Our bus pulled in front of the Xibainian Hotel at around 20:00 in the evening. This was actually my second time in Guiyang. A couple of years ago (Christmas 2009 to be more exact) I spent two nights in Guiyang as part of a performing group. It was one of those weird gigs you come across in China, being an amateur guitar player who doesn’t look Asian. Anyway, I didn’t see much of the city then, and I didn’t get a chance to see more that night. I had another performance to get ready to, this time a little class performance at Guizhou University we were scheduled to visit two days later. So that evening we only did some rehearsing and then called it a night. The hotel was really nice, how nice? Let’s just say it had bathrobes which is something you don’t get to wear very often while travelling in China.
The next morning, after a quick breakfast, we hopped on the bus and headed to Huangguoshu Waterfall National Park. The Park is located more than 100km southwest to the city of Guiyang, close to small city named Anshun you pass on the way there:
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Our Journey took much longer than expected because a car accident had happened on the freeway and we had to wait for the road to be cleared. By the time we got to the park it was almost noon and clearly there was no time to see everything (click to enlarge):
We didn’t go to the main attraction right away. First we went to a site which is called Tianxing Scenery Area (天星景区).
A significant part on the tour in this area is done on a very unique trail called 数生步 (shǔ shēng bù). It is formed by 365 rocks which are set amidst the water.
Every rock has a date carved on it and there’s a rock for each day of the year, so every visitor can find the rock with his or her birthday on it.
After we were done with the time travel it was time for lunch. We went to a small restaurant which was located in the park. The delay we had this morning had two negative side effects which made my attempts to learn more about the dishes in front of me virtually impossible. Here a photo I managed to take before the food was gone and we had to rush back to the shuttles:
As usual, a big bowl of Fried Rice with Egg. This time there was no Fish in Sour Soup. Instead we had a dish of deep fried small fish. When I asked for the name of the dish or what kind of fish it was our guide reluctantly mumbled something about 瀑布鱼 (waterfall fish) but suspect it was a local a version of 干炸小鱼 (gān zhá xiǎo yú) and possibly 干炸小黄鱼 (gān zhá xiǎo huáng yú). 小黄鱼 is a small yellow croaker and 干炸 (sounds like ganja, hehehe…) means to deep fried something until it’s dry and crispy. Also on the table were Bean Sprouts and Meat Stir-fry (豆芽炒肉 – dòu yá chǎo ròu), spicy Cucumber Salad (拍黄瓜 – pāi huáng guā), omelette (摊鸡蛋 – tān jī dàn), a big bowl of Seaweed and Egg Soup (紫菜鸡蛋汤 – zǐ cài jī dàn tāng), Stir-fried Tofu with Meat and Veggies (家常豆腐 – jiā cháng dòu fu) and more.
Now it was time for the main attraction – the great waterfall. First you see it from afar:
The route itself is circular. You descent gradually and approach the waterfall from the side:
The trail keeps on going until you find yourself in a series of short caves behind the waterfall (bring an umbrella), looking back on the trail from which you came:
The best time to visit the waterfall is June and July, right after the rainy season. The water flow is at its strongest and you can take really impressive pictures. We however, were there in mid May which meant I had to be more creative and find other ways to capture the beauty of the place:
Maybe throw some direct sun into the frame:
But I found the best way to do so was by focusing on the little things you encounter walking down the trail and passed the big waterfall. Like light and shadow playing games on the stairs:
A long tree branch reaching for the water:
Or smaller waterfalls down the stream:
The tour ends at a much lower point than where it starts but don’t worry, you don’t have to climb your way back up. You can pay 30 yuan and take the escalator, probably one of the longest ones in the world.
We were supposed to see another area of the park but because we skipped it due to lack of time. We went back to Guiyang but to a different hotel called Lincheng Wanyi Hotel (林城万宜酒店) where we had dinner. A couple of our classmates had a colorful and sweet surprise waiting for them:
The traditional birthday food fight that followed (no throwing just smearing) marked the end of the third day of our trip.