Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wuyuan, Canola Flower Trip (江西婺源。油菜花) (9) - Sanqingshan (三清山)

The Sanqingshan mountains is a Taoist mountain famous for its beautiful scenery.  In fact, the Chinese listed this as one of the national key scenic spots in August 1988 and named it a national geological park in September 2005.  Since July, 2008, it's a national AAAAA level tourist area and included on the World Heritage List.

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my staff card came in handy this trip :)
I got a discounted ticket, normally it's RMB$150 for the entrance fee.
No discount for the cable car.
I cannot imagine how people come tour this mountain before the ropeway is built!  I have been on many ropeways in the last year but I am still the most impressed with Rokko, probably because it was my first experience of its kind.  Nevertheless, I think almost all of them look and feel the same, only the circumstances were different.

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The ropeway is made by Doppelmayr, a German company.
Safety guaranteed (?)
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There are actually two ropeways.
This one is at the east side of the mountain, also the more popular one.
the ropeway is quite nice, if the weather is better, i think it beats the view from Rokko Mountain in Japan.
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With all the titles this place proudly boasts, I have developed very high expectations.  As usual, the bigger the expectations, the bigger the disappointment.  I can't say the place is overrated because I didn't see anything at all - IT WAS A FOGGY DAY!!! The fog got worse as the day progressed too. :(

By the way, there are guided tours too but I don't think it's necessary.  You are here to admire the beauty of the mountains, not to listen to a person blabbing non-stop over how a rock is supposed to look like.  (It's also in Mandarin only.)

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When we first arrive in the morning
so foggy we couldn't see much at all...
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This is when we decide it's no point to try to take anymore photos...

My best shots of what were known as the "must-sees" on the trail...

what does it look like to you?
Giant Boa
巨蟒出山
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The Oriental Goddess
東方女神

What I saw.
How it should look like.  Click here.
horse face?
Horse Head Stone
馬頭石

Because of the proximity, this is pretty close to the sign.

Luckily, it's not all bad... I got some shots I probably won't get if the weather was nice.  I also learned a lot from my travel-mate how to take pictures of clouds and fog :)

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We also saw interesting things along the way...

these two are real humans
They are real...
No idea why they would dress like that though.
There were barely any travelers.
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This is right before a steep and staircase of 299 steps...

As if the fog is not enough to dampen my spirits... 6 hours worth of stairs will make any man cry (figuratively)... my knees were shaking at some point...  The worst part is just as you thought you were going downhill, the stairs go up again!!! *CRY*

6 hours of walking up and down the stairs!!! i was so sore afterwards!
>.>
<.<
so narrow - fat people cannot cross

You could hire carriers to carry you around but they charge by distance (and they are not cheap!).  As you can see, it doesn't look very safe either.  I guess I will walk...

guys for hire to carry you around the mountain if you don't want to walk
I guess I wasn't the only one who choose to walk.
of course they are not cheap...

We brought our lunch / snacks to the mountain as locals said it's expensive and it doesn't taste good.  A cob of corn that sold for RMB$2 in the village was RMB$10 here!

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That thing with the green stuffing looks tempting but I didn't end up trying.
my lunch - brought from the village we stayed as we were told everything in the mountain is 3x more expensive.  I was glad I listened to the villagers.
My lunch from the breakfast place next to the hostel.  Yummy!

We were very ambitious in the beginning and thought of doing 2 trails.  After the first one (the most popular one), we looked at each other and said "FORGET IT".  We are calling it a day and we are going home.  LOL!!!  Looks like I still got a lot of strength-training to do!

we only did one small circle... from the map it looks short and easy... oh no... not at all
no kidding
Right on...

We bought snacks for the return ride from the local hawkers.  In contrast to the overpriced items on the items, these were cheap and delicious!

yummy chestnut
These chestnuts are even pre-cut for easy snacking on the road!
*thumbs up*
yummy purple yam
So delicious I asked the driver if the hawker put any artificial / chemicals in them.
You can never be sure in China.
He said they are au natural~
I guess for RMB$2 (for the whole bag), it's not worth it huh?
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purple yam, my favorite!
yummy mountain yam
If I liked the chestnuts and loved the purple yam, I don't know how to describe these.
Best I ever had and I wish I bought more?
The skin came of with the slightest pressure and it was so delicious!!!
our driver made a stop for this snack and told us to get some too... it was yummy
Our driver probably figured out our love for snacks and made a stop at this local hawker shop.
He bought some for himself and his family and told us we should try them too.
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Delicious!

It was known as the "in-laws bread".
It says it was a throw-down the mother-in-law gave the bride with very limited ingredients.
The daughter-in-law passed the test with flying colors~ 

We stopped at Moon Bay (月亮灣) again to see if we could get some nice clicks and this is what I got... We had no energy left to climb to the viewing point though...

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It's regrettable as I know Sanqingshan (三清山) is absolutely gorgeous under the right weather conditions.  I won't say we walked for nothing.  If nothing else, it will be another story I could tell my friends about another silly thing I did when I was young and jolly...

Anyways, if any of you go, I hope your luck will be better than mine...

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