It was another long journey to reach Guiyang from Dali – we took an overnight train to Kunming first, which arrived at 5.45am. We left again at 8am, arriving in Guiyang at 5pm, ready to sleep. Unfortunately, our dreams of a cosy warm bed were soon shattered when we saw the state of our hostel…. We’d opted for a four bed dorm room and luckily we had the room to ourselves. The dorm was filthy, sheets damp and en suite bathroom was a basic squat toilet with an overhead shower – for those who like to poop and shower at the same time! Lovely.
In the evening, we found a food stall place down the road that could create a takeaway veggie hot pot for us. We were given a bowl which we could pile high with as many vegetables as we wanted. The lady then boiled the veggies for us, added seasoning and put it into a takeaway box, with another box on the side filled with rice. It was another great street food meal for just £1.20/ US$1.50.
Our main reason for visiting Guiyang was to go to the Huaggushu Falls, but when we researched the journey, we decided we couldn’t face the long bus rides and would stay and do something in the city instead. The weather also looked pretty ominous which would have tainted the experience a little. After nearly four months of constant, fast paced travelling, we were dealing with a bit of traveller fatigue, and were starting to lose momentum! We narrowed it down to Tianhe Lake and Qianling Park, opting for Qianling Park in the end as it was much closer and we had a better idea of how to get there!
After a surprisingly good night’s sleep in our grotty hostel, we hopped on a 15 minute bus to Qianling Park and paid a tiny entry fee of £0.25.
We spent four hours climbing a bunch of stairs up the mountain, and hiking through multiple trails within the 426 hectares, to reach the top. The Park is named after Qianling Mountain, which is considered the most prestigious mountain in the southern Guizhou Province. Alongside the mountains, popular areas include the lake, Hongfu Temple, Kylin Cave and ‘Macaque Avenue’. The park is home to over 500 macaques which are super tame thanks to (stupid) tourists feeding them. We spotted a couple of babies which was a bonus, but I’m still on edge around moneys thanks to being bitten last time I was in China!
When we reached the top, we trekked back down to Qianling Lake through the forest, before discovering a big tunnel dug into the side of the mountain. Following it through, we found it led back to the entrance without having to trek back up and over the mountain – pheww!
In the evening, we went back to the same food stall as the night before and ate in the hostel, whilst trying to download as many films as we could for our train the following day. Next up…. Zhangjiajie!