Oh My God
Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
26Trip End Apr 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
Hon Yon Hotel
The route as far as the Hanging Temple is fairly flat and dusty. After that and the welcome toilet stop, it climbs up into the mountains, before crossing another plain with the longest queue of lorries I have ever seen. We must have been driving past them for over half an hour.
Finally, six hours into the journey, we started to climb the really big mountains
We stopped at the checkpoint where everyone had to buy three day passes to the Wutai Shan Scenic Spot. The cost bore no relation to the advertised price on the outside of the checkpoint. It was unsurprisingly significantly more expensive. I think we were done for about a tenner there.
On arrival in the village, we were immediately pounced on by the local family and dragged into their compound with the promise of a cheap room. To be fair, it was cheap, at just 3 pounds per person, per night. There were three beds in a small room. At the back was a smaller room, with a sink, toilet and shower. The owner said the shower was only cold water, but we reckoned we could handle that for a couple of nights if we had to.
Once we had paid, however, we discovered the bathroom had no running water at all
Some hours later, when the toilet actually over-flowed through no fault of ours, they moved us to a new room on the upper storey. This also had a toilet that didn't work and no running water. The smell from this one was so bad that it woke me up in the morning when the door accidentally drifted ajar, letting the fumes into the sleeping area.
The owners had provided incense sticks, but it did little to alleviate the pong. Mum was all for crapping into a plastic bag. We high-tailed it at dawn to a four star hotel up the road and had a shower. It was so nice to see a bathroom where the toilet had a sign on it saying "Sterilized" as opposed to the one we had just left, which should have been labelled "Unsanitary".