Wulingyaun: Day 1

We are staying at the Xiangdian International Hotel which is a short walk from one of the entrances to Wulingyuan National Park. Wulingyuan is China's first National Park and a UNESCO protected site. By all accounts, it is one of the most beatiful places in the world.

We got a great deal on our hotel room which is huge and has a view of the park, but this is not really an "International" hotel, it is a Chinese hotel. And the differance is critical. From what we can tell, 99% of Chinese tourists travel in groups and the hotel is geared to handling groups. They are not sure what to do with two westerners traveling alone although the brochure in the room says "Our hotel is equiped with the alone type guestroom". There are two diningrooms, the Chinese Diningroom in which you can only dine if you have a group of ten or more, and the Western Diningroom, which is in the eastern part of the hotel and serves Chinese food.

We arrived at about 9AM and our room wasn't ready so they suggested we have breakfast in the Western Diningroom. I had noodles with pork and green onions and Michele had noodles soup and we both had cooked to order (in front of our very eyes on the buffet line) fried eggs. Eating a fried egg with chopsticks is a new expearance but, by putting it on top of the noodles or in the soup, it can be done.

Meanwhile, at the park, it was raining and packed.

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