We met in the lobby at 9:00 AM for check out from the hotel and no real understanding of how we would travel to Zhangjiajie. Our escort put Megan and me in a taxi with some luggage and a 20 yuan note. We had no idea where we were going but figured that 20 yuan (about $3.00 USD) would not get us far. The taxi driver dropped us off on a busy street with the luggage, and we waited there for Danica, Peggy, and our escort with trust that we were left there for a reason and that they would appear. Sure enough, and to our relief, we only had to wait five to ten minutes when they arrived. Then down a narrow side street to catch a regularly scheduled bus for the 5-½ hour ride. At least it was a more relaxing ride than the night before though the bus driver did like to make full use of the road even on narrow two lane roads with oncoming traffic. The double lines in the center of the road apparently have a different meaning in China.
Upon arrival in Zhangjiajie we had a short wait for a ride to our hotel. Pam, you will be happy to know that this is a more traditional local Chinese hotel; you know, the really hard mattresses and limited air conditioning. We had enough time to put our luggage in the rooms and discover that we had no control over the temperature in our room a constant 84 degrees during the day and 82 at night. We were then off to a quick dinner with our local host, a mother with a son with autism, her son, and a volunteer translator who spoke very clearly but had a limited vocabulary. After dinner, it was back to the hotel to change clothes, and we were then taken up into the mountains for the presentation of local folk story. We were expecting a rather modest show, but what we got is beyond words. The producer was the same as the one for 2008 Olympics opening. Here is a description from
“Known as the world’s first real-scene musical drama with the high mountains and deep valleys as the stage background, Tianmen Fox Fairy was put on at the foot of Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie in September, 2009. Originated from a traditional Chinese myth and folk tale- “Love between Man and Fox”, the drama integrates the elements of folk music and modern art. As the story progresses, you will find settings everywhere from the foot of the hill to the peak, be it spotlight, stage for the chorus, background houses…everything. The visual presentation is spectacular and amazing, the music is impressive, and those dancers and singers are also charming.”
If you Google Zhangjiajie, woodsman, and fairy fox you should find some short clips on YouTube. We can’t get YouTube from here so not sure how good they are.