Since it took us half a day just to get to this place, we only had enough time to explore the bamboo forest a bit before eating dinner, bonding with our temporary family (you can see numerous "family pics" in the album below), and heading to bed. The next day we ventured through the "scenic spot," the main attraction in Anji where you pay to walk the steepest steps of your life, stopping along the way to see the different waterfalls. To be honest, this "scenic spot" was more hyped up than it was worth. The natural scene was tainted by the remnants of tourists -- waterbottles stuck in between rocks, people pestering you to purchase bamboo souveniers, bamboo-hut restauraunts as visible as a Starbucks in NYC...It kind of took away from the nature feeling. We still managed to find a few waterfalls, but they shyed compared to the ones I saw in Ecuador. The reason Anji was my favorite though was because I could relax in the farmhouse surrounded by a sea of bamboo - a much needed end to the on-the-go vacation in Xitang and Hangzhou a few days before.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Let me tell you about Anji...
Anji was by far the best place we went over the break. I don't know if it was the thrill of riding up the moutain highway, managing around blind turns where the risk of falling off the edge or running into a truck carrying piles of bamboo shoots was pretty high, or if it was the breathtaking view we had of nature from below, or if it was just the fact that I hadn't been around so much green since I got here and man it felt good. Needless to say, this place was fabulous.
By some luck we finally arrived at this god-knows-where "Mountain Clan House," miles away from the bus station where we were dropped off, to be greated by the woman of the house who took us in and adopted up as her kids for the two days we were there. She grew all her own food and raised her own chickens - meaning I finally got the food I've been longing for and my friends got to play with their chicken in the yard before it ended up on their plates. Talk about fresh.
We are hiking up miles of steep, stone stairs, sometimes to be crossed with metal mesh stairs where your heels are bound to get stuck, and now's the time you choose to be fashionable? Like I've mentioned before, Chinese women will find any excuse to wear heels.