Leaving Huanglong behind, our taxi drove northwest into the mountains. The ride to Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong Airport was roughly an hour long. The mountainous scenery along the way was pleasant under the sun. The airport was busy with passengers designated to either Chengdu or Chongqing. Our flight to Xian only operates during peak tourist season. It was already dark when we arrived at Xian after the 1.5 hour flight. Stepping out of the airport, we could immediately tell the difference in the air, from the refreshing highland air of Sichuan to the typical urban smog of a Chinese big city. It was raining heavily and we decided to take a taxi returning to Hantang House, the guesthouse that we stayed at in the first half of the trip.
Hantang House is a simple guesthouse hidden in an alleyway within walking distance from Xian’s Bell Tower. Given the affordable price, central location, youth hostel ambience, good selection of international beer and local ice pop, we were quite happy with the stay. We dropped down our backpacks and walked out to a nearby shopping centre for dinner. Originally we opted for a popular hotpot restaurant, but eventually gave up when we were told that the wait for a table would be 2.5 hours. We ended up going to a fish based hotpot restaurant in another shopping centre. In the next morning, we walked across the alleyway to Xiaohe, a street eatery right outside of our guesthouse. That was our second and the last opportunity to taste the spicy noodles and local burger made with crispy baked bread. At the lobby of Hantang House, we said goodbye to the friendly cat which always greeted visitors whenever it was awaken. We sat around the high wooden table in front of the lobby reception and waited for the American lady whom we would share a taxi to the airport. Our short trip to Xian and Jiuzhaigou had come to an end. This concludes our record for this trip.
The mountainous terrains near Huanglong reminded us that we were at the southern region of Minshan Mountains.
Enroute to the Jiuzhai-Huanglong Airport from Huanglong.
Ascending to the sky from Jiuzhaig Huanglong Airport, we could see the a series of snow capped mountains in the area.
Hidden in an alleyway, it took us a little while at our first night to find our way to the front door of Hantang House.
The lobby of Hantang House resembled a pub.
The front desk of Hantang House.
Xiaohe, the local eatery just across the alleyway from Hantang House.
Local burger with fried egg and mixed vegetables in baked bread.
Spicy noodles were quite delicious, though we had to causally sit on tiny wooden stools at the sidewalk to finish them.
Xiaohe Eatery and its table and stools on the sidewalk.
We said farewell to the cute cat at Hantang House.
The friendly cat in the lobby was part of the hospitality of Hantang House.
Our posts on 2016 Xian and Jiuzhaigou:
DAY 1 – NIGHT ARRIVAL, Xian, China
DAY 2 – QIN EMPEROR’S TERRACOTTA ARMY, near Xian, China
DAY 2 – BIG WILD GOOSE PAGODA (大雁塔), Xian, China
DAY 3 – HAN YANG LING MAUSOLEUM, Xian, China
DAY 3 – SHAANXI HISTORY MUSEUM, Xian, China
DAY 3 – GREAT MOSQUE (西安大清真寺) AND MUSLIM QUARTER, Xian, China
DAY 3 – MING CITY WALL, Xian, China
DAY 4 -FIRST GLIMPSE OF JIUZHAIGOU (九寨溝), Sichuan (四川), China
DAY 5 – ARROW BAMBOO LAKE (箭竹海), PANDA LAKE (熊貓海) & FIVE FLOWER LAKE (五花海), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – PEARL SHOAL FALLS (珍珠灘瀑布), MIRROR LAKE (鏡海) & NUORILANG FALLS (諾日朗瀑布), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – LONG LAKE (長海) & FIVE COLOURS LAKE (五彩池), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 5 – RHINOCEROS LAKE (犀牛海), TIGER LAKE (老虎海) & SHUZHENG VILLAGE (樹正寨), Jiuzhaigou (九寨溝), China
DAY 6 – ASCEND TO FIVE COLOUR POND (五彩池), Huanglong (黃龍), Sichuan (四川), China
DAY 7 – FAREWELL JIUZHAIGOU & XIAN, China