Wulingyuan Scenic Park
Trip Start Apr 05, 2009
21Trip End Jun 02, 2009
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Where I stayed
Yuanjiajie International Youth Hostel
I followed a trail in the southern part of the park. It was a loop and offered some great views of numerous formations. At this one formation called "Five Fingers" I met an older woman that was literally half my size. I had a "double-take" moment when I saw her. It was too good to pass up: I had to get a picture! After doing this loop it was starting to get a little late. Judging from the map I had, the hostel I was supposed to stay in was quite a distance. I had no idea which bus to take and I figured that walking would be the best option. The walk took me through a beautiful canyon which had a nice river running through it. A layer of mist was hovering over the river as it made its way beside the path I was walking on. Most of the tourists had left the park and it was very quiet and peacful. The atmosphere was perfect. I stopped to take some pictures of the river and a unique brige. I was enjoying my evening but it was getting dark. I came to a fork in the path and was trying to make sense of my map. Two women who were sitting beside the path were asking me (in Chinese) where I wanted to go and where I was planning on staying for the night. I indicated where the hostel was. They told me that there were no more buses after 7:00. I looked at the time....it was 6:45. From the map it looked like there was only a short bit of trail left til the road. They said they had a hotel at the top of the hill and it was closer. Since I didn't know where I was going I was like "Alright, we'll see what happens. Let's see where this takes me!" So I followed these two women up the trail. Notice the "up" in the previous sentence. The "short bit" of trail on the map turned out to be a grueling climb up out of the canyon.
By the time we reached the top (after taking several breaks to catch our breath) it was quite late. The sun had just about set and we walked the rest of the way down the road to this "hotel". I had told the women that I wanted to try and catch a taxi or ride to my hostel once I reached the road. I didn't really understand that this road is only travelled by buses and shuttles during the day. At night, nothing came through there. Since the women had been very helpful and were williing to give me the same price I would pay at the hostel I decided to stay at their hotel/guesthouse for the night. The hotel was a little sketchy. I was immediately aware of this when the lady showed me the room I would be staying in. The linens were not as fresh looking as one would like and while the lady was talking about the room I noticed a small cricket crawling on the floor. The lady promptly squashed it underfoot, hoping I didn't notice it. It was basically just a place to "crash" for the night.
I put my stuff in the room and went to the dining area. I met a young Chinese couple at dinner whose English names were "Lincoln" & "Sweety". They spoke enough English that we were able to have a somewhat meaningful conversation.
The next day after breakfast I met up with "Lincoln & Sweety" and we toured around the park. I finally located the international youth hostel and stayed there the 2nd night. The 3rd day up in Wuling Yuan I met another Chinese couple that I toured around with a bit. Mid-day I caught a bus down from the park to Zhangjiajie. My next destination will be an old town on a river called Feng Huang which is Chinese for "Phoenix Town".