Zhangjiajie & Guangzhou 9.6.16

I planned my route in China based on a recommendation I found online. I did not follow the route exactly but used it as guide. When I saw photos of Zhangjiajie National Forest, nicknamed the Avatar Park after the movie, I knew this was a city from the route recommendation I would visit.

In Zhangjiajie I ‘treated’ myself to a private room. Most nights I sleep in a dorm room with 2-7 other people. The hostels in China offer female only dorms, an option that does not exist in other countries I have traveled. My sense from nights I stayed in the female only dorms is that there are many college age and younger professional woman in the larger cities, and away from family, who are the primary customer for these spaces. Some dorms have a bathroom ensuite while others have bathrooms outside the room, similar  to a college dorm. Dorm rooms in hostels are $6-10USD. My splurge private room was $16.25USD.

To track my daily spending I paid a few dollars for an excellent iPhone application called Trail Wallet. The app. provides me with graphs and charts documenting my daily and aggregate spending. The best feature of the app. may be its currency conversion. I input a price in RMB and the app. converts the cost to dollars while recording both the RMB and USD values.

Happy first day of the 2016-17 academic year to everyone in the education space and/or with kids headed back to school!

Like young kids at the park who toddle up to each other and instantly become friends, solo travelers are equally as happy to run into one another. Fahad, from Bangladesh, checked into the hotel in Zhangjiajie at the same time I did. He planned to go to another national park in Zhangjiajie called Tinamen Mountain the following day. Not having done much research I didn’t know about this park! Fahad welcomed me on his day trip and was the person responsible for coaxing me onto the glass bridge.
We took the world’s longest cable car ride up Tinamen Mountain. To return to the ground, we rode 5 or 6 escalators each at least 4 floors long, walked down 1000 stairs, and then rode for 45 minutes in a shuttle bus down a road full of hairpin turns.
National Parks in China feel more built-up than in the US. These photos show the wide, easy walking paths throughout the Tinamen Mountain park.
After a few weeks in cities, it was great to spend time in nature and appreciate the green surroundings.
A section of the walking path on the face of the cliff with a glass bottom! I skipped the first glass bridge but Fahad encouraged me to try this second, shorter bridge.
The following day I went solo to the national forest. I started my day in this park on the canyon floor.
The afternoon portion of my hike in Zhangjiajie National Forest included more than 13,000 stairs. Men were positioned throughout the park with chariots waiting to carry tourists.
Amazing nature.
Zhangjiajie to Guangzhou is about 250 miles. I traveled this distance on the slowest, least-fancy train available, a K train. For this journey, the train departed an hour late, healpfully noted via the red on the sign board, and was delayed an additional 3 hours en-route. The 14 hour journey became 18 hours. It was rougher. As an aside: I now have expertise in booking, canceling, changing tickets, boarding, and understanding trains in China!
I had one full day in Guangzhou. I visited the man-made sandbar area called Shamian Island, another former concession. I enjoyed seeing green and feeling as if I had left the city.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Edith Lange says:

    in such short time you already have experiences to fill a book !!! sooo great every word you are telling us. …. glass bridge wow ! like i remember canada’s helicopter ride with floor window ! never forgotten…. keep having good and safe times sarah !!!!!

    langeedy@aol.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Woessner says:

    Great update! Loved it all. Really incredible photos, also! Loving it all. M&D

    Like

    1. Thanks Mom and Dad! Appreciate your loyal readership (as if you had a choice…) 😉

      Like

  3. Brian Jacobson says:

    The archway at Tianmen Mountain looks really cool! Hooray for fellow travelers with interesting destinations!

    I’m not sure anyone could persuade me to go out onto a glass bridge. Well done!

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    1. Brian!! So fun to hear from you. Yes, that archway at the mountain was awesome. Other people tell me that it’s a popular (or, as popular as is possible in a niche adventure sport) base jumping location. Talk about something I won’t do! You got it – it was a better day because of this fellow traveler. Thanks for the kudos too. I’ll say, I think I saw more of the view from the photos than from when I was actually standing on the glass bridge!

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  4. Sarah says:

    I can’t get over how beautiful that place is! And I love that you found an adventuresome traveler to join for a moment – those are the things we remember!

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    1. Right, totally stunning scenery. Now I bet you’re finding other travelers in your day to day!

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  5. Kay says:

    Just love getting the update on both nature and food! Looks like everything is going great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kay (and Jerry too maybe 😉 for taking time to read and also to let me know you enjoy the updates. I imagine this was a funnier feeling week in your land without the usual back-to-school change in routine. That said, the life without work is rather swell. Keep enjoying your days!

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  6. Beautiful pictures! I especially liked the ones from “Avatar Park”. Traveling by train, talking to locals and getting to know such wonderful places must be a unique and enriching experience. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alberto! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I bet you’d love seeing that park given all your outdoor activities. I appreciate your well wishes and same to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. loripokela says:

    Wow wow wow!! What incredible views of the beauty that nature has to offer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! It’s almost more fun you are reading these posts now because I get reminisce. Unlike anything else, right!?

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