The name of the hotel was translated as 4 Seasons by my wife, but outside it says in English,Eva Inn.
The room is brighter, than The Museum Hotel, but not great for a 4 star hotel at around 500 yuan a night for 2 nights, but my wife is happy, as it’s cleaner and has a view, through trees, of the river.
After settling in, we walked along to a sort of market area, quite clean and had English breakfast at The Irish Pub. Saw quite a few foreign tourists about.
Then we had a tea after breakfast, when visiting one of the many foot massage places. For 25 yuan, for 20 minutes, you sit with your feet in an aquarium of warm water, plus about 100 tiny fish, that feed on your dry skin and soft cuticles of your toes. We both screamed after putting out feet in, as it’s so tickly and also feels like a load of tiny electric shocks, all over your feet.
It takes about 10 minutes to get used to it, plus you’re afraid you might tread on them, although they seem to know when to get out of the way. They seem to take it in turns, as half of the fish nip away at your feet, while the other half swim aside until it’s their turn. Quite a good experience as your feet feel light and clean when you come out.
Then we walked along one of the shopping roads, which has 4 branches, so you don’t know really which road to take, but going down two, we bought some wooden toys from one and I bought some decorated cord for my bag, for which the lady wanted 15 yuan, but as it looked quite old and unwanted my Chinese wife got it for 2 yuan！
For lunch, we entered a small covered market area, selling American burgers, But there was also an Indian restaurant, where I had Chicken Masala and my wife had curried fish. Also a nan bread and some rice, but there was too much for us to finish, but quite tasty. Cost about 100 yuan, with a beer.
Then we walked down to The Elephant Park and paid a reduced price of 150 yuan each for tickets to photo a rock formation, looking a bit like an elephant dipping his trunk into the lake to take a drink of water and at this place, we also had our photos taken, holding 2 cormorants, used for catching fish, which cost us 10 yuan. The city is financed on tourism and all the parks have entry fees and then you have to pay if you want a photo taken, plus entry into other attractions, with stuff to eat and various tourists knick knacks. We stayed here about an hour or so and went back to the hotel for a rest, before going out for an evening boat trip, costing 100 yuan each from the hotel. We got on the boat at 7.15 at the 6 Horses Pier. Previously using a disgusting public toilet, where there were 4 cubicles with no doors, all containing a pile of excrement, which no-one ever bothers to flush.
Then we found there was a toilet on board the boat anyway, just in case you need it during he 1 1/2 hour trip. This was quite disappointing, as you could hardly see anything in the dark along the river for half an hour, although it did improve on the way back on the other side, when we passed through a large lock gate, where the water level rose by 3 1/2 metres. There were various dancers lit up and dancing to music in traditional costumes, but the boat moved pretty quickly past them. We also saw the gold and silver pagodas and some temple lit up with a red stripe around the building.
Next day was a national Holiday and therefore the streets were very busy. We had breakfast on the hotel roof and chose a Chinese style breakfast for 25 yuan, consisting of fried egg and youtiao and a cup of coffee, plus I had some rice which I mixed with a spoonful of bran I’d brought from the UK in June.
There was a great view from the hotel roof and we could see the river and the Elephant Park mountain clearly, as no buildings are allowed more than about 7 floors.
After breakfast, we bought 2 tickets to another park up the road, costing 100 yuan each, although it’s free to local residents. A lady taxi driver stopped outside and only charged us 5 yuan to take us there and my wife booked her to take us to the airport tomorrow at 6 .00 a.m for 100 yuan.
The park was absolutely mobbed and people coming and going in all directios, mixed up with people selling fruit and souvenirs and probably pick pockets.
We walked up part of the way up 7 Star Mountain to queue to enter a large cave, with ceiling heights up to 27 metres in places. Before going in they warned everyone to go to toilet first as there were none inside and the trip through the mountain would take about an hour.
Although impressive in size and with many large stalagmite formations, we were glad to get outside eventually, but then got lost trying to find a temple. There were loads of people about, milling through tree lined paths and we saw a small lake and Liquan waterfall , but feeling tired and hungry, we left after Noon and eventually found our way out and got a taxi to take us over the bridge, to the shopping centre near our hotel.
We’d seen a restaurant serving a local dish, called 'fish cooked in beer', called The Left Bank restaurant and made for that, although my wife didn’t want to go and thought it might be rubbish and expensive. We entered up some stairs and there were a lot of European tourists inside, plus some Chinese and found a table for two at one end near a window. The food turned out very nice and cost 127 yuan, for a large fish cooked in beer, with green peppers and tomatoes, plus chopped green beans, broccolli and rice. The fish was nice, although quite a few bones and the beer was a bit pricey at 25 yuan, but we enjoyed the meal.
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