Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Day 7: Arriving in Fenghuang and Walking Around Tuojiang River

16th April 2019 (Tuesday)

[To have a better view of the wide landscape photos, you are encouraged to download them, zoom in so that the top and bottom of the photos touch the edge of your computer screen and then scroll them left and right to get a 180° perspective of the landscape]

There was a cute girl at the restaurant where I had breakfast yesterday. I decided to go there again with the hope of catching a glimpse of her again this morning. Instead of dumpling, I had flat silky smooth rice noodle, and adding two eggs after an afterthought. As I left the restaurant, I bought two pieces of pancake.

The departure time to Fenghuang was 9:30 a.m. I asked the ticket gate inspector where the boarding gate was. It was not even 9:00 a.m. but I was anxious. I did not want to miss the bus. I went over to Exit 4 since it was the only one with a ticket inspector.  She was a little stunned when I asked her where to board the bus to Fenghuang in English. She did not say or do anything.  After some hesitation, she let me through.

Arriving at Fenghuang bus terminal, I looked for the "Great Wall" and following the direction I had watched on Youtube, I found the direction to the ticket office. At the ticket counter, I bought the bus ticket to Changsha for my trip on 18 April 2019. Departure for Changsha was 9:00 a.m.

After getting my ticket, I walked out of the station and saw a taxi arriving with passengers. As the passengers alighted, I told the driver that I wanted to go to Fenghuang Old City. The fare was ¥10. In the taxi, I showed him Fleeting Night Hostel booking reservation with the address in Chinese.

I thought that taxis could not enter the old city as I imagined the old city streets to be too narrow. The street where my hostel was located, Hongqiao Road was in fact a two-way modern street.

The taxi stopped outside an alley and the driver told me that Fleeting Night Hostel was inside the alley. I walked into the alley, to the very end and could not find Fleeting Night Hostel. I asked a few people around in the alley. They pointed me here and there, with negative results.

Remembering that I had Fleeting Night Hostel location map downloaded from a website while still in PNG, I took out my Huawei phone and referred to the map. I took the alley as indicated and found the hostel.

This location map does not belong to me but was downloaded from the internet. Thanks to him/ her, I was able to find Fleeting Night Hostel

After checking into the hostel and putting down my baggage, I went out. I decided to walk the full loop of the Tuojiang riverfront this afternoon as the weather for the next day was forecasted to be rainy.

At about 4:50 p.m., I went out again. This time, I wanted to explore the part of the city away from the riverfront. At first, I checked the area on the northern bank. Later, I decided to explore the southern side and that took me to Hongqiao (Mid) Road. While walking south, I found my dinner. It was not as good as those of Wulingyuan or Zhangjiajie, and later I realised that was true in the other restaurants that I patronised too.

That night, I was not thinking of going out after such a long walk in the afternoon. However, I suddenly recalled reading somewhere that Fenghuang looked beautiful at night.