Da Zhu Hai: Big Sea of Bamboo
Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
18Trip End Dec 22, 2007
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We arrived in Dipu on rainy hazy miserable type day. We spent a good part of an hour looking for this second bus to take us to the forest. Finally we found a nice bus conductor that led us to the right spot and promised to inform us when the bus arrived. We began our journey to the forest. We also could not help but notice how just generally happy all the people we met were. Now I know this sounds a little silly, but the people really were just happy. We also seemed to get stared at considerably less. I am not sure the reason for this seeing that we were the only white people I saw the entire weekend. We rode the bus until we were told to get off and get on another bus. After about 45 minutes of driving through the countryside we arrived at the forest.
We got off the bus to be greeted by an adorable Chinese woman who told us we could stay the night with her. Since we had no other place to stay we took her up on the offer. She then proceeded to tell us that she would take us on her motorbike to her home. At first we thought she was going to squeeze all three of us on this bike and Jess and I looked at each other with trepidation. But then a man rode down the hill and gestured to me to get on the back of his bike. Now I have seen how these people drive these bikes and I was a bit nervous but I climbed on and we set off for the home. It was thrilling! And now I want to own a bike. Haha. We rode through the countryside and farmland surrounded by hills and bamboo. It was very picturesque. We arrived at her home and got our room. It felt so good to be out of the city! I threw open the curtains to see more bamboo and chickens in the backyard. To be honest I turned around and looked at Jess and did a little dance. It was so wonderful to be out of the city!
After we dropped our stuff off we went back to the sea of bamboo. We paid for are tickets and entered the forest. There was bamboo everywhere, hence the name da zhu hai (sea of bamboo). We walked around, lit incense at a Buddhist temple, and searched for the entrance of the actual forest. Before we found that however, we saw a rollercoaster. Yup, a rollercoaster. We rushed up to see if we could ride, however due to the weather conditions the guard told us we were not allowed. This was quite a disappointment as the rollercoaster went throughout the entire forest. A little dejected Jess and I started the hike through the forest, quickly losing our sadness when we realized the beauty of it all.
Even though it was raining the forest was still beautiful. It is amazing that there are still these places of nature in China. It was quite awe-inspiring. We climbed to the top of the hill. Where there was a zip-line that we could take to the other side. We watched them get about 15 people on in through the zip line in the matter of minutes and decided against this ride. And climbed back down the hill to play on some bamboo playground equipment and explore more of the park.
After we finished looking around we left the forest to be greeted by a woman cooking bamboo. We had heard that bamboo was pretty delicious so we sat down to try some. Now I have probably had bamboo in some random dish before but never actual chunks that were boiled and top with "la" spice or "tian" sweet sauces. It was interesting to say the least. It was actually good, though after the 5th or 6th piece I was finished with my "cup of bamboo," or so I thought. We later returned to our room to eat and sleep. Our hostess gave us the menu which had items such as frog, horse, eel, snake, and other animals that could be found outside the house. We finally settled on...... yup bamboo, it seemed the safest. And well it was also supposed have pork. Jess and I fought over the five morsels of pork fat. Now what did we drink with this meal of bamboo? Take a guess..... mhm BAMBOO! Out of a can. We had quite our fill of bamboo by the end of this trip.
By now we were quite exhausted. We went up to our room and crawled into bed by 7:30. And were asleep by nine. We then proceeded to sleep for a good 11-12 hours... in utter quiet and darkness. It was magnificent.
We left the next morning rested and content. The trip was quite a success regardless of the rain! And it was true; some of the nicest people in China live in Anji County.