This is paradise!
Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
46Trip End Jul 22, 2009
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Where I stayed
Random Chinese Hotel
After getting off the night bus at 6:00 we saw the two other Westerners that were on the bus. There was Bruno from France and Nathan from Minnesota. Bruno had been traveling overland from France for the last seven months and Nathan is a teacher close to Nanjing. When we had called the hostel the night before we were under the impression that it was fairly available. We told the other two that they were free to go with us in hope that they could have a room, too
We found a backpacker's cafe and had food and found out we were literally around the corner from one of the local Chinese hotels. No one really cared, so after a lovely western breakfast we checked into the hotel. We started looking through the LP and we found a botanical gardens. We went next door and talked with Bruno and Nathan and asked them if they wanted to go. Bruno was already thinking the same thing and then a blind massage afterwords. Perfect idea in our opinion.
While Bruno went to the post office we stayed at the hotel to sort things out in our bags. We met them and headed to the Tropical Flowers Botanical Gardens. I was hoping to find it interesting, but I would settle for relaxing. We had already only wearing our shirts with the sleeves roles up. It was gorgeous weather and great new friends and the gardens were BRILLIANT
After the fishes we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the park. All around us there we had every colour known to man on one tree or plant or another. At one point we saw latex trees. Many of them had been cut so that the latex could drain. I never knew it quite worked like that. All four of us ended up taking a nap in the grass before we finished the walk. We wondered our way back afterward and made out way to the blind massage school. We had hour long, full body massages for 40 yuan ($5.85)! It was a good day.
Our second day was also fairly lazy. We had been hoping to go to an elephant reserve, but it wasn't in the cards. We wondered around a jade market and also a small park. Dinner was had with Nathan at a 'BBQ' type restaurant. This simply means that they had a little grill that they cook the food on. It is very good, though. Bruno had left early in the day for Laos, so it was just the three of us.
We woke up in our hotel room realizing that we had made a stupid move by buying tickets to Guilin from Kunming before we left there. We could have easily stayed in Xishuangbanna area for the rest of our holidays. We had to move on, though. Yick, back to colder weather. We did luck out this time, at least. The bus was a sleeper bus and we went during the day so we got to see the scenery. It was beautiful and we are fairly determined to come back again. We don't quite know when, but we will.
Also, just for the record was have started saying Xishuangbanna in replacement for Safe Warm Place. We do this considering in some ways they sound similar. Xis (pronounced Sis) is like Safe...Huang (pronounced h-wong) is like Warm...and the rest fits into place...Yes we are weird. But it truly is a safe (we don't worry about bad things happening), warm (self explanatory), place (also self explanatory).