China Blog (days 4-7)

Day 4: Lijiang

6:58 AM

Sorry I didn’t finish my blogging yesterday but the iPad was out of battery.

–Flashback—

So when we landed in Nanjing, we found our aunt and rested in our hotel we were supposed to stay at for a while. Then, we went to a street full of shops to find a Chinese SIM card for my mom and dad’s phones (remember, I didn’t bring my phone). Without Chinese SIM cards, their data, calling, and wifi didn’t work. After walking for what seemed like hours in the humid, hot air, we still had no luck. There was only one store that sold SIM cards but it was closed. Defeated, we stopped by for lunch at a small restaurant. I’ll be honest, it didn’t look super appealing, after all there were flies all around, a dog limping around, and no other people in it. But it was hot, and the restaurant had AC so we stopped by. It wasn’t as bad as we thought, and the chicken they recommended was pretty good. Anyway, after that we hung out at our hotel to play cards and got ready to get on another plane. I know, another plane?! I agree that we’ve been on way to many planes this trip. Our plane was supposed to take flight at 8 PM and land at 11 PM ish, but, of course, it had to be delayed. We left at 9:25 instead. This annoying girl, maybe 5 or 6 kept kicking my chair and talking super loud. Finally, at 12:20 PM, we finally landed. We then went to our hotel. My first impression was that it was another one if those terrible, dirty hotels we’ve slept in earlier. After all, our driver when off main road, and onto dusty road to take us to the hotel. The outside of the hotel looked old and it was all dark. But as I stepped into the lobby, I realized it wasn’t one of those 1 star hotels. It was an outdoor lobby so you could see all the stars and it was so beautiful. Our room was basically a small house because it was two stories. There are two queen beds and a clean bathroom. The shower was actually clean! After showering, we just crashed and fell asleep around one thirty.

—back to the present—

And this morning, I woke up to a beautiful view from our hotel room. We are going on a tour so I have to get ready for the day! See you soon!

4:51 PM

Today has been good. We started our tour which will be continued through the next few days. We are travelled no with another family from Indonesia in a van. Our driver/tour guide is a little crazy. Okay… A LOT CRAZY. Right now, we have free exploration time so we are taking a break in a small cafe. I don’t exactly know what places we’ve been today but I’ll just show you with some pictures I took.

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Day 5+6: Still On Tour

9:17 AM (of day 6) 

Yesterday we went up to the mountains. It was very chilly and we shivered in our thin leggings and sweaters. We went on a 3 hour hike to see the glaciers. It was a wonder that, even though it was June, there was still unmelted snow and icy glaciers. Even though the walk was uphill and, at times, we all wanted to give in and turn back, we managed to hike the whole thing. It was definitely worth it. Here’s a picture of the view.

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Beautiful, right? When I thought of China in the past, I thought of busy streets and hot, humid weather, but now I’ve seen a new side of China. A side with glaciers, roaming livestock, and green hills. I think this is the side of China I think I prefer.

8:09 PM

We just finished dinner and are going to our hotel room. The hotel is gorgeous! This is what the courtyard looks like

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It smells of fresh flowers and sweet mint. Grapes are growing on the vine and there are beautiful, white flowers. This hotel is definitely one of the nicest we’ve stayed in. After all, the the mattress is actually soft and the shower and toilet separated. Today we also went on a short hike. The river and waterfall were very beautiful but when I looked closely I could see tons of trash floating around in the water. This saddened me so much to see this because this wonderful, natural place was being destroyed and trashed by plastic bottles and cans.

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And it’s not just here where there is trash ruining a natural area. We’ve past meadows dotted with plastic wrappers and streams floating with Coke bottles. This really does spark this passion inside of me. The earth is our home, shouldn’t we keep it clean and beautiful? Anyway, this is our last day on tour and we’ve done a lot. Luckily, we are coming back to the hotel we stayed at on the night of Day 3. It’s really nice and I’m looking forward to staying in another nice hotel.

Since the tour is drawing towards an end, I’ve learned quite a lot about China, and the people and customs there. Here are 5 things I’ve learned from traveling in China on a tour (van).

  1. China is very beautiful and full of nature. I think of China as this industrial, technology filled place, but this tour, I’ve seen countless waterfalls and streams, free roaming cows and pigs, and green meadows and forests. 
  2. No one buckles their seat belts in China. Even our driver didn’t buckle his seat belt. The back seats usually don’t even come with seat belts.
  3. Many smokers. Sadly, in China, there are many people who smoke. Bring a gas mask while visiting if you have one.
  4. You might have a crazy tour guide. Our tour guide is pretty crazy. First of all, he talks super loud, and even though he doesn’t speak English, he still screams “HALLO!” to everyone. Also, he likes to mix our foods. Once he mixed our chicken with our tomato egg flower soup and forced one of our fellow tourists to eat it. Lastly, he likes to drive very fast on bumpy roads. It’s sometimes like a roller coaster, with the luggage bouncing around in the back. Overall, he maybe crazy, but he is a pretty fun tour guide, that gave us a very good tour.
  5. You need to bring toilet paper everywhere you go. You’ve heard me call the toilets “interesting.” How do I explain them? Basically, it’s a urinal attached to the floor. You have to squat down to pee. They rarely come with toilet paper. 

Finally, we finished off the tour with some horseback riding, which was super fun, though very tiring. Funny Story: the worker asked if I’d ever horseback ridden and I have, in fact, one time. However, he misunderstood and thought I was a horseback riding pro. It was kind of scary because my horse would not stop sometimes. Certainly a thrilling ride, but also a lot of fun! Lastly, we said goodbye to the Indonesian family and our tour guide as we were dropped off at our hotel.

Day 7: Back in Lijiang

10:03 PM

Today was really fun. We did some city exploration, snacked on street food, and shopped in tiny shops. One of the coolest things I bought was this necklace.It looks pretty ordinary at first glance, but if you see the black spots, you notice that they are Chinese characters. Inside the gem, there is a grain of rice with my Chinese name written on it. Pretty cool, right?

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Also, we went zip lining which was really fun. Unfortunately, I was also wearing a pencil skirt so it was a little awkward, but still fun. We got to see the scenery as we zoomed down, and there was a relaxing breeze in the air.

Then, we went to some old towns to sight see and explore. There were cobblestone roads and little stores dotting the streets. We’ll spend another half day in Lijiang.

What I’m most excited about is arriving in Chengdu tomorrow night. Chengdu is a more busy, technology-filled place. Also, in Chengdu, we are going to see pandas! Good night, everyone, see you soon (hopefully)

 

Watch out for more installments of my one month trip to China!

Others in the series:

China Blog (1-3)

 

 

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