North America, Asia · 4 Days · 13 Moments · October 2016

18 October 2016

The taxi driver from 2 days ago picked us up at our hotel. On agenda today: Huanglong 黄龙 National Park then back to the airport to fly to Beijing. We drove pass this Tibetan temple with gold roof. Yes, it's real gold.

17 October 2016

Crystal clear and turquoise blue pools and cascades are one of the reasons this place is a world heritage site. We are lucky that the changing leaves added another layer of colors.
The morning solitude was blissful. But we caught up with the crowds.
The only person we saw for 3+ hours were this park worker who were sweeping the boardwalk. She doesn't want her face photographed.
The sign didn't lie. The boardwalk is slippery! I fell exactly like that TWICE!
So instead of waiting in another long line for buses, we decided to walk up. I asked the guard after we enter the park where is the trail for hiking up. He kept wanting us to get in the bus line. "It's not possible!" "It's too far!" "It'll be at least 8 kms." "没关系!" "No problem!" I kept saying. Reluctantly, he pointed us to the walking path. As soon as we crossed the river, all the crowd noise receded. We felt like we were the only visitors here. Finding solitude is nearly impossible in China. I felt lucky.
At the entrance of Jiuzhaigou national park. (Scott got his first senior discount. Too bad they won't accept my student ID.) Our taxi driver from last night told us to be there right at opening time. We were about 30 minutes late because we wanted to have free breakfast at the hotel. I was shocked by the size of the crowds. This is the second line we had to wait in that morning. First was to purchase tickets, which we waited about 20 minutes. This is the line to enter the park. We were in this line about 30 minutes. After that, there will be another line to get on the shuttle bus to the center of the park. Jiuzhaigou is a Y-shaped park formed by a set of valleys. The recommended itinerary is to take shuttle buses to the top of the Y, either walk down or hop-on/off the bus to the middle. See the other side of the Y likewise, then take the bus back to the entrance.

16 October 2016

Arrived at Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan province. The airport is built on the side of a mountain, makes the landing interesting. The town is more than 1 hour drive from the airport. It was quite shocking to see all the neon lights in a remote mountain town. Fortunately the constant car horns stopped after 11 pm.
Picked up a SIM card for my iPhone at China Unicom before flying out to Sichuan. I got one with 800 MB data, talk and text to Chinese numbers for about US$20. Should have gotten more data though, I used up the allotted data in 1 week.

15 October 2016

Something's not quite right with that California flag. Hum...
Shanghai Pudong skyline from the Bund
Tallest building in Shanghai.

14 October 2016

Flying over the Aleutian's. We flew west chasing the sun. The sun didn't set until after we landed in Shanghai. But we lost a day.