Sunday, May 12, 2019

Day Two of The 8 Days' Guizhou Tour Package by Chan Brothers - Panjiang Bridge, Canola Flower Fields & Guizhou Colorful Yijing Hotel Zhenfeng



Rise and shine at New World Guiyang Hotel and i was up early to visit the gym while my dad continued to stay in the hotel room. Taking a selfie as i don't even have a gym membership back in Singapore!

After breakfast, it's back to the coach again to our next destination in Guizhou; Zhenfeng county. For this Guizhou tour, we had to change hotel almost everyday except for the two continuous nights at Xinyi city.

My dad and i on the coach! At this moment, we were seated at the back of the double-decker coach. Shortly after, i requested from the tour guide to sit right in front so that i could have a better view of the scenery in front of us.

Scenery like the above! Great swathes of flower fields typical of the spring season with mountains and karst hills jutting out ever so often throughout our 8-day journey.

Arrival at a tourist stopover; cool, would we be climbing up to the temple on top of the hill? That would be a fantastic workout and i am confident the view on top would be breathtaking!

Even dad was excited but i was obviously not paying attention to the tour guide on the bus as our itinerary there was to learn more about the Village Fortresses (known as tunpu 屯堡) that hailed from the Ming dynasty!

The benefit to undertake a tour package is that the tour guide would consistently announce whenever there are washrooms; which is especially important for the elderly! Anyway, this particular toilet was surrounded by trees with beautiful, blooming flowers.

An electrical vehicle brought us to another area where we were welcomed with a traditional performance that can be traced to more than 600 years ago!

Pretty view ahead of us as we walked to the museum showcasing the culture and tradition of the 屯堡. It's amazing how the Han people managed to stick to their roots and traditions for a few centuries in a province that's populated with the minority tribes!

The electrical vehicle sent us to a well-preserved village but before i show you the picture; it's time for some canola flower time! So pretty right even though the busloads of tourists arriving on site didn't sit in well with the field's owner.

600-year-old buildings; given the dire situation then when the Ming soldiers were literally at war with the minorities in Guizhou, they had to make use of local materials to build their dwellings. Hence, the easiest is to use bombed rocks to build their dwellings by gluing them together with a simple concoction of glutinous rice and cement.

On the road again!

I was already aware that March would be the season for canola flowers as i still remember the amazing sight at Yunnan when i went to China for my inaugural visit in March 2007; that's twelve years ago!

Typical lunch which usually consisted of about ten dishes that included local delights, vegetables, soup, meat and fruits. Like Hunan, chilli is a mainstay for dishes in Guizhou even though i didn't find 90% of them that spicy.

Similar to Guilin, there are many karst hills and mountains in Guizhou. The only difference is that you see a lot more in Guizhou! To think that before this trip, i tot Guilin is the de-facto leader in the whole of China for such scenery.

Before the Chinese government on a massive project to improve the connectivity in mountainous Guizhou, it's hard to travel from one place to another. Now, towering bridges and expressways connect the mountains and it's quite scary for us on the upper deck as a mishap by Master Ou (driver) would mean a drop of a few hundred meters!

Good thing is that my dad and i found it hard to sleep on the coach as the view was too impressive for us! Well, this feeling continued for the first few days as the sight of mountain after mountain got progressively boring towards the tail-end of the trip.


Time-lapse video of the expressway in Guizhou.

There were so many expressway bridges in Guizhou and a few were even listed in the top ten highest bridges in the world! We stopped and walked across Beipan River Guanxing Highway Bridge; completed in 2003, it was then the "highest in the world"!

Scary right?! As it is a suspension bridge, you would be able to feel the movement when you are in the middle. In addition, you could also hear the unmistakable creaking from the metal parts as heavy vehicles drove across!

Dad with the background of the scenery after we had strolled across the bridge. That's only one side; the other side was way more beautiful but i lost the photographs due to this sad incident.

Accommodation for the night; the most spectacular Guizhou Colorful Yijing Hotel Zhenfeng. It's a humongous compound, filled with bungalows in an idyllic setting, on an island at the sanchahe reservoir.

We didn't stay in the bungalows; instead, it's a block of hotel rooms across three floors. Wood concept within the room and instead of tea bags, you get proper tea leaves in a nice Chinese teapot; so cultured and classy!

A few more photos of the hotel; my initial intention was to have a separate post just for the hotel as i was so blown away by it. There's even a wine cellar underneath a relaxed pavilion! And you know what? The hotel was supported with manpower from the Buyi tribe and you can see many of them working in the hotel. More on that in day three.

After dinner in Guizhou Colorful Yijing Hotel Zhenfeng, we ventured out in the dark! Well, the roads were not really lighted up but we were ferried to another part of the town for a local performance that didn't cost us a single cent!

It was extremely nice of Huan Huan (tour guide) and Master Ou as they could have just rested for the night instead of bringing us out. Anyway, the place was open-air and it was cold!!!

Catch some of the performances here! They definitely were not of a professional level but think about it; the performers were likely doing them on a voluntary basis (we didn't pay anything) and i thought they were still good with some segments entertaining for the audience! 

Camwhoring time back in the hotel before i retired for the night.

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