Pretty much just a travel day. My train left Changsha station (not the Changshanan station I’d come into) at 7:16am, but the metro doesn’t start running until 6:30am. I wanted to give myself plenty of time, and fortunately my hotel was between the two stations, and just a 30min (fairly dark) walk to Changsha station. As I left my hotel neighborhood, I saw people setting out steamer trays but my guess was that the tasty morsels inside wouldn’t be ready just yet. Found the station right where Apple maps said it’d be, and a helpful security guard got me pointed in the right direction to a totally different part of the station where my train would be (it was several minutes extra walk, but I was happy to find a few kiosks open selling foodstuffs in that section, unlike the super quiet side I’d started in).
5hr train ride to Zhangjiajie, and then a bus to Wujiau. It was super helpful to have the Booking.com app “show address in local language” thing so I could show that to various people and get pointed toward the right bus.
At one point, I saw a lady waving and running towards the bus. The driver was kind enough to stop and wait for her. But it turned out she wasn’t just an ordinary passenger – she was the money-taker for the bus fares. She collected everyone’s fares, gave some money to the guy riding shotgun, and got off a little ways down the road (presumably to repeat the process with another bus). Interesting system. Most of the other buses I’ve been on, someone either collects the money just before or after the bus pulls away, or at some random point midway through the journey. But this was the first time someone joined us midway to perform that task.
In town, I checked into my lovely little hotel and appreciated that the guy running it spoke great English. After I grabbed some real food, I came back and got the rundown of places to see in the area, and then just wandered around town.
The ladies in one square were really pushy, trying to give people massages on the spot. I declined.