Day 2 – Huanglong Cave, Zhiangjiajie, China -黄龙洞, Furong Town Zhiangjiajie, China ( 中国)

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Our hotel was at Wulingyuan district in Zhiangjiajie which is near the Zhiangjiajie National Forest. The hotel room cost about £20.00 to £30.00 gbp per room. We had our breakfast at the hotel, the driver and tour guide Tung came to sent us to Huanglong Cave, 黄龙洞.   Been told by the local that these mountains had shifted the directions of the front entrance were due to the feng shui effect that caused this movement.

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It was 20 minutes walk to the front entrance and along the way to the entrance surrounded by a garden with windmill machines operating the water movements.  Our entrance fee for this place came with a guide to explain the history of this cave,  a boat trip around the inside cave and then trekking into different chambers of the caves.

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Source from Wikipedia:

Huanglong Cave (simplified Chinese: 黄龙洞; traditional Chinese: 黃龍洞; pinyin: huánglóng dòng; literally: “yellow dragon cave”) is a karst cave located near the Wulingyuan district of Zhangjiajie City, Hunan, People’s Republic of China and a national 4A rated scenic area. As of 2010, the cave has over a million visitors per year.[ Since 1997, the Huanglong Cave scenic area has been managed by Beijing-based China Datong Co. Ltd. It was previously managed directly by the Hunan provincial government.

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In addition to the cave itself the Huanglong Cave scenic area includes Huanglong Cave Ecology Square (simplified Chinese: 黄龙洞生态广场; traditional Chinese: 黃龍洞生態廣場), completed in 2009 by restoring the landscape of the area adjacent to the cave entrance. In 2010, the Zhangjiajie government ordered the construction of the “Hallelujah Concert Hall” (simplified Chinese: 哈利路亚音乐厅; traditional Chinese: 哈利路亞音樂廳) as the centerpeice to the Ecology Square, not far from the cave entrance. The hall has a grass-planted roof and cost 160 million Chinese yuan.

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Covering a total area of 48 hectares (120 acres), the cave system extends to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) in length and is divided into dry and wet levels. The re are four levels, thirteen chambers, three underground waterfalls, two underground rivers, three pools, ninety-six passages, as well as an underground lake. The largest chamber in the cave is 4,000 square metres (43,000 sq ft) and the highest of the three waterfalls is 50 metres (160 ft) high. The guided tour through the cave lasts about two hours and includes a boat ride down one of the underground rivers.

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We were so happy and enjoying ourselves at this beautiful Huanglong Cave and thank to Guide Tung who know when there weren’t lot of crowds/tourists so that we enjoy the scenic view and take photos of this beautiful place. We spent half of the day at this beautiful spot. This is a beautiful national scenic spot and it is value for money which a must to see when in zhiangjiajie.

Zhiangjiajie, China – 张家界,中国 – Day 1

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The seven days to visit Zhiangjiajie, China started to change from bad to good once we had met the young tour guide. He had arranged seven seats for us in the big tour bus to take us to Zhiangjiajie which took about 5 hours. Once we reached Zhiangjiajie and then transfer our luggage into a small 7 seated car with a driver to take us to visit scenic spot in Zhiangjiajie.
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The tour guide Tung took us to a local restaurant which is specialized  for the 5 tribes dishes in Hunan. We had a good lunch and dinner at this beautiful restaurant. After our rest the driver sent us to our hotel and tour guide Tung arranged 7 tickets for us to see  the Chinese culture show in the National Theater.
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The culture show was amazing with actors and Theater there was a great master showing his kungfu where he was weighted down with 5 big block of concrete. After the show the driver drove us back to our hotel so it went well and peacefully for our 1st day in Zhiangjiajie.
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At last now I can sleep in peace as the tour guide Tung will arranged and organized for our group to see all the scenic spots in here and I don’t have to worry about anything now and can relax and enjoy myself. My first impression of Zhiangjiajiie  was “wow” factor as all the way to here I saw beautiful mountains with lakes surrounding it.
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Historic Dockyard, Kent

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We sent our daughter to her new accommodation in Kent, it took us 6 hours to drive down there due to the traffic jam in the motorway.  We reached Kent around 5.00 p.m. and moved all her stuffs to her room and went to Historic Dockyard to take some photos.

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The Historic dockyard was closed to public as it was under construction.  We walk down  to the harbor side, there is a shopping mall and some restaurants and we have our meal in one of the restaurant. The houses or apartments around this harbor side are expensive which are for rich and posh people who able to afford it.

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We walked around for an hour and went for our dinner in one of the restaurant and went back to the apartment to rest as it is a long journey to drive back home.

The Historic Dockyard is worth a visit as it is free entrance and there were lot of old vessels parked in there. The history of Historic dockyard were recorded and kept in there.

Herne Bay, East Blean, Kent

 

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\We have to sent my daughter to her hostel in Kent. I took this opportunity to visit the Canterbury, Kent. Enjoy ourselves at the Canterbury castle which the entrance is free. and would love to visit the Cathedral but the entrance fee is 11.00 gbp per adult. We weren’t keen to visit the church so we walk around  the town and had our lunch.

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We drove to Blean, a national woodland and it is another half an hour drive to reach Blean and have 5 different entrance to this woodland and it was almost 4.30 p.m. It was too late to wander around in the woodland and drove to Herne Bay.

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A small seaside town in Kent. Herne Bay’s seafront is home to the world’s first freestanding purpose-built Clock Tower, built in 1837; from the late Victorian period until 1978, the town had the second-longest pier in the United Kingdom.

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Its popularity as a holiday destination has declined over the past decades, due to the increase in foreign travel and to a lesser degree exposure to flooding that has prevented the town’s redevelopment.

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Walking along the Pier and waiting for the sun to go down as it was a cloudy day. I had to wait for about one and half hour for the sunset.  After taking some photos and it was time for me to pack up as we had four to five hours to drive back home.

 

 

My nightmare trip to Zhiangjiajie, China – 张家界,中国

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I have planned the whole trip to Zhiangjiajie, China for 7 people and got my friend in Hong Kong to book the advance tickets for the high speed train to Changsha and normal train to Zhiangjiajie.  My friend have difficulties to book the ticket as they need a China Visa to get the tickets, she managed to get her friend’s visa to book for us and all we have to do is go to the train station to get our tickets from our e-ticketing.

We have arrived Shenzhen 2 hours ahead so we have enough time to queue for our tickets. we have never expect that 8 counters on each sides of the train station and all the locals and tourists were also confuse about which counters for buying or for exchanging tickets.  My husband and daughter been waiting in the queue for about an hour but still at the same spot.  My sisters  started to worry as our train are going in an hour.

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So I went to check and started to queue at another counter  and my sisters came along to queue so that I can make inquiry where is the exact counter for collecting tickets .  Finally we solved the problem but the locals they don’t heed the advice and queue in this row  due to it was the shortest queue and wanted to buy tickets from this counter.  Lot of locals they just went to the front of the counter and got their tickets there.

We were so mad and frustrated that only left half an hour before the train is going, finally it was our turn, thank to the lady in front  of my sister who wanted to buy tickets and this was the wrong counter and we managed to get her place in queue to collect our tickets.

We only have left 15 minutes to go to the platform and the lady at the counter ask my sisters to get the other to the platform first so that we don’t miss our train. It was so bloody hard as there were so many locals and tourists especially the locals, they are expert in knowing how to-do. For a foreigner , we just learn a lesson that we need to push, force and speak louder and fiercer than the locals then we will able to get our tickets or places in queue for ticketing.

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We managed to get to Changsha, 长沙,in one piece and from the train station got a taxi to our hotel. we managed to get a hotel nearer to the train station so that next morning we can walk or take a taxi to the train station easier.

My plan has gone astray as the next day, we managed to pay extra and got all our e-ticketing in advance but unfortunately  the train been delay for 3 hours then it announced that if possible to arrange or try another method to go to Zhiangjiajie,  we were advice to go and get the train tickets refund as the train had been delay another 2 or 3 hours.  No explanation the reason why for the delay and all the locals and tourists seen to leaving the station.

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I have no choice and got my husband to queue for the refund and I went to look for another mode of travel to take us to Zhiangjiajie.  Thanks to God!!! I met a young tour guide and he said he will tried to get us to Zhiangjiajie and the coach ticket was only 40 rem which was cheaper than online or my train tickets to Zhiangjiajie. Arranged with this guide and seek for his help to guide to Zhiangjiajie and we will pay for his service and the coach he arranged for us.

My 2 days of nightmare seen to change to good luck as he managed to get a coach for us to go to Zhiangjiajie  and his fee was only 150 rem to 200 rem. I have decided to give him 200 rem for per day which was 20 pound sterling  which was a good value for money where he arrange our day trip and also coach and restaurants where we can taste the local dishes.

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We been told by the guide that the train tracks were broken due to heavy rain in Zhiangjiajie for 2 weeks, we were so lucky that it was not raining when we were there.

My advice for those who want to travel by yourselves by trains please give yourself extra 1 day or 2 and don’t do as what we did by taking one train and then check in with another, there is a risk of delay in ticketing  or train and all sort of unpredicted things can be happen.

 

 

 

 

 

Furong Town, Zhiangjiejia, China -芙蓉镇, 中国

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Our tour guide arranged for us to take our breakfast at this beautiful town – Furong Town (芙蓉镇)  also known as Hibiscus Town. In the town  the pavement laid with black flagstones and ancient houses. The  famous movie Furong Town directed by Xiejin is shot here. In Furong Town the local specialty is rice tofu and the genuine shop is in the vicinity of toril. We have our breakfast of the rice tofu and it was delicious. The shop is the rice tofu shop in the movie. The scenery in the town has unique bearing. The stilted houses are set up against the slope.

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The Wangcun waterfall is about 60 meters high and 70 meters wide. Walking behind the hanging screen of the waterfall is like placing oneself in a crystal palace. We have the local tour guide from this beautiful ancient Furong town to guide us and also letting us know the history of this ancient town. Enjoying ourselves walking behind the waterfall and visited the ancient town where we can buy the local specialty and dried sea foods. There is a  tea room where we can sit and enjoy the beautiful view of the waterfall. The tour take about 1 to 2 hours and we are free to walk around the town.

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The local guide only speak in chinese so it will be quite boring for those who don’t understand the language to understand the history of this town. This ancient town worth a visit as I would love to stay longer at the waterfall but unfortunately only the locals can go down to the waterfall or near but not for tourists.

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Maple leaves

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Armed with my camera and busy taking photo of flowers when my neighbor invited me into her garden, she has an amazing beautiful garden. I felt in love with the maple trees. I had seen this beautiful red pointed shaped leave and always want to take photograph of them. The maple tree in her garden is six foot tall and it is raining so I have a happy hour in her garden taking different photos of nature.

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I felt in love with the new ways some of the Japanese photographers taking their photos using the sunlight to create overexposure so that the effect will be one stop overexposure to create  light, fogging, blurring and pastel look to the image.  I wanted to learn how to do as these photographers do with their photos.  So using the micro lens and taking the same image 3 times with different stop – example F11, F8 and F5.6, one is the normal, under and over exposures. When I see them in my computer and love those shots with overexposure  as it does create the image as what those photographers did.

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I will be going away for a long vacation till mid August, taking a long break from all the media to enjoy my holidays with my families in overseas.

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I needed to practice more so that my macro photos will have the perfect effect. At least this is the first step to try to explore and see how it turn up for my macro photos.

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