Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Less Than two weeks to go (part 3 of 3)

If you missed part 1, click here or just scroll down.
If you missed part 2, click here or just scroll down.
Anhui Province (Part 2)
The route to our hotel on Huangshan Mountain included two minibuses, a bus, a cable car, and a 2km hike. That is efficiency in China at its best! jk Once we got checked in, we had enough time to walk around the area and check out some of the beautiful views from on top of the mountain.

At 4:30am we awoke and quickly walked out to the sunrise viewing spot. The sunrise at Huangshan is the reason that all the tourist come. It is something that everyone told us was very special and beautiful. If you see the sun rise it is supposed to give you luck and fortune. If it is cloudy or rainy, I am not sure what happens...hopefully nothing too bad.

Their was a crowd near the railing that had formed, but it wasn't too bad yet. In true Chinese fashion no one had dared be different by jumping over the railing and sitting on the rocks. So, I didn't hesitate and hopped the railing and we had the best seats in the house. Others soon followed as we were slowly surrounded by people for the sunrise.

A side note...I found it interesting that the person who tried to move the furthest out on the rocks and almost fell off the mountain was a Chinese man who moved to America and had brought his daughter for vacation in China. Maybe it was coincidence, but the man taking a risk on the mountain, made a big risk to move him and his wife to America at one point in time. Or maybe I am full of it.

Back to the story...the sunrise was beautiful. Oddly the Chinese quickly left after about ten minutes into the sunrise. They were done and most went back to bed. They came all the way to the mountain to see the "famous sunrise" and only spent ten minutes watching it. Weird, I thought, but I don't understand most things that happen here. Cindy and I stayed for a bit longer with the other foreign family that was there. We were the only ones to watch the entire sunrise.

After finishing the nights sleep, we awoke and did some more hiking and then proceeded to hike down the mountain. The line for the cable car was two to three hours and to walk down was two hours or less. It has been five days as of the writing of this post and my legs are still trying to recover from this last hike.

Our last night traveling was spent in the town of Tunxi. I persuaded Cindy that our legs would thank us for walking around and that we should leave the hotel for dinner. Thank goodness we did. We told the taxi which restaurant we wanted and he told me us it was terrible and that he knew the place to go. I said great! We learned that the restaurant was owned by President Hu's family or had been in the past. Either way, I found this food to be the best Chinese food I have had since arriving in China. It is considered Huizhou style food and it was so tasty and good, that I was sorry I could not eat more.

A leisurely walk along the famous "Old Street" in Tunxi ended the night. We woke up early to catch our bus back towards Wuxi. However, we decided to try to visit Suzhou for the afternoon and then finish the trip back to Wuxi by train. Almost eight hours later we were in Suzhou. Such a long bus trip...at least no one lost their lunch like the last bus ride. We saw the nine-storey North Temple Pagoda and one of the famous gardens which Suzhou is known for.

The heat was unbearable (104 F) and we ended up taking a car back to Wuxi, sense all the trains were booked for the next seven hours. I think I will talk about China and how I think it will affect tourism in the future on another posting.

So, that about brings you up to date on my recent travels.

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