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Huangguoshu Falls, Day 4

A tour to the largest waterfalls in all of China. Was not cheap and it was not easy, but well worth the money, the pain and the effort. Chinese tours tend to be interesting and rough affairs.

Day Four - Sunday, June 1. Huangguoshu Falls Tour

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Early in the morning, as with all Chinese tours, we were ushered off in a van to the place to pick up the large tour bus tp start our Huangguoshu Falls Tour. We are talking before 7 AM in the morning! The big tour bus had about twenty or so tourist onboard including one guy from Finland who was on a three week vacation to China, his third time here.

Our first stop with the tour was to an undefined (at least I cannot find it on the internet and I took no pictures of its name) not far from Anshun City. A buddhist temple that looked just like a Buddhist temple. At some point most of these Buddhist temples start to look the same and they are, indeed, the same. The only significant thing we did there was to hang some red banners from a tree in its court yard. Sunee and I put “long life” on ours with our name while John put “good luck” with his ex-wife’s name on it. Later we will see the this “good luck” was actually for him.

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Just for good luck

After this rather uninspired stop to the temple we made our way to the Dragon Palace. This was well worth the trip as it was both beautiful and interesting. The scenes along the way reminded me a lot of Laos and Northeast Thailand with karsts and rice fields terraced into spectacular scenes. We stopped at the base of a mountain area where we got off the bus. We then walked up the mountain to a lake set up with boats for a ride into the famous Dragon cave. Along the way, we saw a river with several small waterfalls and a nice array of buildings and mountain greenery. Nice walk but Sunee and John had to have some assistance for a price.

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On the way to the Dragon Palace

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More spectacular scenery around Anshun

The boat ride was interesting and beautiful. When we returned to the launch area we had our pictures taken with Miao girls dressed in their traditional costumes. At least they were girls playing like Miao minorities. Who could tell? They were cute and colorful and John and I took advantage of the 5 Yuan each girl for the pictures. It was fun and John got a really great shot of one of the little girls informing me in no uncertain terms that she did really want her picture taken with me.

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Friends at 5 Yuan a piece. Now that is cheap!

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One of the guides in the area

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Our Dragon Cave guide or was she our captain on the boat?

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Same price for John

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I told you I really do like you and it will only cost 5 yuan for the picture

Back to the bus and on with the tour in the typical hurry up and wait Chinese style.

But wait, no Chinese tour would be correct without a shopping excursion to a trusted friend of the tour operator. The routine is the same all over China. As one gets off the bus the your ladies at the entrance of the target shopping experience passes out numbers to identify the bus you came from for kickback purposes.

This particular stop was for “guaranteed to last forever” cutlery.” We were herded into a room where we were presented a “Home Shopper’s” presentation that would have made any TV Home Shoppers Network executive proud. Must have worked since Sunee ended up buying one of the sets. Actually they were better than the run-of-the-mill cut junk we had been using. At least these appeared to be able to hold an edge and last more than a month or so. Sunee was happy as she got the “special scraping tool” and sharpener thrown in free. We all also were supposed to get a free knife later on during the tour. This ended up being quite comical as the Chinese tourists kept asking for their knives as the tour wore on.

Next on the agenda, lunch. And a typical Chinese tour lunch except a lot of the stuff was too hot for John.

Back to the bus and a trip to someplace really weird. We got off the bus and had to pay 50 yuan to get on another bus which took us to a road under construction. Here we got off the second bus and walked about 45 minutes to another area. Not sure but this area is all part of the Huangguoshu falls tourist spot. I notice some of my pictures had references to Tien Xing Lake but I have not found anything like that on the internet. The major signs all talk about Huangguoshu. Anyway the pictures tell the story.

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This is one big cucumber

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Not an easy walk

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People must really like these long cucumbers. They are everywhere!

After walking through this area, we were herded out and had to walk the 45 minutes back to catch a bus which then took us to the entrance where we reboarded our original tour bus. A lot of walking for such little excitement and photos! Well, at least the cucumbers were extremely long.

Finally we arrive at the Huangguoshu Falls entrance were we are expected to pay another 100 yuan to get on yet another bus to go to the area we need to be. This whole trip has been about yuans, lots of them. We finally are where we are supposed to be and what we paid all this yuan for.

We tarried too long at the entrance and we lost our group so we ended up being on our own. Wondering through a Chinese garden with all the flowers and weird rocks we finally found the entrance to the falls area. Down an escalator to the bottom where the falls are. Our tour guide was waiting for us and gave us instructions on how long we had and what to do. Soooooo, down the escalator to the falls we went.

Not much to see at the bottom of the escalator except a fairly fast moving river and a few scenic spots to stop and take pictures. As we traveled along the modern cement trail we begin to hear the falls. This is a serious falls as the noise is deafening the closer we get. Then we see it and it meets or exceeds all our expectations. John commented that one would have to go to Niagara Falls in the USA to match its splendor. Believe him. The falls is magnificent! Again pictures tell the story than English words can.

As one gets closer to the falls the air is alive with mists from the huge amount of water going over the edge. We are given rain jackets to keep us dry and told we could walk up and under the actual falls but it would take two hours our so. Us old folks simply did not have the energy so we enjoyed the falls from where we were and headed back up the escalator for some relaxation. About a half an hour of relaxation and we herded all back to the bus for another stop associated with the falls.

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The Huangguoshu Waterfalls framed nicely by trees

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The standard tourist shot

This next stop was a quick one, about half an hour. The front area had a bunch of peacocks who obviously had become irritated and were strutting their stuff for the Chinese. I got some good pictures of these foul fowl. Maybe Sunee can paint some of them later.

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Can Sunee paint this one?

On down the river we came to another falls, not as tall, but still quite impressive. Took some time to take some pictures and also a lady from Fuzhou, Fujian province who enjoyed speaking to Sunee in Min Nan dialect. She was a classy lady and was friendly and sweet. She also took nice pictures as well.

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It is smaller (the falls) but beautiful

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A wide angle view of this falls

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Pictures of picture taking of Sunee and the lady from Fujian

Our thirty minutes were up so we boarded the bus for our trip back the Guiyang. All of us were tired but pretty happy with the trip. Huangguoshu falls is as good as advertised. Bet we stop at some store on the way back. Yep, this time a candy or food store where each of us was given a giant sack to put all the food we did not buy. Sunee saved the sacks for later.

Returned to Guiyang late and crashed.

Posted by inchinahil 06:46 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites

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