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Good Morning, Jiuzhaigou!

...still couldn't bring out the morning sun glow on the mountains under the blue clear sky into a frame as much as I had seen it with my eyes. It was awesome.

View Beauty and the Freeze on automidori's travel map.

Jiuzhaigou, December 26th 2011

In the middle of the night I woke up. I rubbed my forehead with my hand. I was sweating! What? Is it noon already? Did I oversleep?? Oh, no! That can't happened! Jiuzhaigou National Park is my biggest plan. If I don't go today, there won't be another day. Not in this trip.

I jumped out of bed. I was sweating all over my body. Thinking it was late in the afternoon already, I walked to the window to check out. My left hand pushed the curtain while my right hand leaned on the wall. Ouch! It was like a wall of ice! Furthermore, the only thing I could see through the window was a complete black. B-L-A-C-K. I checked the clock on my cellphone. 2:14 something ... AM! Hah, I sighed. I thought it was 2:00 PM already. But why am I sweating then?

I found out that the temperature of the electric blanket wasn't even. It's very hot in the middle, but not so outwards. Apparently I had been rolling to the middle. Thus, with my double and triple outfits, plus a sleeping bag, I became overheated.

I stripped off my jeans and sweater, and threw my sleeping bag aside. I continued my sleep with no difficulty.

Hello, Jiuzhaigou! Good morning! With all the sweat I had had in the middle of the night, I couldn't help to change my mind and head to the shower.

The first thing I was excited to do was putting on my new winter shoes.

No matter what, I was determined to have a real meal this morning. No more instant noodles. The side of the street of my hostel was quieter than yesterday. The big restaurant was closed and in complete silence. The shops that sold bags, clothes, and where I bought my winter shoes, were closed.

I crossed the street. There were a few shops, not yet opened also. I continued to walk.

There is only one main road here. Guest houses, hostels, hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, mini markets, all lined up along both side of the road. They all have the same door design and painting. It had been like that along the road since two three hours before we arrived here yesterday. For one like me with a weak sense of direction, it's kind of confusing. It gets worse if you cannot read the Chinese characters written on top of each shop or restaurant, because all you see would look even more alike.

Ah, there's a restaurant here. Photos of the menu were stuck on the wall. I stood outside by the glass door examining the menu. There was one that looked enticing and had the Chinese character of "beef" under it. The rest of the characters I didn't understand. Before I could think further, an old man wearing an apron was already in front of me. He pushed the door aside.

"Jìnqù, jìnqù!" He gave me a big smile.

I tried my best to tell him in Mandarin that I wanted the dish on that photo. He nodded several times and said something rapidly.

"Duìbùqǐ wǒ bù shuō zhōngwén," I replied.

The old man laughed out loud.

This was a small restaurant. Beside me there was only one young couple savoring on a bowl of hot porridge. Even inside the restaurant, it was chilly. I pressed my knees tight and folded my hands with my thick hand gloves on. Went this couple left, they didn't slide the door back close. Brrr... I could feel the gentle but freezing wind swiping my shinbone.

Here's my breakfast. This is my second trip to China and so far the best breakfast I ever had in China. The spicy flavour... oh yes, it's Sichuan cuisine, of course! I ordered for a glass of hot tea also. Like in my hostel, the tea became cold within minutes. But it was good.

For lunch later in the park, I ordered for fried rice. With the help of Berlitz Chinese Mandarin Phrase Book, I managed to convey my message to this friendly old guy.

According to an article I read on the internet, there are 2 prerequisites to survive the high altitude. First, keep away from getting dehydrated. Second, have a full breakfast. Since last evening I had taken care of prerequisite number one. In spite of hating going to the bathroom because it felt like a freezer, I kept this rule. Now, I think I have kept the second: a full breakfast.

Hence, it's time to continue my routine on almost every trip: A morning walk.
This is the river that ran along the main road near my hostel. The view of this river was much, much, greater during my 10 hours bus ride from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou the day before. Blue-green river running in and out valleys of snow-capped and some frozen water at the brim... for me, was certainly worth the 10 hours bus ride.

On my next, next, next... post to come, I'll show you the glory of this river in very early morning among the deep high valleys. The scenery on that way back to Chengdu was even more breathtaking -- amidst of the freezing cold. Ah ya, I haven't told you enough how freezing was freezing!

A week before I left for Jiuzhaigou, the weather forecast predicted that Jiuzhaigou would be cloudy on December 26th. However, praise the Lord, once again, the weather forecaster forecasts, but GOD creates. HE created bright, bright...super bright sunshine for Jiuzhaigou this morning.

I had tried several shots, but still couldn't bring out the morning sun glow on the mountains under the blue clear sky into a frame as much as I had seen it with my eyes. It was awesome.

This is my hostel: 九寨沟自游国际青年旅舍 or Jiuzhaigou Self Tour Youth Hostel which I mentioned a lot about the room in previous post. I booked through Agoda for 404,882 IDR for 2 nights. On the first floor is a mini market. The lady who attended this store wasn't like the man who did last night when I bought instant noodle. This time I wanted to buy a flask, because I thought carrying water in a plastic bottle in such a freezing land is a complete absurd, unless I intend to drink ice water which is even colder than the ice water from my refrigerator at home. But of course I didn't want just a flask. I wanted one with a design and color that suits my taste. Therefore I opened several boxes of the flasks on the shelf. There was one that I liked but the color was orange. Oh, I hate orange unless it's in the sky. Then there was a blue one, but only contained 350 ml which I think wouldn't be enough through the whole day. I did my best to return each flask into the box I've opened. However, the lady shopkeeper was clearly upset with me. I didn't understand what she said. She tapped on the boxes as if I had messed them up. Aaargh. At last I decided on a silver one that contained 500 ml. I was and still am, happy with this flask. I'm not happy by the way I was treated in this shop. Right after our transaction was done, she returned to her laptop. She was there when I came. Maybe my lingering in the shop had made her missed a favorite scene or show. When I returned from the park in the afternoon, she was still there. Daaa...

I returned to my room to boil water and put into my new flask. Ready for the park.

Posted by automidori 20:07 Archived in China Tagged china jiuzhaigou jiuzhaigou_self_tour_youth_host

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hai mbak midori...ini aku lagi erby yg beberapa waktu lalu pernah tanya2 mengenai jiuzhaigou in the winter..hehe
p kbr mbak??
ini kan aku berangkat fix bulan depan mbak...cuma aku masih bingung tentang penginapan pas nyampe jiuzhai nya..
kan aku pake bus dari chengdu..dan nyampe jiuzhai katanya sore menjelang malam ya mbak??
nah,begitu turun dari bus susah gag mbak buat menemukan hotel?
kemaren mbak midori stay di hotel apa namanya???
apakah spot ketika turun dari bus itu masih jauh lagi ke pemukiman yang banyak hotel nya??
aku udah nyari2 info di inet ttg hotel di jiuzhaigou,tpi rata2 info nya yg keluar hotel bintang 5 semua...ga kuat sama harganya..hehehe
mohon pencerahannya mbak..
makasih sebelumnyaa..

by blybana

Hai, Erby. Wah sudah semakin dekat ya detik-detik petualangannya. Hehehe. Hotelku ada tuh di atas disebutin: Jiuzhaigou Self Tour Youth Hostel
Dulu booking via Agoda. 400 ribu IDR utk 2 malam. Dulu masih baru promo. Nggak tau skrg.

Dari situ naik taksi 5 yuan ke park-nya. Taksinya nggak pake argo di sana. Jarak hostel ini ke park-nya masih lebih dekat daripada hostel2 backpacker lain yg suka digembar gemborkan yg katanya ada di gerbang park. Nggak juga tuh. Katanya bisa ditempuh jalan kaki. Ah, nggak deket2 amat. Aku pilih naik taksi aja, karena nggak mau buang energi cuma buat jalan sampe ke park, terus udah di park-nya malah kehabisan energi. Blo'on namanya. Masalahnya oksigen tipis begitu, harus pandai2 hemat energi.

Pulangnya banyak taksi di depan park itu. Tunjukin aja kertas tulisan alamat hotelnya.

Waktu turun bis emang udah sore, tapi masih sangat terang koq. Udah sampe hotel, aku masih sempat jalan2 sore tuh. Di depan terminal bis itu suka ada taksi. Kasih aja alamat hotelnya. Kalo taksinya nggak ada, jalan dikit sampe ke jalan rayanya, terus cegat di jalan raya.

Waktu itu, begitu sampe, aku masuk ke terminalnya pesen tiket buat balik ke Chengdu (nggak bisa dipesen di Chengdu). Jadinya pas keluar lagi, udah sepi. Tinggal ada 1 mobil yg udah ditawar sama 2 ceweq. Eh terus aku diajakin dan dianter sampe ke hostelku (yg ternyata dilewatin sebelum ke hotel mereka). Aku mau patungan bayar, mereka nggak mau. Aku masukin 10 yuan ke tangan si supir, ditolak tegas sama dia. Dia malah bingung gitu keliatannya. Tapi aku yakin kalau kamu berdiri di pinggir jalan, pasti ada taksi. Nggak jauh koq ke hostelku itu. Baru juga ngomong berapa kalimat, tau2 udah sampe, hehehe.

by automidori

Wah iya mbak...udah dekat ini...sebulan lagi..hehehe...
owh kalo begitu aku biar ndak ousing ambil hotel yg sama ajalah kek mbak..meskipun di entry sebelumnya ada beberapa nilai minusnya..hehehe...

Hotelnya segedung ama toko pula,,jadi gampang kalo butuh apa2 juga...

segitu tipisnya ya mbak oksigen nya??? wih,...deg degan...sumpah... >.<

mbak midori beli tempat air minum yg termos itu di toko hotel itu ya mbak??

btw mbak...makasih banyak yah udah balas pertanyaan ku..skrg aku lagi kumpulin pertanyaan lain dulu..hiihih...jangan bosan2 ya mbak balas coment ku...

by blybana

Iya sih nggak perfect emang tempatnya. Tapi overall bolehlah. Susah jugalah cari yang perfect. After all nobody's perfect... hehehe. Seandainya aku ada kesempatan ke Jiuzhaigou, aku akan balik ke sini lagi. Abis kalo yg ada kawsan hostel2 itu letaknya lebih jauh lagi menuju baik park maupun terminal bus. Jadi, kalo berdiri menghadap ke arah hostel seperti di foto di atas, arah ke park and ke terminal bis itu ke kiri. Kalo yg ada kawasan hostel/guesthouse itu ke kanan.

Betul, bawahnya ada toko pula. Jadi praktis kalo perlu beli air minum, cemilan, pop mie, dll. Lumayan komplitlah untuk keperluan sehari-hari. Lebih dari sekadar warung. Buah-buahan dan arak juga ada... hahaha

Iya, beli termosnya di situ juga. Tapi sih mending beli di Indo ajalah. Banyak pilihan dgn kualitas yg mungkin lebih bagus. Aku orgnya kalo udah beli, nggak mau mikirin harganya lagi, jd nggak pernah banding2in. Tp mungkin termosku itu mahal. Namanya jg beli barang di pinggir kota, transportasinya jauh. Beda sama beli buah. Di "kampung" bisa lebih murah. Waktu itu kan aku kepepet, terpaksa beli. Nggak nyangka kalo dinginnya sampe bisa bikin air di botol aqua jadi kayak air dari freezer.

Tipis banget sih nggak. Cuma untuk jarak yg kalo biasa nggak capek, di sini udah mulai terasa terengah-engah seakan-akan udah jalan jauh banget. Naik tangga gitu. Naik tangga satu tingkat bisa serasa naik tangga 4 tingkat gitu. Pokoknya jgn lupa sarapan yang utuh, berkarbohidrat, dan cukup minum air putih, karena di air putih itulah terkandung oksigen. Cukup olahraga sebelum2nya juga penting sih. Aku sampe dari udah sekian abad nggak pernah fitness, jadi rutin fitness lagi, hanya demi mimpi Jiuzhaigou.

Oke sip, kalo ada lg yg mau ditanya, silahkan. Kalo aku bisa jawab, aku jawab. Minta maaf aja, kalo kadang nggak bisa lgsg jawab. Ntar kalo udah pergi, share ceritanya ya.

by automidori

hai mbakkk..midori...ni hao????
aku udah balik dari jiuzhaigou..berkat baca2 blog mbak disana aku ga menemukan kesulitan apa2...kecuali faktor bahasa yg berkali2 bikin aku down...
jiuzhaigou cantik banget mbak....bener2 kayak bukan lagi di dunia...hihi...
dan akhirnya aku ga jadi di hostel yg d blog mbak,karena begitu nyampe terminal ada mamang2 langsung nawarin hotel gitu..hotelnya mewah banget dan murahhh tentunya...lokasinya di sebelah2 hotel mbak midori juga..
dari rencana 2 hari aku mepetin 1 hari di jiuzhai karena seluruh taman udah kujelajahi dalam waktu 1 hari..
makasih ya mbakk..berkat info dan petunjuk dari mbak..winter ga jadi begitu menyiksa dinginnya..hihihi

by blybana

Hai juga! Senang sekali membaca ceritamu. Sorry nih baru ditanggapi sekarang. Aku baru balik dari Jepang buat liat Sapporo Snow Festival.

Wah berarti bahasa Mandarinmu lancar banget ya sampai bisa bernegosiasi dengan mamang2 yang nawarin hotel itu. Hebat2. Kalo mewah hotelnya, berarti ada air conditioning-nya ya? Jadi nggak kayak aku terbenam di bawah selimut bagaikan orang sakit... hehehe.

Satu hari bisa terjelajahi seluruh taman? Hebat, hebat!

Congratulation buat trip-nya! Semoga segera menyusul trip-trip menantang berikutnya.

by automidori

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