My Third Week trip to Jingxiu

Trip Start Aug 21, 2008
Trip End Nov 2008

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Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9-9-08 I have decided to try to get out of the heat and humidity for a couple of days.  I have been talking to a local tour guide, Monica, about going to the mountains about 3 or 4 hours away by bus.  There was going to be 4 of us but the others canceled at the last moment. 

It was an adventure in the realm of Chinese bus transportation.  First the bus we needed no longer comes the the bus terminal here.  This is something you need to be careful of.  Many places in China have so many bus systems going that they for some reason pick and choose which buses can now enter the bus station.  I guess it is a little like the Airports and the number and control of the gates.  We had to go and find the most logical place for buses going in the direction we wanted and wait there.  After asking several people my guide was able to determine that we had to walk to the south end of town to catch a bus going north.  Off we went.  The next problem is that all the buses going our direction were full and did not stop for us.  About an hour later a bus finally stopped.  Going in the right direction but I was soon to find out not to exactly the right place.  We would have to change buses.  We were dropped off at a bus terminal about one hour away.  Outside of the most urban areas of China everything is only in Chinese.  It is rare or not at all you can find much or any english help at the bus terminal.  Off my guide went to try to find the "right" bus.  Sit there, sit there and off she went a couple of minutes later back with a bottle of water.  "Did you find the bus?"  Sit there, sit there and off she went.  Then back again and ok lets go.  We get on another bus a little smaller a little more crowded with people and "things".  About 45 minutes later another bus stop.  We have to change here to get "THE BUS".    Ok, sit there, sit there.  She come back with some fruit for me.  About 15 minutes later, ok we take the bus now.  An even smaller bus and not so full of people but "things" and live stock for dinner.  About an hour later we are at another bus terminal.  Sit there, sit there ok the bus is leaving now we must go quick.  Now I am on a little old bus with a couple of other people.  Going up the mountain roads.  I felt in our minds we had the same thought.  Like the "little train that could"  we were all thinking as it climbed higher and higher.  Yes you can, yes you can. 

Finally we made it to the city of Jingxiu all in all almost 4 hours and 4 buses later.  The town looked like it was under total reconstruction.  They have these green screens covering most of the building.  We were both a little hungry so we decided to find a place to eat before we looked for the hotel.  We found very few places other then small noodle and dumpling cafes.  But that is fine I like noodles and dumbling.

The hotel was not pre-arranged.  So I was told sit there, sit there and off she went to find a hotel.  I stayed and had my noodles.  When she came back she said she had found a nice hotel close by.  It turns out the place is owned by a old gentleman who had returned to China 35 year ago from being a successful grounds keeping on a golf course in New York.  It is very interesting.  Here had not spoken english for years.  Not to many foreign tourist come to this remote area.  The rooms were ok a bit spartan but for less then $10 a night what do you want the Ritz.  I was cold there no heaters but big quilts kept me warm.

After getting settled in we decided to walk around the town.  The town's main street run on either side of the river.  I kept seeing these little motorcycle cars and said lets take one.  Monica, my guide said why we can walk and see.  I said lets just find out how much for them to drive us around and show us the local spots.  There was a whole line up them but I spotted on with a young dad and his daughter.  I told her to ask him.  He laught and said there is nothing to see here just the town.  So after some laughter and some "oh, hey guys this crazy foreigner wants me to drive him around town. I going to charge him much 10."  So we got a ride around town up and down the main street, saw the oldest and the newest building.  After a while the driver really got into it and my guide had a hard time translating all the things he wanted to show us.  So about 45 minutes later he finish the tour.  OH, 10 is about $1.25.  He told us lots like for eating you must wait until late then all the food vendors come out and you can have a good meal.  So that is what we did we waited and had a wonderful meal alongside the river.
The next day we made arrangements with our jitterbug driver to take us up the mountain to see what we can see.  I think that is a song.  As we started up the steep roads we slowed down to a crawl.  A van past us by and stopped.  The drive came over to us and said he is not going to make it come along with me.  My guide talked for a while and it was free and we paid our driver so he was happy.  It turned out that this was the workers bus and they were taking the some venders and workers up to the mountain tourist spot.  We arrived at the parking area and I went and started looking at what the venders were setting up.  My guide took off to get some information.  When she got back she said ok ready to go.  I said where.  She said up the mountain.  I said we were already up the mountain.  Then she pointing over to the gateways and all I saw were steps.  I hate steps.  Every place in China has steps.  They love to put steps everyplace.  Since she had already purchased the ticket I said ok.  It was a beautiful path up the mountain with nice scenic rest areas along the way. 

When we got back down our little trek about 2 hours we had to start thinking about a ride back down the mountain.  The workers van did not go down till that night.  As we where thinking about what to do a number of Chinese business men arrived.  All nicely dressed. The began to unload boxes from their cars.  Everyone got new shoes to hike the mountian and water and some other things.  My guide talked to a few of them and then came back to me.  It turns out that the cars were all rentals with drivers from the town and that they were giving up one for free to take us back to town.  It was great.  The drive from the mountain to town was almost one hour.  I would have hated to have to walk it.  Once we got back to town it started raining.  I mean big time.  We were going to go see the local museum but when we got there the STEPS (about 140) was more like a river flowing down it.  I thought of all those poor businessmen and their new shoes on all those steps up on the mountain.  We told the drive we would pass on the Museum and just to take us to the bus termnial.  So off we went back to Yangshuo.  I had my couple of days of cooling down.

Back in Yangshuo.  I took a walk along the river just in time to see some fishermen with their birds out fishing. Even with the heat and humidity Yangshuo is a fantastic place.  Lots of good places to eat and stay.
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starlagurl on

Those mountains...
are amazing. And I enjoyed the story of your tour guide driver. It's great when both parties are happy with an exchange like that.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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