Tag Archives: china-2023

China-2023: eats, sleeps.

I’ve shown you how awesome China‘s lesser-known (to non-Chinese) natural-beauty-tourisms can be. But what about the places to stay and dining options for tourists there? How do they stack up?

Quick answer: it all depends on how much you want to spend, for there’s everything in China from bargain-basement lodgings and street/fast/junk food, through to 5* hotels and gourmet cuisine at fine restaurants. As for us, we mostly went for somewhere in the middle for both accommodation and dining – sometimes opting for somewhere nearer the upscale-end of the spectrum; for example, in Enshi (canyon, cliffs) we stayed at a small private hotel that was really very nice indeed. The views: wonderful ->

In the cities we tended to stay in larger hotels – often franchises of international chains, and overall they were decent and comfortable. The views to be had from the rooms in some of them were pretty decent too, for example in the hotel in Xinning County near Langshan where we stayed after our decompression-river-cruise on the Fuyi River. In one direction:

In the other:

Read on…

China-2023: decompression – on the Fuyi River.

Happy New Year, folks!…

“But… it’s January 9 already”, I imagine some of you, dear readers, are thinking. Quick explanation to those who may be new to these here blog-pages: the first week of any New Year in Russia is always a week-off for most of the country – seven or eight or nine bank-holiday days in a row. And this year was no exception. Thus, here we are – just into the first working week of the year…

And my first post of the year: a continuation of where I left of (notwithstanding my 2023 review) – in my tales-from-the-Chinese-side series, naturally. Not that there are many posts left: just a couple or so, but finish the series I must, so here we are. Today’s post, as its title suggests, is about our traditional post-tourism-till-you-drop – a short period of winding down and chilling out: this time on a leisurely cruise upon the Fuyi River, which runs through the previously posted-about Mount Langshan National Geological Park…

Our river cruise was made on two of these here faux-bamboo rafts (though ones of actual bamboo do exist; at least, they did back in 2017 when I saw a few (in Linjang)) ->

The views from the rafts – remarkable:

As per – map-on-brown:

Just 12km of “drifting length”, and no rapids anywhere:

As we were used to just after Golden Week: hardly any tourists at all. We were alone on the river; in all the pics I’ve found on the net there are several rafts on the go simultaneously…

Curiously, the rafts’ outboard motors are all electric; accordingly – no noise at all, and none of that fuel smell you get with a traditional motor. The resulting peace and quiet only adds to the enjoyment!

All aboard? And we’re off (straight into some riffles)! ->

I do love a spot of rafting. Sure, there’s the adrenaline version (like you get in Russia’s Altai region), which of course is great fun, but there’s also the relaxed – even meditative – version, like what we had here:

I wonder if our rafts scared the fish away? Probably; but the fishermen didn’t let on: they too must have been in meditative mode:

It was so bereft of tourists here that the reflections on the water were in places near mirror-perfect:

Aaaah! ->

Occasional modern-kunst-esque rock formations appear on the banks:

Here’s the best view to be had, without a doubt: with the “General” on the horizon ->

Check out the (stood-to-attention) General’s military parade tunic and epaulettes! ->

At the General’s feet – plenty of lighting installations: no doubt he looks even more dashing at night all lit up. Alas, we couldn’t hang about to see…

From the side – the military-parade pomp/formality vanishes! ->

And that was that for our spot of meditative river-rafting. Ooh – and that was that for our spot of inner-China tourism (there remains just the post-scriptum post all about eats and lodgings – coming up shortly)…

The rest of the photos from our China-2023 trip are here.

Flickr photostream

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China-2023: Langshan, pt. 3 – rock camels and candles.

Langshan – pt. 1: done.
Langshan – pt. 2: done.
Langshan – pt. 3: coming right up here today (and all the Langshans in a single day!)…

And it’s called… Camel Peak Scenic Spot. Hmmm – I wonder where they got the name from? ->

…Actually, if you think that’s a camel’s hump – you’re wrong; it’s the camel’s… tail. Confused? You’re not the only ones! And here’s the camel from the side; still befuddled?! ->

In short – lost in (cultural) translation, I think. Whatever. Camel’s the name and that’s that. Get over it!…

Read on…

China-2023: Mount Langshan. Squeeze through – if you can!

The final installment of our China-2023 vacation was a visit to Mount Langshanhere. Spoiler: it’s a beaut! ->

…But of course it was: we were in good hands – Chinese natives who know their way around the country’s greatest hits ).

Langshan is not as popular for tourists as the other sites we visited, meaning there were fewer tourists around [+1 (+)ve], but the tourist infrastructure is as a result somewhat less developed [+1 (-)ve]. The location is still a great one for spending two days walking up and around mountains. In all here there are four main must-see places of interest, + one river which must be experienced on a traditional Chinese raft. Five musts in two days? Ok then: best get going!…

Read on…

The sacred Mount Fanjing and its impossibly-perched Buddhist temple(s).

Next on our touristic itinerary was Mount Fanjing, aka, Fanjingshan, which requires a whole day to fully check out – from early morning till evening. Mount Fanjing is a somewhat quirky place – but one that’s sacred in China by different religions: a huge upstanding double-headed rocky outcrop – on the peak of which stand two Buddhist temples and a small footbridge between them:

A breathtaking spectacle – even in so-so weather:

Read on…

China-2023: in praise of Chinese highways.

Chinese roads are simply the best. What’s more, they’re often anything but simple constructions, and almost always come with the most wonderful views to be had therefrom in all directions – simply looking out the window of your moving vehicle is wonderfully meditatively awesome. Here, for example, is a masterpiece highlighting perfect integration of a highway and its natural surroundings:

I mean – they’re the best on literally all levels:

  • Road surfaces – great!
  • Signs – great!
  • Bridges – great!
  • Tunnels – great!
  • Views – great!
  • Roadworks/repairs – great!

Read on…

China-2023: Tianmen Mountain (through the fog).

After our intensive two days checking out Wulingyuan’s rockinesses, it was time for our next touristic location; namely: Tianmen Mountain, not far from the city of Zhangjiajie (try pronouncing that after a few beers:).

And so – Tianmen Mountain, aka – 天门山, aka – Heaven’s Gate Mountain. First we got ourselves over to the mentioned Zhangjiajie (which isn’t all that far from Wulingyuan), and checked into our hotel. The hotel had been chosen strategically, for it’s right opposite where we needed to be to get transported to Tianmen Mountain – the base station of the cable-car. Here’s the view thereof from my hotel window:

Rea on…