Monday, August 29, 2011

Anji- the bamboo forest

Last weekend we took a trip with our friends Kristin and Tim to Anji.  Anji is in the bamboo forest where the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was filmed.  It was so great to get to real nature and be able to relax.  We went with a travel group,, so everything was taken care of for us.  Transportation, lodging, food and guided hikes were all included plus a BBQ party.  It was so great to not have to find our way around and have someone else worry about everything.
Anji was about a 3 1/2 hr drive from Shanghai and we were with everyone who was going for the weekend on the bus.  There were ten of us total which the guide said was a small number.  We stayed in small bungalows that were actually pretty nice.  Joel and I were given a 3 person one at first but we had to move the second day to a 2 person room.  It was fine because to compensate they brought us a cooler full of beer and our new room also had a mahjong table.
The first day we had breakfast prepared for us and then we set out on a long hike.  We had to take the bus to the top of the mountain and then we went down the first and up and over another mountain.  It had rained the day before so the trail was slick but the views and the scenery were awesome.  Bamboo is so beautiful.  The hike lasted about 3+ hours and by the end it was pouring rain.  At least it was warm so we were't freezing from being soaked.  I don't even think the pics do the hike justice.  It was so beautiful, probably more so since we hadn't been to real nature like that in months.  At the end of our hike the bus was supposed to pick us up but something was miscommunicated so our guide paid a local to drive us back in groups.  The local kept his gasoline for his small van on the floor in front of the back seat, covered with plastic wrap.  I think we were all high by the time we arrived back, at least we made it in one piece!
After cleaning up and drying off we had lunch prepared for us, traditional Chinese that was really good.  We decided that once we were finished with lunch we would relax and have some beers and play mahjong.  That night was a big BBQ party that the company threw for us so we just hung out until then.
The BBQ was really good.  We hadn't had grilled food, hamburgers brats and fries since coming to China so it was a little taste of home in the bamboo forest.  There was a younger single German guy on our trip who is in China studying Chinese.  He made friends with a few of the workers at the resort and they challenged him to a drinking contest.  For the Chinese this meant beer.  For a German this meant Vodka.  Let's just say it did not end well.  All parties involved were sick that night and at breakfast the next day.  It was really funny to watch.  After the party was over we went back to our room for some cards and then to bed.
Day 2 started again with breakfast and then we set out on a hike.  Kristin and Tim didn't join us for the hike so Joel and I went with the rest of our group alone.  It wasn't quite as challenging of a hike as the day before but still really beautiful scenery.  We made some new friends and chatted with everyone the whole hike.  After the hike was lunch and then home.  Way too quick of a weekend but a good time to recharge and get a break from city life.


  1. What an adventure. Looks like everything at the hotel was made of bamboo? No gluten-free dining in China? Was that your meal, spaghetti and a steamed bun? Is this wild bamboo or a harvested forest that is replenished? Really, beautiful and interesting. Thank you!

  2. Jeanette, The bamboo forest is totally natural, and fully sustainable no matter how much they harvest it. Bamboo grows at a crazy speed so it is always replenishing its self. Pretty cool. Also, not much gluten free in China! Lol, pretty good though.