Juizhaigou – A fairytale interrupted by an annoying man

Every step, every turn, every shift of the eye in this world heritage listed location had more beauty than I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It was a natural wonderland, filled with the colour and beauty that dreams and movie sets are made off. The scenery was so inspiring that I felt like everyone should be naked and singing and would have happily rolled around in the mud just be a part of something so Godly.

‘Anyone taking a picture with scenery this beautiful is going to look hideous’ I explained to Tom after he showed me the less than favourable picture that he had just taken of me with the amazing colours of Juizhaigou’s lakes and mountains as the background, and I whole heartedly believed this theory, until I took a photo of Tom and Liron with the same background but unlike me they looked perfectly suited to their surroundings.

The day of exploring this amazing region of Jiuzhaigou was going beautifully until we ran into a chinese man who had been on the same bus as me from Chengdu.

Chinese guy – Hyeeeeeeeeee!!Do you remember me??

T – ‘You were on the bus from Chengdu?’

Chinese guy to T and Liron – ‘Can I join you’re group’ (said with gesturing)

T & Liron – ‘sure, no worries’ smiling and friendly.

Within the first hour this guy had innocently asked questions around the details of my trip, which are the usual questions asked when meeting a traveller.

By the second hour he was wanting to know specifics around dates, locations and accommodation, which I thought was a bit intrusive, but thinking he was a curious traveler himself wanting to get ideas on what to do, I reluctantly gave him this information.

By the third hour I had come to the conclusion that I was being badgered, harassed and had somehow become an unwilling participant in this guys travelling itinerary.

Liron, in a quiet moment when it was just the three of us – ‘you need to learn to lie’

T – I know, I should have said I was pregnant.’

Tired, irritated and exhausted after 7 hours of walking and being followed by the unwanted stranger, there was a quick vote and we decided that we were done for the day.

Tom – ‘We should tell him that we’ve decided to leave’

Liron – ‘By we do you mean you?

After hearing the news that we were leaving.

Chines man – ‘I will go to Chengdu to Sims Cozy by the 7th and go to the panda breeding centre’ (exactly where I was going to be)

T – Uses the ‘if I ignore him he’ll go away’ tactic and offers no response or acknowledgement of any kind

Annoying Chinese Man – How will I contact you in Chengdu once I arrive? (After repeatedly trying to fish out MSN, Facebook, and mobile contact details from me)

T snaps – ‘what’s the point? I just met you a couple of hours ago – what makes you think that I want you to follow me?’

Incredibly annoying Chinese guy to T, referring to Tom and Liron – ‘Are you going with them?’

T – ‘YES!’

Fucking annoying Chinese guy – ‘Do you want to have dinner tonight?’

T – ‘NO!!!!’

TIP – A woman traveling alone should never disclose accurate information about her journey to a man she’s just met. And should think about wearing a wedding band.

Tips on how to catch public transport in China – The perilous bus ride to get to Heaven

I heard through the grapevine that in China, at a place called Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong there is the most beautiful scenery on Earth, and having worn in my traveling feet in the last 30 days, I did something I would have never done a month ago – I spontaneously decided to make the 12 hour trip to Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong by public China bus, by myself, without having booked any accommodation on the other end or knowing what I would do. This may seem like a small feat for some, but this was a massive deal for me, especially because it was China, and China aint no walk in the park. Most travellers I have encountered leave China to the last leg of their journey so they can warm up to it..

Must do’s when catching public transport in China.

1) ALWAYS find out what the numbers on your ticket mean – For example, the bus ticket has 3 sets of numbers; the date of departure, terminal number, and seat number. The date was obvious, and I had a 50% chance of getting the bus terminal number right, luckily, if you do happen to be in the unlucky 50%, the friendly ticket collector will inform you of your incorrect decision by publicly, and loudly, refusing you entry onto the wrong bus.

2) Make sure your iPod is fully charged – Public transport is noisy, with the people in the bus chatting away and the sound of traffic and horns beeping every 5 seconds, which is every time an accident is avoided.

3) If you need to pee – If it’s not an official toilet stop, make sure that the bus driver is aware that you have gotten off the bus, so he doesn’t start driving off without you but with all of your belongings, leaving you no choice but to run after the bus while still zipping up your jeans yelling with your arms waving about for him to stop.

4) Help people help you – Make sure early on that everybody knows that you can’t speak chinese and that you have no idea when to get off, and that you are their responsibility.

And finally,

5) Sleep though the scary parts – if you can.

Even though the bus route went high up through the mountains on sometimes unfinished windy narrow roads, past guard rails which had obviously been broken through a number of accidents, with rocks and stones falling from the mountains hitting or narrowly missing the bus, on roads that have been weakened and are crumbling from the rain, all of which was like a horror movie while ‘Stir it up’ by Bob Marly was playing on my iPod as background music in what felt like the scene in which Tiara dies.. Considering all of this, it was the most thrilling, scenic, FUN bus ride ever!