If you want to see a mountain, you need to go to a mountain... After we have been to one of our dream destinations, Larung Gar, our next stop is to find Mount Siguniang (四姑娘山) or also known as Four Girls Mountain. I have done some research on the Internet about Mount Siguniang earlier and I found it very charming with the snow on top of the mountain, pine trees, grass field, and a group of yaks.
We have left Larung Gar to Sertar to catch the bus at 6 AM to go to Maer Kang. Our plan is to stay overnight in Maer Kang so we can walk around the town with no hurry. Another reason is that it is quite far from Maer Kang to Mount Siguniang. It will be like a 1-day journey to get there.
Maer Kang is a town in the valley.
The bus ticket from Sertar to Maer Kang costs 98 CNY per person. The driver tells us that it will take about 3-4 hours to get to Maer Kang. However, we have ended up arriving in Maer Kang almost 1 PM due to the road construction and maintenance. The bus terminal is out of town and we have decided to stay around the bus terminal in order to be more convenience to catch the bus tomorrow. Our room for tonight is 100 CNY with a very good Wi-Fi connection. ^^
Prayer flags altogether have created such a good background for taking photo. Their colors are amazing.
Why are you hiding?
I can't resist the beauty of art by the window and door at all, I need to get them captured with me in them. Eiei
The view of Maer Kang from the temple in the mountain
They are working on the tunnel over there. Well, I would say that China is capable of constructing things in a very short time. And once this tunnel is done, it will be fast and convenient to travel to here.
For dinner, we are hunting for Fish Hot Pot again but we still can't find it. So, we have ended up with Mixed-meats Hot Pot and Za Liang herbal drink in the town, the center of stores and restaurants. Anyway, it is another happy meal. ^_^ Moreover, it is very easy to find Za Liang herbal drink in the town especially in the supermarkets and grocery stores.
We do nothing but take a rest after the dinner. The new day has come and we are going to take the bus to Xiao Jin (小 金) at 8.30 AM before transiting to Mount Siguniang . The bus fare is 39 CNY per person.
The bus is pretty empty as you can see. In addition, it seems to me that buses in China are quite clean. There are trash bin available on all buses normally.
We start to see beautiful scenery of the mountain with snow on top of it and pine tree jungle along the way.
Our seats on the bus are right behind the driver, so; we have got a chance to talk with him. Once he learns that we are heading to Mount Siguniang, he doesn't hesitate to offer organizing the transfer and accommodation to us. He purposes a guesthouse with 2 meals a day and free Wi-Fi at 60 CNY per person and a private transfer from Xiao Jin to Mount Siguniang at 150 CNY. We think that these are at pretty reasonable prices and we don't need to walk around looking for a place to stay later either so we accept the offer. The driver then coordinates with the guesthouse and the transfer for us right away. He has arranged everything for us very well. We have found that there is a bus waiting for us at the bus terminal in Xiao Jin and this bus will take us to the guesthouse straight away.
We are on the transfer to Mount Siguniang right now and the driver has told us that he will make a stop at Shuang Qiao Valley first. Shuang Qiao Valley is a part of Mount Siguniang that you shouldn't miss to visit when you are around and have time. There is a tour bus here that will take you around the valley. The entrance fee together with the tour bus is 150 CNY per person. We have got the ticket now so let's go!
This is the tour bus at Shuang Qiao Valley.
We are here during spring so everything is pretty green now but there are still some snows on the top of the mountains. The weather is still cold as well.
The tour bus takes us to the last stop first before stopping at each tourist spot along the way back to the beginning point.
With the amazing view like this, we won't miss to get a jumping shot. Well, we didn't plan to wear the same color jackets. It is just a coincident but this is fantastic. Eiei
The National Parks in China normally provide you with a proper walkway so you can wander around easily. This won't make you get lost either.
There are some foods available as well.
Chinese Barbecue, they even have yak meat here.
People said we look alike. ^^
There are some cows in this green grass field. Even though I am afraid to be kicked by them, I try to get as close as possible to them for a nice photo shot. The thing is that I wear such a bright color jacket. hahaha
We are totally amazed with the breathtaking scenery.
It looks similar to Europe, doesn't it? :)
The day is almost ended and it is time to go to Mount Siguniang. The transfer has brought us to the guesthouse safely. The owner approaches promptly and welcomes us warmly to his property. We have a little conversation with him and then wait for our dinner. Well, this place is not bad and it is clean. In addition, hot water, electric blanket, and Wi-Fi are available. The owner is very friendly and helpful. He tells us a lot about traveling information. He even cooks omelet for us as we wish. We won't be starving with some egg menus when in China. :)
We are going to stay here for 2 nights because we will spend one full day in Hai Zi Go National Park in Mount Siguniang or also known as "4 Girls Mountain". The owner suggests us to go there early in the morning so we can spend time gazing at the natural beauty as much as possible. We will be able to walk at the normal or even slow pace through the area as well this way. He then opens the map and points out each of every important tourist spots and explain accordingly. We have learned that the distance from the starting point to the spot where we can view the peak of Mount Siguniang is about 6 kilometers. We can even do the trekking to all highlight spots for 3 days or 7 days as we wish but well, we guess that the 6-kilometer journey doesn't sound bad. He also reminds us not to forget to wear warm clothes and bring an umbrella or a rain jacket along as it might rain tomorrow. He is afraid that we will catch a cold.
The new morning has come and we are well-prepared wearing very warm clothes. We don't want to be cold so each one of us has a winter hat, scarf, hand gloves, thick jacket, windproof jacket, and rain jacket. We are like wearing everything we have. hahaha For food, we bring boiled eggs, snacks, candies, and chocolate along. These sweet stuffs are good for trekking in the high latitude. Then the owner's brother picks us up to the National Park. He drops us off at the ticket counter of the National Park. The entrance fee is 90 CNY per person. From here, we need to take the National Park bus to the trekking starting point. The bus takes about 30 minutes and we are here ready to begin our walk through the nature.
This is amazing as if we were in Europe.
Mount Siguniang or Four Girls Mountain and also known as Siguniang shan (四姑娘山) has its name from its four peaks that lay from the North to the South. Siguniang Shan is standing at 6,250 meters, Shanguniang Shan at 5,355 meters, Erguniang Shan at 5,276 meters, and Taguniang Shan at 5,025 meters respectively. All peaks are snow-capped all year round and this is like four girls with her face covered with the light white cloth. This is another theory where its name comes from.
This is one of the four peeks that we are hunting for. ^_^
We start our walk around 10 AM and the bus driver has told us that the National Park will be closed at 5 PM so we need to come back here to catch the last bus around that time. This also means we have 7 hours to spend here. This is good so we can walk slowly while admiring the beauty of the surroundings. We are ready now so let's go!
The trekking path has been nicely built as same as other National Parks in China in general. Guess what! We stop walking to have a break for some snacks when we don't even walk for 200 meters yet. hahaha The National Park is about 4,500 meters above sea level, therefore; we need to walk slowly, and take deep breathe at all time. ^^
Women in black
This looks just like an ancient woodland.
Pine tree jungle
Doing thing slowly is not bad at all. We can stop here and there taking photos as we wish. And you may have noticed that we wear less winter clothes now because we are getting a bit hot after walking. We then need to carry those taken-off pieces instead. It is pretty heavy though. Lol
Each of us goes to different corner.
We sometimes switch to be a model.
Look at this photo! Beautiful, isn't it?
There are restrooms along the trekking path and they go very well with the surroundings.
There is a steam with its water from the snow that melts down.
Look at that large waterfall!
I feel as if I was in a fairly tale.
The weather changes overtime. Sometimes the sky is clear, sometimes it is not and with some rain. We have been walking for over 3 hours and It is in the afternoon already. We still haven't found the highlight spot yet.
We continue to walk anyway. We have planned to walk back at 3 PM. No matter how far we have reached because it will take around 2 hours to arrive back at the starting point and that would be 5 PM. My legs feel tired so I walk slowly. I let the other three to walk further first. One thing we need to do is to come back before the National Park closes.
I am happy walking through this beautiful nature and have got a chance to capture it into photos. It is 3 PM now and I will start to walk back. I guess the other three should be somewhere far ahead because they truly want to make it to the highlight point. Anyway, I am totally satisfied with what I have seen and this is the furthest my body can take me to.
I heard that if you come here in July or August, you would be able to experience the charming flower field. I bet it would be fantastic because it is already so pretty during this time of the year.
After a 2-hour walk, I have made it back to the starting point right in time at 5 PM. The National Park bus is here but three of my friends are not here yet. I don't know what to do because the driver can't speak English either. Luckily, there are some Chinese tourists nearby and they heard that I tried to speak English with the driver so they come and help me to communicate with him to wait for a bit longer for my friends. Then there is a tourist who just comes back telling us that he found 3 Thai girls quite far from here and it would take around 1 hour to get back here. He also informs us that those girls would call the bus from the guesthouse to take them back later so no need to wait for them. :) Therefore, I let the driver drives this last group of tourists backs straight ahead. Guess what! He said that he will come back for us and he actually comes back. Even though it is raining and very cold right now, he walks to find my friends. He is super kind. ^_^ We know that the National Park has been closed and the driver should be done with his duty already. It is our fault so we would like to give some gratuities to him but he doesn't accept. We can only thank him sincerely and feel guilty at the same time.
We have finally made it back to the guesthouse. I don't hesitate to take some medicine after dinner because my body is very sore. Well, I guess I walked for about 10 - 20 kilometers today and it was like 8-hour walk. I don't think it is 6 kilometers as the owner told us yesterday. Anyway, I made it and the medicines I took would help relieve my sore muscles. Moreover, I am going back home soon already. For now, I think I will have a very good sleep. zzzzzz
We still have one day and one night left. We have planned to hire the same transfer that took us here to take us to Dujiangyan Irrigation Project (都江堰) and Wo Long (the hometown of panda). Unfortunately, the weather is very bad. It is raining all the time and it is freezing cold. We barely see anything along the way. Actually, this route has such a nice scenery with snow mountains and there is also a viewpoint. We can't get out of the bus, we can only see it through the windows. ^^ At Wo Long, we don't have a chance to see a panda either. The place where we are able to see it, is still in decoration process and it will be opened in the next three days. So, we miss to see a panda here. *_*
We continue to go to Dujiangyan Irrigation Project though a very bad road-condition. We have arrived in Dujiangyan around 2 PM and have no time to go anywhere anymore. We need to go to catch a high-speed train back to Chengdu now. However,... we have found out that the train is fully-booked when we arrive. We are considering whether to stay here overnight and go to Chengdu tomorrow or get a transfer to go there directly today. The thing is that we need to take the flight back to Thailand tomorrow at 3 PM. Hence, we think it might be better to stay close to the airport just in case. We won't miss the flight this way. Then we start to look for a transfer straight away. There are quite many transfers available at the train station and we are able to bargain the fare as well. You can get a private one or even a shared one. We have decided to take the private transfer and the fare that we have agreed to pay is 300 CNY. So, now let's go to Chengdu!
It takes almost 3 hours to get to Chengdu. We have reserved a place to stay at Mrs. Panda Hostel again. This is where we met the same staff who recommended places to travel earlier and we can't thank them enough for that. We also share our experience with them. ^_^ Then our next mission is to go and find a KFC. We have been craving for some fried chickens. And we will go for a walk at Jinli street Chengdu - 锦里 later. Jinli street Chengdu is next to the Temple of Marquis. The theme of the street is Three Kingdoms Culture, a traditional folk custom. This street is where you can find a lot of foods and drinks as well.
This mask is another symbol of Chengdu. There is a mask changing show and if you want to know how it is, you need to come and experience it yourself. :)
I am pretty good at walking in town not in the mountain, I am telling you.
These are our all time favorite during this whole trip. We always buy this Za Liang herbal drink (red bottle) wherever we find it. This herbal drink is very good when you need sugar in your body. Other two items are yogurt. I have learned that there are different flavors of yogurts available in different towns in China but they are all very tasty. They even have yogurt made from yak milk. The tall cup one is red jujube flavor which is yummy and good for your health. :)
Tonight, we will have a chance to get a long sleep because we won't go anywhere tomorrow. We can wake up late before taking a flight back home. I kind of miss home and Thai food already. This is just like one said, "We sometimes travel to feel how much we miss home."
This 10-day trip in Chengdu - Kanding - Ganzi - Luhuo - Sertar - Larung Gar - Maer kang - Xiao jin - Siguniang Shan - Dujiangyan - Chengdu is over.
Wake up early, take the bus, travel, eat, sleep and repeat, this is what we normally do everyday in this entire trip. We deal everything day by day with no plan in advance but we are lucky most of the times as we met friendly and helpful people along the trip and they helped us to make it to the end smoothly. ^_^
... Well, I guess this is a taste of traveling. Even though we don't know what is waiting for us the destination, what we know for sure is that we should seek the joy along the journey. ^^,
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Story by : LingPle, Mayuree Tanphoomee : LingPle Mayuree : [email protected]l.com
Photos by : LingPle, LingPle Mayuree , At Alex , Kumrai Cheewit
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