Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Huang Gusho Waterfall and Tianxing Bridge

We spent Wednesday on the road and sightseeing.  The largest waterfall in China is in Guizhou Province so that was on our list as was a park that featured a stone forest (if that makes any sense).   The two places are located close together and were about an hour and thirty minutes from Guiyang.  Guiyang is a huge city (3 million people, if I am remembering correctly) so heading out into a more rural area was nice.  (Rural, yes, but not in the same way I think of rural.  My rural is the Sandhills of Nebraska with wide open blue skies and only an occasional house or windmill.  Rural China means a four lane road with farms on each side but toll booths and large cities frequent occurances.  And a grey sky.  (Smog, I assume.)  The farms are small plots of land divided into different crops.  Corn, wheat, and rice I suppose but I didn't ask.  The farmers still do the work by hand so it's this juxtaposition of a modern Chinese highway next to small parcels of farmland. 

The entrance to Huang Guoshu Waterfall featured a bonsai garden.  Doesn't sound all that interesting, I know but it actually was.  There were over a hundred different bonsai, all done in amazing minature.  The walk down to the falls reminded me of the walk at Mt. Rushmore, lots of steps and plank sidewalks.  The waterfall itself was pretty impressive, a huge cascade of falling water that poured into a river with more rapids, surrounded by a mountaineous, heavily wooded space.  Mossy greens and granite grey, not what most people think of when they think of China.

Bonsai garden

More bonsai
Us beside a naturally carved rock at the bonsai garden, supposedly the area was all under the ocean at one point in time which is what created the unique rock formations

Hong Guoshu Falls

Base of the waterfalls
After you descend the stairs to the base of the falls, you can pay to ride China's tallest escalator.  

We also visited Tian Xing Bridge which was something another adoptive family recommended.  It was very unique, something I don't think I will probably see again.  Located next to the waterfall, the park and bridge feature natural rock formations, carved out of the mountain by water.  The rocks are covered in a special tree that is hardy enough to actually put down roots atop of the rocks.  Above the rocks is a canopy of green from the trees.  Below is water and more rock.  Many of the rocks are formed into stepping stones creating a bridge across shallow streams of water.  Intertwining limbs and uneven rocks made smooth by the water mean you have to watch your head in a few places.  All in all, a unique experience.
The rock bridge-each stone has an inscription of a date so there are 365 total stones, one for each day of the year
Small waterfall at the stone bridge park
On another note, K survived her first squatty potty encounter.  (I am a trouper!  Managed to keep my shorts pee free!)  We also got to see Zeke at work with chopsticks.  Pretty good for a guy with only 1 1/2 fingers.

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