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There Are Bloody European Villas on Ji Gong Shan

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya Mist, shrouded by mist! Mountains, villas, waterfalls, rivers, birds, monks and temples! All of them along with my myself were shrouded by mist for the entire day! Not only were all the above hidden beneath a soft blanket of mist but also for the past few days was any information on my chosen destination. Jigong Shan, a chosen destination simply because I liked the name of the mountain. I had not a single piece of information on either the mountain or how to get there. And without either that makes one hell of a hard and confusing journey ahead here in China! Luo Wei and I headed to the 'advanced train booking office' the other day whilst we were still in Kaifeng and there we found out I had to catch the train from Kaifeng to Xinyang. That was the easy part and if you have read my last entry then you know I arrived safely in Xinyang City. This morning when I woke I woke to silence! Ha Ha, not that type of silence as that is impossible here in China! The silence I mean was not lack of horns or yelling but that of no rain! I rushed out of bed and into my filthy bathroom and stuck my head out of the window. After giving a big Yahoo I waved to the lady that I had startled below me in her back yard and then headed back in to pack everything as quick as I could and raced down stairs to say a big thank you to the lovely couple who own the hotel. They really do try their hardest! But I guess without anyone young enough around it is hard to keep the hotels management and maintenance at a 'nice' level. Then again with mostly Chinese men staying there why bother as the place is just as filthy after the next one leaves. Apologies to those Chinese men who actually use a bin and don't spit on the floor or walls! After leaving the hotel the first stop was a Hole In The Wall (ATM) and then it was to the bus station where I was told; You don't catch the bus from the bus station, instead you catch it from the train station. Oh, Gee! Why didn't I think of that! So, then it was back to the train station where I was told that this was a train station and that I had to catch the bus from the bus station! Oh, Gee! Why didn't I think if that! So then it was back to the bus station (where all the long distance buses were) to catch my bus the long distance to the mountain where once again I was told by several people that I had to go to the train station to catch the bus! Oh, Gee! Didn't someone else already think of that bright idea! So then it was back to the train station to catch the bus. But the only buses at the train station were the city buses and once again the drivers told me that this was a train station and that I needed to go back to the long distance bus station! Oh, Gee! Hadn't someone already thought of that bright idea! This time it was not back to the bus station it was off to find the nearest Tuk Tuk Driver because as crazy as they are driving those things in Chinese traffic every day they at least know most of what you need to know. I found several of them waiting in a line at the entrance to the train station car park and within a second after mentioning Jigong Shan they all pointed behind them to a small line of mini-vans parked waiting for fares. Within minutes I became one of the fares and within five minutes we were on our way! So those who are stupid enough to follow my footsteps here to Jigong Shan don't go to the bus station. Instead go to the train station and look for a line of mini-vans and here you will pay only 10 Yuan for the trip. I have been told that there is a bus from the bus station but it leaves only a few times a day and is supposedly costs 80 Yuan. How true this is I have no idea. So, located around forty kilometers from Xinyang City is a small town where the mini-van will drop you off. Don't bother finding a hotel there as you will then need to grab a taxi to get to the top of the hill and each time buy a new Park Entrance ticket. The first step was to follow one guy's finger and head to the end of the road. Here there were more mini-vans waiting to take you to the top of the mountain, they also cost 10 Yuan per trip. Once full we slowly made our way to the top of the hill where I had to purchase my Park Ticket which cost 65 Yuan for as long as you wish to stay on the mountain (or so I believe). Once you leave don't try returning as you will have to buy a new one. This is rather good value as most other mountains the ticket is dated and can either be used only that day or you have to purchase a one, two or three day ticket. We all got out at the Visitor Center near the Meling Ballroom were I then grabbed a cab and we went to several of the closest hotels that all wanted between 250 and 400 Yuan for one night! Have they gone mad! Are they freaking insane! Do people really pay that money for a hotel? Anyhow, there was no way around it and in the end I flashed my nifty China Teaching Volunteer Badge at the beautiful reception girl at the hotel I preferred to stay in. She instantly went weak at the knees and soon I was paying nearly three hundred Yuan less than the insanely crazy price several minutes prior! So now, here I sit right in the middle of the action in the Youyi Hotel which is just across the valley from the Living Buddha Temple and right next to the mountains main car/bus park and cable car station. Oh yeah, when I wrote 'action' I was trying to be funny. Leave your hotel after dark and there is no way of finding your way back. It is dark out there.....very very dark.....I nearly got lost returning with my beer. Double Oh Yeah! There are bloody European Villas here mate. Did I board the wrong bus and go to Lushan or Gulang Yu? So for everyone (like me until today) who has no idea what and where Jigong Shan is here is some information I found today whilst on my adventure. Jigong Shan actually sits almost half in Henan Province and half in Hubei Province. The highest peak, which is known as 'Dawn Heralding Peak' sits at nearly eight hundred meters and was given such a crazy name as when it is not shrouded in a thick blanket of mist (when people can actually see it), it is supposed to look like a rooster stretching its neck out to welcome the new day. Oh sorry, I forgot the bit about the rooster also looking into the distance! Gee, Bugger! I'm not going to bother re-writing and tanslating the Chinese English to make it easier on you. Instead I will painstakingly take the time to copy it word for word from the information machine I took screen shots of today. When you have finished you will thank me for the time I spent and have a better understanding of what it is like traveling here in most of China even with English. Most of the time a lot of it makes no sense at all. I do love Chinese English, it is so colourful and direct. Ok, here goes but I will leave out the bit about the rooster. The Jigong, spring is clear and the forest is green and jade, the climate is unique, the scenery is beautiful, the cloud leaps and the fog circles, enjoys the laudatory name of 'park in the clouds'. Throughout the year the climate is spectacular, the view is respectively different. In spring the wild flower is brilliant, the Indian azalea, the flowering plant, the golden chrysanthemums dresses up the Jigong especially beautiful. In the summer the climate is cool, the average temperature is 24 degrees. Some people describe it 'here before noon it is like spring, after noon it likes fall, at night it likes the beginning of winter!' No wonder the ancient approve that 'at the end of summer the inflammation steams the human to die, then the cool of reaches this point doubts people the immortal'. In the mountain the dark golden cicada chorus, the hundred bird sound together, the pine tao accompanies, collects the exquisite symphony, in autumn, the inundates mountain red leaves and the chrysanthemum constitutes the thickest scenery of the Jigong is a sea of flower. Nearly looked the bank, the chrysanthemum is particularly fragrant, far looks the level area in the mountains, the forest dyes like red, in winter, full mountain is ice flower, is the quietest season of the Jigong. The Jigong presents ten big marvelous sites, along with the season change, the clear early morning cloud sea, the dawn peak morning sunlight, the sunset glow, evening glow, the enjoy looking at moon at tower, the cloud top view rain......... Sorry, the photo stops here. The next part is a little on the history of Jigong Shan. Before the liberation on the mountain there were more than 300 villas which were constructed by America, England, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Portugal and so on. It is said that in 1898 an American Pastor did missionary work, infatuated by the clear waters and green hills, then covered a church, because his big propaganda, more and more embassy personnel who from various foreign countries, the merchant, the missionary, and so on came here on the rumour, circle the ground and bid for it. The Qing government does not give a thought to the sovereignty, sold the entire mountain to the foreigner, Jigong once had the verse of 'ten miles winds fluttered nine national flags' the beautiful Jigong became the miniature colony imperialism. On the mountain the cheek building, the general building, the misty rain building, the collect Jing Luo, the sisters building, and so on construction, collect the Chinese and foreign into a body, not only delicate but pretty. After the liberation all belongs to the country becomes the paradise which used for the working people to convalesces in summer vacation. There you are! Did you get all that? I guess I can stop the blog here then! Beers N Noodles toya.....shane PS: I'll give a short run down on the photos tomorrow. _________________________________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was by a huge assortment of bands! The album was 'Channel V Music Television China!' __________________________________________________________

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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