Guoliangcun - 29th June 2008 @ 11:21 am «   »

Location: China, Henan Province : Guoliangcun

One of the girls at the hostel in Luoyang was very helpful and told us that it is possible to go to Guoliangcun in only 2 bus trips (instead of 3 as per our Lonely Planet). We thought this would actually shorten the journey, but we were very wrong..

We got on the first bus at about 08:30 in Luoyang and after a 5 hour very bumpy, shaky, hot and sweaty ride (not to mention the neverending horn honking – apparently a necessity in Chinese driving) we made it to Huixian. As this part of the trip was only supposed to take maximum 2 hours, we were already fedup at this stage. Here Marizanne desperately had to go to the toilet and made a dash for the public toilet. It was in a little building far away from the main bus station building and as soon as she entered, she knew why.. We have seen many “strange” toilets on our trip sofar, but this was officially the worse toilet experience of her life (bad enough to even make it on the blog)!

The next bus journey to our final destination, Guoliangcun, was over in 2 and a half hours (thankfully!). We got dropped off about 3km from the village and had to take a taxi. The taxi driver took us to a hotel, but we decided to find something else – partly because the room was dirty with no bathroom, but mainly because one of the staff walked and killed 2 chickens right there on the street in front of us!

We checked into a small family-run hotel down the street and went exploring. Guoliangcun is a traditional, ancient village with an amazing setting in the mountains. We walked through the little town and then down to the man-made tunnel in the side of a huge mountain. In previous times the village could only be reached via a very steep staircase (the “Heaven Stairs”) but later they decided to make a tunnel through the mountain by hand. It is quiet impressive and apparently used in many Chinese movies.

There were no restaurants in the village but our hotel served food on a little veranda on the first floor. They had something of an English menu written on a small piece of paper (copied word for word out of the Lonely Planet). As we were waiting for the food to arrive, a young Chinese girl came to talk to us and even gave us each a fruit juice and a plate of dried fruits and nuts from the mountains in that area. She could speak a little english and was just to happy to practice.

We had only planned to stay 1 night here, so the next morning we caught a taxi to the next village, Nanping, where we got on various buses – Nanping to Huixian to Zhengzhou and the final change our next destination, Song Shan mountain.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

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