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Snow

CHINA | Wednesday, 8 October 2008 | Views [536]

My second day in Jiuzhaigao was rainy, I was limping from the day before, and part of the park turned out to be closed (I wish I knew I had seen 85% of it the day before). But I had a mellow day and hiked for about 5 hours.

People say that once you see the waters of jiuzhaigoa, you can never see water again, and I believe it. Truely a stunning place.

Today I flu to Chengdu. My first adventure was trying to get the bus back to the airport. The folks at the hostal (who did not speak english) said there was no bus and I had to take a cab, but I found it anyway (through sheer luck). It had snowed at higher elevations (the park is at 9000 Ft, the airport is at more than 11,000 and the peaks around there go up to 13,000 or so. So the bus stopped twice for people to get off and take photos in the snow.

In Chengdu I arrived and was completely suprised. I heard this was a nice, but poluted city with bad traffic. My hostal was half the price of Beijing and Xian, so I was not expecting much. Instead I got a sunny day, saw  streets filled with new apartments, shops with colorful bright signs, nice resturants, and trees everywhere. And the hostal (Sim's) is one of the nicest and best equipped hostels I have ever seen.

I  am completely puzzled by the economics here. I looked on wikipedia and it said that Chengdu had 11 Million people with a per capita income of only $4,000/person (when I say only, this was about programmers starting wages in xian), yet this seemed to be a very prosperous city. I suspect that there is 2 million people making 5 times that, and the rest making very little, and hidden in the outskirts of the city. I don't know, maybe someone can explain it to me.

Yom Kippur starts tonight, so I will be fasting and contemplating the world, atoning for my sins, and remembering my grandfather for the next day.

Gmar Chatima Tovah to all (May you all be written into the book of life).

Tags: jiuzhaigao chengdu

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