Monday, November 2, 2015

Wulingyuan, China and the Yellow Dragon Cave

Do you remember the spectacular scenery from James Cameron's movie, "Avatar", featuring floating mountains and dramatic peaks and cliffs covered with green foliage?  The inspiration for the world of Pandora came from a very real fantasy-land called Zhangjiajie National Park in south-central China.  On Friday, October 16, 2015, Bob and I traveled there for a meeting with his sales group.  Tour groups decked out in matching uniforms were companions on our flights.  Groups of these excited and pushy middle-aged women were something could only laugh about everywhere we went.  I love the cute "Cars" suitcases with wheels which the kids scooted around on at the airport!

The first hint of the amazing sights we would see came from the views just outside our hotel in Wulingyuan - a small city near the national park.

Bob and I explored Wulingyuan on Saturday morning to get oriented with the town before the men took off for a golf outing. There were lots of little tea shops around the city and I later found a silver jewelry store where I purchased a small teapot charm for my collection.  The silver craftsman and store clerk were so happy to show me their creations.

A stream runs through the city and there is a nice river-walk leading to the large pagoda that indicates the ticket booth and entrance to the YuanJiajie area of Zhangjiajie National Park and the Tianzi Mountains.  I purchased a book of photography of the area at a small market near there.

While some of the guys were golfing, I was proud of myself for being brave enough to take a taxi to the "Yellow Dragon Cave" and then to actually ride a city bus back to our hotel!  In Asia, tourist sites are a really big deal, and they have turned the whole area around the cave into a beautiful cultural exhibition with scenes from traditional villages, markets, and tons of waterwheels.


I had visited a cave in Guilin (click here) on a previous trip and was not surprised by the colorful lights illuminating the dark caverns.  Asia is so full of color!  (By the way a combination trip to Guilin and Zhangjiajie would be a trip of a lifetime showcasing some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world; as you will soon see.)

 The unique thing about this cave is that you take a boat ride down a river running through it.  See if you can spot the "yellow dragon" who has made this cave his home.

 It looks like Bob and I are off to a good start in Zhangjaijie!

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