Sep 8, 2015

Odyssey to South of the Clouds ... (p7) - leaving the lost horizon


Shangri-la
Yunnan, China
April 2015

i didn't finalise my plan for Tiger Leaping Gorge as leaving Malaysia. Becky told me (via email before) not to worry and it could be arranged as we arrived Shangri-la. She was suggesting us to route to the lower Tiger Leaping Gorge, overnight at Qiaotou and start our hiking from there. it got me puzzled, as knowing that her suggestion meant that we would have to hike and carry our bag from the lower till the upper section of the gorge, and overnight at any available lodging along the route, depending on our pace. obviously, that was not a viable option for us...or mainly for TI with his trolley bag. wait...i wasn't that strong to hike with my 13kg backpack too.

Becky only came out with the suggestion to go to middle section, as i mentioned to her about Bai Shui Tai, the white water terrace. it'd be different route as we'd be approaching the gorge from the north. we made arranged our transport and our accommodation with Becky. we'd be staying at Tina's Guest House, and there'd be a car to pick us up at Bai Shui Tai.


TI slept well that night and i guess he managed to recover from the altitude sickness. we packed our stuff and waited for the taxi to pick us up to the bus station. the big breakfast was skipped, we only had a quick one - 3in1 and bread that i bought from the bakery when i was wandering around the old town the night before.


we bid farewell to Becky and left the inn. a short taxi ride that brought us to Zhongdian/Shangri-la bus station.


i went straight to the counter and bought the ticket to Bai Shui Tai. we waited for a while at the waiting area. it was a bit cramped, as the waiting area, and station itself is relatively small compared to Lijiang Bus station, and there was a lot of buses departing that morning. 

most of the waiting passengers were locals, while we noted few foreigners waiting too. TI was approached by a local, asking where are we from. i guess Malaysia wasn't that well known in this region, as a frowning face wondering, and a nod, were replied.

our bus was planned to depart at 9am, if i've not mistaken. and as approaching the time, i went out to the departure area and asked one of the staff on the bus whereabout. ok. the language barrier was there, but the tickets and sign language since good enough for us. he pointed us the bus that park a bit further from the departure area. me and TI had to drag our luggage towards the bus.

few passengers already on-board, but the driver wasn't there, probably went out for the restroom. i went around the bus, looking for the door for the luggage compartment. and guess what, it was actually a smaller bus compared to the one that we rode from Lijiang, and it only has one small compartment at the back. the driver helped me to put my backpack, and apparently, mine was the last one that could fit into the compartment and TI had to bring his trolley bag, and held it at the aisle.

so here we go!...our ride, leaving the lost horizon...heading towards Bai Shui Tai.



the ride as on different route than when we came earlier, took us to a long crooked road, ascending the nameless peaks of Zhongdian. we could see Shika Snow Mountain mentioned by Becky at some part of the road.


this part of Zhongdian/Shangri-la ... with beautiful valleys between the peaks etc. that we passed, somehow reminded me back why the place is called the lost horizon...despite the big city of Zhongdian that stand welcoming us the other days.




a 3 hours bus ride, with a quick toilet stop in the middle of the journey, finally brought us to the small town of Bai Shui Tai. i was told it was the last stop for the bus, but it didn't immediately make a return trip to Zhongdian. i heard the driver told thhe european couple that rode the bus with us, it'd be leaving Bai Shui Tai around 2pm.


i was immediately greeted by a local guy as i took out my bag from the bus storage. he mumbled something in mandarin while pointed out to the black van that park next to the ticket office. i showed him the paper which Becky wrote us the details of the driver etc. and he nodded. ah..he was early, and it was good as we could leave our luggage in the van instead of asking the courtesy of the ticket office.

we paid for the tickets, and then start to hike to see the White Water Terrace. enjoy the pics!



thought that we were already arrived, as the wooden path/ladder already missing from the sight, we de-tour from path and started to wander and taking pictures. an old man greeted us, mumbled something in mandarin while point to the praying stick  etc. TI decided to ignore while i was foolishly followed the old man instruction and ended up taking the stick and lightened it up and then put it with other sticks next to the terrace.

sigh.

i was about to leave, before the old man asked for the money. ok. totally a scam and i gave him the money - 4 yuan, if not mistaken.

he was happy and then told us we could hike further and pointing towards the path behind his shelter. obviously...i felt cheated.




another 5 minutes hike, and we were at where exactly we should have been - the White Water Terrace of Bai Shui Tai. 

some said it looked like the one in Turkey...but looking at the picture, Bai Shui Tai seemed to be a smaller scale.



tbc.

2 comments:

  1. Itu Rocky kan? sapa nama bini dia, akak lupa dah...Yang hampir menerkam my nephew...haha

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    Replies
    1. alahai kak...dah lupe plak. hehe. dua2 dah behave masa last day saya kat sana.

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