Fenghuang and back to Huaihua again!


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March 12th 2008
Published: March 12th 2008
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I finally said goodbye to Fenghuang on Monday. I’d spent my last day taking it easy. The rain had descended on the town and there wasn’t a lot to do. I did get up early on Sunday morning and managed to beat the rain in time to climb to the top of a small hill to see the Heavenly King Temple (Tianwang Miao) There is a rather steep and at times slippery path which leads to the top but it does provide great views looking down on the town. Thankfully it seemed that nobody else had decided to do this and I was left once again in relative peace at the top. The climb up had been easy enough and deciding I didn’t want to go down the same way I came up I took another path in the opposite direction down, on hindsight this wasn’t the best idea as the hill became more and more vertical! I eventually appeared out of the thick undergrowth after about forty five minutes onto a road and behind some startled people on the street.

The rest of the day wasn’t spent doing much mostly due to the weather. In many respects bad weather isn’t such a bad thing in Fenghuang. For one it manages to clear the streets of the numerous tourists and also the misty weather also gives the town a moody and mysterious feeling.

I decided to hit the sack early as I knew Monday was going to be a long long day. I faced a potential twenty six hour journey to Kunming and I wasn't even guaranteed a ticket when I got back to the dreaded Huaihua. It all started easily enough with a straightforward bus journey to Huaihua from Fenghuang, things however started to get more difficult when I got to Huaihua. I queued patiently amongst the mayhem of the train station but to my shock and horror when I got to the front of the line I was told there were no more tickets for Kunming! How could this be? I'd been assured that I'd be able to buy one when I arrived. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a patient man, at times with the patience of a saint but this was the final straw for me. There was no way that I was going to leave here without a ticket. There was a standoff and I could tell people behind me were beginning to get a little impatient. In a very "Un-Paul" like manner I managed to raise my voice sufficiently to attract the attention of a nearby woman who actually had a spare ticket. I was in no mood at this point to pay over the odds for the ticket and took it off her and headed straight for the nearest policeman thereby guaranteeing I wouldn't have to pay extra. I was actually pleased yet somewhat surprised to see the policeman in question was the same one I'd met on the night of my sleeping in the railway station. He confirmed the ticket was okay and we exchanged cash. The whole experience had been so frustrating that there was only one thing I could do and that was head to the nearest KFC for a feast! I know I shouldn't have but it was all I could think to do.

The train pulled into Huaihua and at long last I could start heading West to Yunnan and the first stop Kunming.

Well folks thats all for today. I plane to get back up to date tomorrow, it's taken a while to write today as I'm also trying to add some photos to Facebook, you can check them out:

Yangshuo - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=42863&l=d4282&id=665850931
Fenghuang - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=42865&l=cfc49&id=665850931

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