On my way from Xian I made a stop and spent the night in Yichang. From here I was planning to take a boat cruise on the Yangsi River. But first my goal was the spectacular mountains further south in Zhangjiajie. All in all 23 hours travel from Xian. 







Zhangjiajie is a area with eroded cliffs, some of which is 400 meters tall. The colon formed mountains are really fabulous.


Herds of tourist groups with funny caps taking those "I was here" picture. 
I believe that, for the Chinese, the social event itself 
is more important than the sceneries. 

Chinese tourist trap
Zhangjiajie it's not well known among westerners but it is famous among the Chinese tourists. The whole area is transformed into a huge park. A big entrance gate, broad bus roads, souvenir vendors everywhere and paved paths leading you through the sceneries. There is even a modern elevator that takes you 400 meters up to the top of one of the cliffs.

The Chinese really love their tourists traps, as this is. There were thousands of Chinese tourists visiting this place with me. You may believe that going out in the nature and mountain area is quiet, peaceful and sedative event. But not in China. It's crowded, noisy and well arranged.








Tour group
A travel agent signed me up for a tour group. You should think twice before joining one of those groups as you probably could do it both cheaper and better yourself. Tourist agents are used to arrange Chinese tourist groups and it's not certain that they have the same interests as the westerners.

On the other hand, if you sign up with a tour group, they arrange hotel, food and transports, saving you a lot of trouble. Especial as you are not familiar with the language. And in Zangjiajie no one spoke English and they also didn't understand my Chinese. Sweden... they had never heard about. So for me maybe a tour group was the easiest way to get around.

Hurting legs
Anyway, I got into a really small group, just three people. Two Chinese guys and me. we walked for 10 hours that day. Up the stairs, down the stairs, around the cliffs. We were all totally exhausted at the end of the first day. My legs were hurting for several day after this tour.

The rain and the mist ad a magic feeling to the scenery.








The locker cermonia
At one place in the mountain there was a locker ceremonia. You bought a locker, attached it to the fence and through away the key in the vally. Later I found out that it should save you from falling down the cliffs.Well, you also had to pay the Buddha 10 Kwai, to make it work. And it did work, I never fell down.