Noilly Prattle: China 2017: 9 – conned for $2.90

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

China 2017: 9 – conned for $2.90

the view from down below

the monorail train
     After a trip to the long distance bus terminal to get information on buses to Fenghuang (the next stop on our itinerary 236 km south of Zhangjiajie) we returned to Wulingyuan Park to take the monorail train to a different area of the park from yesterday's cable car. 

      While looking for a taxi in front of our hotel and old van rumbled by in front of us, abruptly stopped and backed up in front of us. There was a man driving and a woman and young girl sitting in the back seat leaving the middle seats empty. The man offered to give us a ride so I asked "how much?" in my best Chinese (duō shǎo qián). It must have sounded right because he showed me one finger (1 yuan). So we jumped in the car and bowed and smiled at the family.

       We rather naively thought that 1 yuan was rather cheap so I offered him a 10 yuan note (about $1.45) when we finally arrived at the Eastern Gate after a rather circuitous route getting there. (We knew the town well enough by now to know that we were being taken for a ride.) Instead of happily taking the 10 yuan note, he showed me two fingers with one hand and pointedly pointed at the 10 yuan note with the other. Conned again! The taxi fare to the park is only 10 yuan. The woman and girl were half smirking  and half giggling in the back seat and I almost laughed myself and gave the dude his 20 yuan. Oh well, the family looked rather needy so we chalked it up to charity and another lesson in being conned when you aren't alert.

nice views from the monorail train,
riverbed (not visible) on the left
       The park entrance wasn't crowded and since it was later in the day and we already had a 4-day pass we didn't have to by a ticket and proceeded directly to the entrance gate and soon got a bus to the monorail stop. The monorail is about 1.7 km long near a river bed and, consequently is lower than the high vantage views from the summit of the previous day's cable car. The scenery from the train looked more interesting than yesterday's. Towering tree-crowned hoodoos blossoming all around.
monorail and parallel footpath
at the monorail terminus
    After getting off the little green and white train we walked a little farther along a paved trail before returning to the monorail terminal and, instead of riding back, walked down a footpath that parallels the monorail track. Some interesting rock formations along the path included an “Old Man Gathering Herbs” and a “Forefinger” nicely back-lit by the afternoon sun. A couple wild monkeys performed their antics with oranges tossed to them for the entertainment of their descendants.

best advice I've seen in a long while

strange formation "Old man gathering herbs" 
Can you guess which shape it is? 

the "Old man"
the "Forefinger" or whatever
touch the sun

kissing cousins

       Talked to a staff guy at the hotel about the possibility of hiring a car to drive to Fenghuang. It's pricier than the bus but worth it for the convenience of not having to deal with hard to find hotels and language problems getting out of difficult situations, i.e., being lost. We shall see.

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