Below are all the pictures of my adventure to Sichuan Province. I had a week off from teaching due to military training and social exercises. This is required of all the students. So, I decided to go traveling. I decided to go get more into the outdoors and do some hiking around. This I did. Unfortunately, not many people have the same time off, so I went by myself. This ended up being more of the adventure than actually being at the places I got to since it was my little Chinese ability against many people that only know how to say "hello" in English. It made it all the more worth it to arrive though.
The next 8 pictures show some of the things I had to deal with while traveling. Most of the signs did not help me much.
Can you guess the meaning of this sign? The Chinese means something like: "Entrance to bus station here" but this was written in what is called Chinglish, English words with Chinese syntax.
It was very nice of them to give me a place to collapse after hiking, but I would have thought something a little more comfortable would have been nice.
Some of the signs were just cute. There is a panda reserve in Sichuan that they are very proud of.
This is in ChengDu, the capital of Sichuan. Crossing the streets was interesting. Above, the bus does not seem to fit in with the direction of the cars. Below, when there aren't cars and buses, there are plenty of bikers to get in the way.
I ended up taking two 10 hour bus trips to get to Jiu Zhai Gou. The entire time was spent on winding roads through beautiful mountains like this.
The drivers were interesting; they always wanted to pass the vehicle in front of them, even if it was around a blind corner. It made for some exciting moments. I finally figured out their strategy. Whenever they were in the other lane, they honked their horn to let the car around the corner know they were about to have an accident.
All around me on the buses from place to place, I saw people sleeping in incredible positions. This one was on a bumpy bus, so their heads were bouncing around quite a bit. I was watching the driver and hoping we didn't fall off the cliff.
Here are the pictures of the first place I went to. It is called Emei Shan(mountain). It is a well known mountain due to it's beauty and the number of monastaries on it. My original plan was to hike half way up and stay in one of the monastaries, but due to bus issues, I got their late and stayed in a town just before it and hiked up and down the next day.
The next two are pictures of the town I stayed it.
Part way up, stopping to enjoy the view.
Some of the path was nice, but it was really icy.
Here was my girlfriend for the climb. In case you are wondering about my "girlfriends," they are usually Chinese people who have not seen many foreigners and want to take a picture with them. So, I usually get a picture too. It makes for an interesting conversation starter and is a good chance for me to practise my Chinese.
The above two are some pictures from the top. It was quite beautiful. These hills went on and on in each direction.
Here is one of the monastaries at the top of the mountain.
When I was coming down, I was bummed to find out that I could have been carried to the top, about a 4 hour hike. But, I didn't feel like cheating that much and it looks a little scary.
I was very happy to see some monkeys. I had heard there were a lot of them on the mountain and to be weary of them taking your food.
Here were several of his friends.
This guy noticed the bag of fruit I was holding. He was quite persistent and ended up climbing up me and grabbing the bag out of my hands. I wouldn't have been too mad at him, except his paws were muddy and got my only pair of pants muddy. I probably could have stopped him, but I was too busy taking his picture.
Next, I went to Northern Sichuan, to a place called Jiu Zhai Gou, which means Nine Tibetan Villages. This was a part of China that has several minority groups. There are 55 minority groups throughout all of China. It was incredibly cold up here. All the places I ended up staying at did not have heat in the rooms. I was a little cold for three days straight. When I found a hotel with an electric blanket on the bed, I thought I was in the Ritz.
Some of the small towns we passed on the way there.
The town I stayed in for two nights. The second one had the electric blanket.
Jiu Zhai Gou is well known for it's crystal clear waters.
These guys were digging a ditch along one of the roads into a small village I spent the night at. We confusingly spoke to each other for about 10 minutes. They couldn't understand that I wanted them to talk slower and kept talking quite rapidly. They were fun though.
I reached the top of a hill and saw this lake. My first thought was that this was something out of a fantasy book.
I was facsinated with how still and clear the water was. All the reflections were almost perfect off it.
This is one of the minority groups native to this area.
I saw many people drawing and painting around this area. Many of them were quite good. I would have bought some of it, but I never saw them selling it in any of the villages.
return to: overall home or pictures home.