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Kaili to Xi Jiang, Day 7

Kaili was not much but the people were friendly. Xi Jiang is a slice of heaven and the people are absolutely marvelous. Scenery to dream about!

Day Seven - Wednesday, June 4. Trip to Xi Jiang

Our bus left the Kaili station at around 8 AM. It was not full but had a few people traveling. One lady with a very cute baby said hi so I obligingly took her picture. We were headed to Leishan to catch the bus to Xi Jiang. This was about a two and a half our trip and the scenery was beautiful as you can see.

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Beautiful scenery on the way to Xijiang

Once we arrived to Leishan, we were hustled out of the big bus onto a very small bus for the trip to Xi Jiang. Did not have to wait but went from dead stop to full movement in less than three minutes. Guess our timing was superb!

The trip from Leishan to Xi Jiang took about two more hours and it was absolutely stunning. The distance was not far but the road meandered into the mountains forcing the bus to move at a crawl most of the way.

An interesting thing happened at one of the villages on the way. About a kilometer or so outside one of the villages, the bus stopped suddenly and let two passengers off. These two immediately were picked up by a truck in the same direction. We continued on, stopped at the next village for some kind of check and then stopped again about a kilometer outside the village where we picked the two passengers up we had let off earlier. Corruption do you suppose? John did take a picture of a great scene with a working water buffalo at the third stop.

We arrived to Xi Jiang at around noon and we were not disappointed. A “Shangri-la” setting with the Miao houses built up on the side of the mountain. Stunning does not describe the picture we had of this village. The pictures say it all.

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We were not sure what to do or how to do it and no one spoke English so it was all up to Sunee. A guy had tried to take us to his guest house but we were a little cautious and decided to look around a while before we made a decision. We walked down to the town and looked for a hotel or guest house. Went into one but saw that it and every place around downtown was covered with dust from the ongoing construction. It was at this time we decided to go look at the guest house that had been offered when we first got off the bus. It turned out to be our choice and a great choice at that. The A Nong Family Guest House!

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A great place to stay. Ms. A Nong's Guest House

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The perfect hostess: Ms. A Nong

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Friends

We or rather Sunee negotiated for the rooms and settled on the price of 80 yuan or around $12 or so US dollars. When we got moved in, we were told by another guy that they had western style bathrooms (at least two rooms) on the first floor. The rooms we had were Chinese style (bomb site) bathrooms. Sunee and I opted for the first floor while John stayed on the top floor. We got settled in, had some noodles and then went downtown to explore (or shop in Sunee’s case). The pictures tell the story of the town better than I could ever do.

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Now this is truly a "pig in a poke." She assured me it would taste good.

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Downtown ladies

After spending our time in the afternoon shopping, John went his own way, Sunee and I decided to climb the mountain as we explored the town. It was a nice climb with the trail getting smaller and more torn up. When we reached the top, we saw where the trail was being rebuild from the top down. I took lots of pictures and then we met two lovely young Miao girls walking up to their house. Stopped and visit a bit in English and they let me take their pictures. The following pictures give you a good idea of where we were on the mountain.

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Climbing up the mountain side was not easy

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Two lovelies coming down the mountain

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Quick peek

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Redoing the path up the hill with a donkey

We returned to our guest house around 5 PM where we met John and got ready for our dinner. While waiting and relaxing on the top floor balcony we met Mr. Samson, a member of a Chinese survey crew working in the area. His group and we were the only ones in the guest house and the only visiters to Xi Jiang. We had a great time visiting with A Nong the owner and the other Miao hostesses as well as Mr. Samson. Our food was served around 7:30 PM. It was very good food and inexpensive. We ordered about four different items and all were good.

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Singing to welcome us

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The friendly welcome with rice wine

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Samson, a member of a Chinese survey team

After dinner, we were treated to a traditional Miao welcome ceremony with our three Miao hostesses singing the welcome songs and offering us rice wine. Once again, the pictures tell all. What a great time we had!

Ode to Xi Jiang

The sun is rising over the hills and fields of Xi Jiang
Mist rising from the fields of rice clothed in pastel green
Among the thousand houses life awakens yet unseen
And in the distance the sweet voices come gentle song

Is this the Shangri-la from hence the myth was drawn
Where harmony and love blend in happy song
As one sits on the porch and sees the coming dawn
There is a pinch to flesh to see if it is wrong

The nights were spent in lovely song
They passed the wine that came from rice
Sang with the ladies as if to belong
Twas an experience, wonderful and so nice

I still think of travel to this remote oasis
Envisioning mist and light along the ridges
Houses built on poles to catch the morning breeze
A memory, a dream or just a wishful tease

Posted by inchinahil 06:53 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites

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