A Travellerspoint blog

Damenlong, A Place In Paradise (Gung Gung)

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya

  • well, here I go again. Damenlong fans, I do apologise but here is where I must explain why there are no photos of such a peaceful place. Once again, accross from the 'Peoples Hospital' you'll find the same little Kodak shop. Return there, grab the same long haired git by the shirt and ask him where the award winning shots of Damenlong are! GRRR!

Once again, it could have been worse. I could not have made it out of Damenlong alive. I could have been locked away by the Monks and never let out again in the temple behind the temple behind the town. Kinda spooky really, like a Stephen King story. ...sorry, read on...

  • **photos added Monday, 3rd April 2006***I finally got a hold of some of Judys photos but they just don't capture Damenlong like mine would have. There is one of the monks on the motor bike and only one of the young monks whom locked each other in the room. Sadly there are none of the locals slowly riding up and down the main road. now you can read on...

Damn, Spring Festival really kicked into Jinghong today.

As usual we went to pay our coming nights rent and found our room had been booked. We were offered a single room for more than triple the price. Uh uh, bugger that mate. We went to check other hotels and hostels and the same situation in all. Why wait until today, I thought we had actually escaped the rising prices this time. Another bugger was the laundry's were still closed and would remain closed for the next few days. I still had one set of clothes left and the arm pits smelt fine.

During breakfast at Mei Mei's we decided to head off to a place called Damenlong.

Had no idea what was there, no reason for going but no reason not to get out of Jinghong with these absurd prices. It's so funny that at this time every year, the entire population is blatantly ripped off by each other and no one says a thing. They just pay up and are happy to do so. Strange, very strange behaviour. Our prices go up in Australia over holidays but it is nothing like this, this is just unbelievable. They try to justify it to you by showing you that everyone else is paying the same, but at the same time you try to justify paying yesterdays tiny price in comparison to today's by pointing to yesterday's amount in the counter book. They just smile and continue pointing to today's price.

You can never ever win during Spring Festival!

After collecting our bags we headed to Bus Station No: 2 and caught a road side bus to Damenlong. We were actually expecting a little city/town but ended up in a dust ridden village. Usually I love these places as everyone would know from my past writings but Damenlong...um, it's hard to find words to describe Damenlong.

Ok, here goes.... If China had pickup trucks and gun racks, every single one of them would be in Damenlong.

It's Hicksville; it's like China's version of the real outback Aussie town full of pig shooting, beer drinking red necks. A little too stereo typical I know as most people in these towns are beautiful and very friendly people. TV has given it's version of these towns and hopefully you get the idea of what I came to think of Damenlong. I didn't dislike the place it was just so funny to sit and watch it's people live their lives.

We spent the days making up bill board signs and tourism slogans... A place in paradise, only for the chosen few. Damenlong! etc.

In fact we renamed it Gung Gung.

When Judy was young her father let the children choose a place on the map and they would drive there for the weekend. Once she chose a little out back town known as Grong Grong. When they arrived it was a train station with a skull on it and not much more. She told me the story and I named it Gung Gung as I had forgotten the real name was Grong Grong.

So became the dream of Gung Gung!

The first afternoon we were taken to a Hotel above a corner store. We could have sworn this was the only hotel in town. I've stayed in worse but if I didn't' have to I wouldn't. Picture a room where the bathroom door is hanging on by wire and doesn't close. The little vent in the bottom of the door is gone and clearly through it you can see the squat toilet. Nice for the girls using it. Not only that, the roof leaked above the toilet. It continually dripped into our toilet...not nice for the girl using it! The place hadn't been stayed in for several years judging by the cleanliness of it all. Whilst walking around the town an hour later we found behind a group of shops a beautiful new hotel that cost only 30 Yuan more.

Within a few minutes we had our bags and were checking in.

For dinner we had noticed a friendly open garage type family restaurant whilst walking so we made our way here amongst the smiles and 'hellos'. Here we sat for a hearty meal and a warm beer before continuing our walk. We ended up in the towns only bar. A bar that actually served warm Budweiser and ice.

Don't you just love it. Everyone was having beer on ice. I can't understand why if everyone wants cold beer, why don't they put the beer in the fridge and then not have to worry about making half a freezer full of ice. I tried to ask, the communication gap was too much so we sat for our warm Buds on ice.

Sometime during the evening a Japanese guy came over and offered us meat sticks. He was on holidays for only one week and had come all the way down from Shanghai to go to the border of China and Myanmar. It is a long way to come. We asked him what the border was like. Boring, he said. There was nothing there! I wondered what he actually thought would be there but I thought it best not to ask.

Poor Bugger is now trapped in Gung Gung until the morning!

In Damenlong everyone has a motor bike, I mean everyone! It's funny watching Monks in their Orange thingamabobs, two to a bike riding down the dusty street smoking cigarettes. Remembering when I was younger, we'd drive around the town doing 'blocky's' listening to music etc for hours. Here in Gung Gung they would ride up the town's only real road, not a long road either.

There are no street lights and they'd ride for hours 4 side by side, riding slowly and talking.

Why not walk or sit for a beer? Who am I to question!

So for hours we sat and drank our warm Buds on ice watching motor bikes, 2 to 3 people to a bike slowly go up and down the little dusty street with no street lights whilst happy locals offered us BBQ. It was a beautiful night. The people of Gung Gung are beautiful people and the girls are very very beautiful indeed. One more detail about Gung Gung, the street may not have clothes shops or street lights but it has enough BBQ stalls to feed a hungry herd of T-Rex's. Prehistoric man could actually walk freely in Gung Gung and smile safely as the huge arsed dinosaurs would be happily sleeping off the previous evenings BBQ!

Tuesday, 31st January 2006

Gung Gung...A place in paradise, only for the chosen few. Another day in Gung Gung as arrived. This day we began at our little family eatery. Then up to the Temple behind the town followed by the temple behind the temple behind the town. Here two young monks amused us by locking each other in little rooms with pad locks and then yelling for 10 minutes to be let out whilst the other showed us around the place.

After sad good byes,luckily both Monks whom were walking freely again we walked around Gung Gungs back streets. We found little lane ways and rested beside a beautiful well covered by a huge bell. Here a very beautiful girl came down to collect water. To me it was a strange sight watching someone so well dressed and so beautiful collect water from a well. In fact, watching anyone collect water from a well is a strange sight to me. In fact, any well that is actually used is a strange sight to me. In rural areas I'm used to people just dipping a bucket into the local filthy river.

I wondered if they still needed to boil the water from the well. I would, but would they actually need to?

Next we headed up the hill to yet another temple and took some happy snaps of something that wasn't really much at all. We decided to leave pretty quickly and headed along a lane way out into the trees. We come across a huge brick fence and followed the trail around passed Chinese tombs with offerings of rice and water on them. We came to a gate a peered inside. It was a war memorial, but why was it hidden up here in amongst the trees and why was it locked.

We decided it was time to leave.

We headed back down to the main road and out of town. We came across another golden entrance. Here we watched some young monks play cards with two beautiful young girls. I wondered if the same thoughts went through their heads as went through mine at their age. We walked around and decided to head back into town. On the way a family asked us to come in and play pool with a group of kids. It was the game where you had to shoot from lowest to highest. You couldn't really do much else as all they had was the large balls or half the set. It was a heap of fun.

One of them was pretty good too and beat me pretty quickly.

The night was spent at the hotels restaurant eating and playing cards until the staff sat to eat. We then took off to the town bar to continue cards and drink some warm buds on ice whilst the town's people rode up and down the dark street on their motor bikes. A funny thing happened. Whilst playing cards two drunken guys came over to watch us and see what we were playing. One of them had been listening to us play and when I lost a game he came out with a loud BUGGER! He knew the exact context to use it correctly.

We couldn't stop laughing. So we happily ended our last night in Gung Gung.

Gung Gung the place to be

Gung Gung the place to be


Gung Gung the place to be (1)

Gung Gung the place to be (1)


Gung Gung the place to be (10)

Gung Gung the place to be (10)


Gung Gung the place to be (11)

Gung Gung the place to be (11)


Gung Gung the place to be (12)

Gung Gung the place to be (12)


Gung Gung the place to be (13)

Gung Gung the place to be (13)


Gung Gung the place to be (14)

Gung Gung the place to be (14)


Gung Gung the place to be (15)

Gung Gung the place to be (15)


Gung Gung the place to be (16)

Gung Gung the place to be (16)


Gung Gung the place to be (17)

Gung Gung the place to be (17)


Gung Gung the place to be (18)

Gung Gung the place to be (18)


Gung Gung the place to be (19)

Gung Gung the place to be (19)


Gung Gung the place to be (2)

Gung Gung the place to be (2)


Gung Gung the place to be (3)

Gung Gung the place to be (3)


Gung Gung the place to be (4)

Gung Gung the place to be (4)


Gung Gung the place to be (5)

Gung Gung the place to be (5)


Gung Gung the place to be (6)

Gung Gung the place to be (6)


Gung Gung the place to be (7)

Gung Gung the place to be (7)


Gung Gung the place to be (8)

Gung Gung the place to be (8)


Gung Gung the place to be (9)

Gung Gung the place to be (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login