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A Day in the Zhong Shan (Mountain) Area

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you, I rose early to meet the Israeli couple with whom I had planned to spend the day in the Zhongshan Area with. We met yesterday and got to talking and figured if we were all planning on going to the same place, let's just go together and have a fun filled day. After coffee and chatting to other travellers we headed out into the steamy morning heat. We zig zagged our way across to the Beijing Lu and Taiping Beilu corner where we jumped on Bus No: 48 which took us all the way to the Qijin Shan Cable Car (or Purple Mountain). From the parking lot take the road up the mountain that takes you past the golf course gate way. The ticket box at the parking lot is for the stone carvings or something. There is a nice wooden walkway that will take you all the way to the Cable Car ticket box. The price is 35 Yuan one way or 60 Yuan return. The Cable Car ride takes around twenty five minutes and on a clear day the views would be stunning. Today though, due to dark clouds and haze it wasn't so! Bugger! Halfway up is a Ming Dynasty Observatory that is covered in your ticket and once again, on a clear day it would offer some great views. Due to the weather we decided to keep going. When we arrived at the top we were a bit confused as to which way to walk or what to do now that we were at the top. We found another ticket booth selling tickets for 4 Yuan and decided, well that must be the way to go. What it was for was a small but nice park. Nothing to write home about as all there really was was some statues, a tiny cave and another statue of someone playing a musical instrument. It was nice in the rain though. Soon we came to a gate way which made us even more confused. If this was a gate way into the park and ten minutes prior we purchased a ticket into the park then where are the temples and everything else on our maps. Where are the trails leading to them? Anyhow, we found out that this gate way is for the people who walked up the mountain to purchase a ticket for the park. So it led back down the mountain to where we started. We wanted to find a trail that led to the Linggu Si (Temple) and other sites below. When we got back to the cable car I decided it was time for some food. We grabbed a table at the eatery and I had an awesome dish of rice, vegetables and beef for an over priced 10 Yuan. Still, that's better than two minute noodles for 8 Yuan! We asked which way to the temple and we were told to follow the road. On my map there was a little trail leaving the road that led down the mountain. We walked and walked and walked but found no trail. The road offered no views and was pretty much a boring walk but it did give us time to chat about their on going journey through China. In the end we walked ALL the way down the mountain road and finally when we reached the bottom we found our way to the road leading to the Linggu Si (temple). All in all we had wasted several hours of our day and should have walked through the gate and taken the walk that led down the mountain beneath the cable car. It would have been fun and then we could have taken a bus for 1 Yuan across to the temple. Probably would have taken under an hour. Bugger! When we finally arrived we sat for a cool drink and then decided on what ticket to buy. There was a choice of three. One was for the entire park which cost 130 Yuan, the second which we purchased, was for several sites which cost 80 Yuan and there was a 50 Yuan ticket for entrance to only one site. Our first visit was to the Beamless Hall which is now a Memorial Hall for those whom died in the revolution of 1926 to 1928. It was a very beautiful building. Our next stop was the large stone pavilion known as the Pine Wind Pavilion that was built for the Goddess of Mercy but is now open to the public and used mainly as a viewing tower. It offers, like the cable car, what would be excellent 360 degree views on a clear day. Our day was turning from bad to worse and thunder could now be heard not to far away! We then headed to Luggu Si and sadly as we were walking around the grounds everything was closing around us. So we never really got to see much of anything else. We then had to unhappily leave and met several taxi drivers who wanted us to pay 20 Yuan for them to take us two minutes drive away to the nearest bus stop. We decided to take a twenty minute walk instead. The road directly opposite the ticket booth will take you to the nearest bus stop and it is lined with beautiful trees so it's a pleasant and peaceful walk. We then boarded Bus No: 29 and were soon in the city at the Changjiang Lu stop. Once back in the hostel area we found a nice place to stop and eat. Here I introduced my friends to Clay Pot Noodles (Shangguo). It is a huge favourite of mine. It has three noodle types, several tiny eggs, green leafy vegetables, tofu and assorted meats. All in one delicious soup! We all then headed back to the Hostel so Israelis could shower before heading to the train station to board their train to Beijing. I played a few games with Plum and Linda (Hostel owner and daughter) along with Molly (a very very cute staff member!). For hostel people I can't recommend this Hostel enough. It has the most amazing happy atmosphere I've ever come across in a Hostel. When the Israelis left everyone walked them down to Shanghai Lu to where they got a cab. Such beautiful people! I then headed back out for a walk and to find BBQ and a cold beer and to write the days happenings. At my little BBQ stall the young guy who runs it only knows one word of English and that is the word I used last night...W.C. So tonight he has spent his time singing Chinese songs and adding the word WC into them. All the little food and BBQ stores have been in hysterics for most of the night. So, the day...how would I do it if I was to do it again? I would take the cable car to the top, pay the 4 Yuan for the little park and head out the end gate way and take the mountain path back to the bottom. Depending on time, it would rather walk across to the other sites but to use the 130 Yuan ticket for all the sites I guess a bus would be needed. We really did waste so much time walking down the mountain road but we had been pointed in that direction thinking there would be marked pathways down. Maybe there was but three of us never spotted them. Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was an awesome awesome AWESOME double CD my brother found many years ago. It's called 'Never Mind the Originals, Here Comes the Covers'. Heaps of horrible 80's songs revamped to suite the late 90's.

Nanjing - A Day on Zhongshan

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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