After our little accidental adventure in Panzhihua, Kev and I were so relieved to get on an early bus and be on our way to Lijiang Saturday morning. We got up at 6:30, were on bus 64 by 7:00, and to the station before 7:30. I wrote last time about the whole Leshan/Lijiang mishap, which took up a bit of time. However, when we relized the error we were so grateful not to be heading back to Leshan that we didn’t care about the time that we lost!
The buses are frequent, so when we got our tickets to Lijiang (¥86/person), we were ushered pretty much straight onto the bus, which we were happy about, but resulted in no breakfast. Next time will definitely pack food.
Our bus was slow as our bus driver was constatly trying to pick up new riders. We stopped at almost every small town to haggle with hitchhikers, but the first opportunity for us to get off didn’t come for about 3 hours. We stopped then for a smoke/restroom break. At this point Kevin and I were pretty starved but the little store didn’t have much in the way of food. The restrooms were really clean, though, and cost ¥.5 to use.
The ride itself was not extremely comfortable (but what bus ride is?) as the seats were pretty hard and there were a lot of bumps, twists and turns over huge drops down the mountain. Not for the weak stomached! However, our driver maintained the no smoking rule, which I’ve heard is a rarity, so that was a welcome surprise.
We finally stopped for lunch after about 5 hours at an isolated restaurant on the side of the road. The scenery was gorgeous but the food, unfortunately, was mediocre, and ¥15/person. Definitely wished I had packed lunch! We had no options, though, so we gobbled it down.
Our bus arrived to Lijiang late, probably as a result of the constant stops. The 7 hour drive ended up being over 8 hours. Once again, the scenery was totally redeeming, and Kevin and I actually quite enjoyed the ride! Late or not, we were totally stoked when we finally arrived in Lijiang. We spent almost 48 hours in transit, but it was worth it. The area we traveled through was gorgeous, we learned a lot about traveling in China (never expect to arrive on time!!), and the rest of our vacation was a blast! Sosososo good!