is obviously doing pretty well for himself.  At the end of the meal, he asks for the bill and although I offered to pay my share... I got a look an offended look back so put my money away promptly and let him pay – generally you can insist on paying your own share but the look I got this time was enough to accept he did not want my money.

I had an early start the next day so just went back to the hostel after dinner (it was like 9.30pm anyway), watched a film and went to bed.
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Mum on

I feel a saddo saying, but I am relieved these entries are a bit shorter, as I could read them in one sitting !!!

overlander84 on

Ok, I'll try and make my travels less interesting so you can read my updates in one sitting lol

Deanna on

noooo...i like the long ones!!!

ern, come here

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