Destinations Magazine

Baoting: Mountains, Hot Springs & Roadside Noodles...

By Josephharrison1990 @JTAH_1990

Baoting had me bugging out! I was mountained out! I just made that word up! Hot springs? You already know that I had my swimming shorts packed in my bag! Just having a Chinese speaking driver was starting to prove something what different, I had to get creative as my 'China Highlights' tour took another turn during my Hainan Island sector. Oh, those roadside noodles! 

Baoting: Mountains, Hot Springs & Roadside Noodles...

The hour long drive from my Yalong Bay hotel gave me enough time to practice my Chinese speaking comprehension. As well as speaking more Chinese it was actually quite nice to have just the driver, it was a different vibe for certain. My driver had heard my rants how the beach didn't have its own bar, he had kindly and unknowingly bought me two cans of Tsingtao beer. Of course, I was very thankful for those complimentary cans! The landscape continued to serve 'Tropical Realness' like never before, I really loved what I had been afforded to see! I knew very little about our first port of call, I actually thought that a swim in a hot spring would be possible but that originally wasn't on the itinerary. I was willing to pay for myself at one of the many spa hotels, when in Rome they say! Arriving at Baoting's Mount Qixian Hot Springs National Forest Park seemed fine, the driver bought my ticket for me and I headed through the turnstile without any idea what was about to transpire. Baoting was about to do it like nobody else! Honestly, B?

I had already faced my heights during my time spent in Zhangjiajie, I didn't want to venture up to the the very top. I was fronted by this bizarre looking conveyor belt, it was like I had been duped with my ticket because I had no idea that an extra fee needed to be spent? I spent the first extra fee, the first sector didn't take long but there was a second belt! Yes, I said that right and that one I went up sitting down, what was going to happen to me? I really didn't like the look of the incline because I couldn't see anything. I could not dispute the beauty of the place but that bizarre experience really didn't impress me all that much. As I climbed down to the exit, you know that I felt like a camp-mate from 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' Climbing down to the main turnstiles allowed me to the seven or so peaks of that gorgeous looking mountainous situation. I wanted to speak to the manager, I kept things cute because as a foreigner it seemed like they hadn't seen my kind in a long time or at all? Honestly, I just wanted a hot spring swim! 

Baoting: Mountains, Hot Springs & Roadside Noodles...

The on-duty manager was amazing, her son spoke to me via phone call from Australia to see what my issue was. I simply wanted to trade my unusual mountain experience for a swim in a nearby hot spring, explaining that the experience had not been very smooth with no explanation about the hidden extra charges. Her son was a life-saver, my Chinese language skills were not what they used to be pre-Pandemic. My brief yet chaotic mountain experience had not impressed me, I really didn't understand why the English speaking guide was so very expensive? Maybe because many English speaking tourists hadn't visited the island since the Pandemic who had the needed for a guided tour. I had to be thankful for the kindness of the manager, she wanted to ensure that experience ended positively. I could say that she tried her best and I was very satisfied with the voucher she provided me. No more mountains, I mean that! Maybe from a distance from a level platform or at ground level. Baoting really didn't like me, I was very sorry!

Driving down the road for about five minutes allowed my driver to find the intended hot spring hotel. Before I knew it, I was resting in the hot waters of that hotel based hot spring. I had the whole pool to myself and I appreciated that surprise and then some! Those waters relaxed me, it was amazing to take it easy and I had my wish, I was able to experience a hot spring even though my tour didn't include one. I spent about twenty minutes to half an hour in those quiet steaming pools, I left feeling relaxed and refreshed. My mountain experience wasn't a mistake for sure, no way! I wanted to embrace that slower pace, I thought I had found a simple restaurant on my APP but that wasn't so. Lunch would have to wait for a little bit longer, I was hungry though! That hotel was nice! Like it was what I had envisaged my hotel to be but on the beach, I was getting to see how the other half holidayed. For real, 海南岛 served sunshine with a side order of drama! I wanted to change hotels quick-time! Honestly, I needed to get some of those fruits! 紅毛丹? OK!

Baoting: Mountains, Hot Springs & Roadside Noodles...

Lunch needed to happen, I could feel myself getting hangry! Well, hannoyed because at the end of the day I was still very much on holiday! It was like everywhere businesses were closed, nothing seemed to be open! Straight up, I almost thought that I wasn't going to get anything to eat at all! After about twenty minutes on the road I saw a sign for 'Noodles' and automatically thought that roadside place would provide me with some sustenance? Would it? The driver parked the car on a small dirt-track that was away from the main road, he escorted me to a small open air cafe-like situation. With one thing on the menu and I mean the only thing on the menu, the driver hooked me up with some fish noodles. Now, I was half expecting something either coconut or fish, being on an island those choices seemed the most probable. Costing only 10 RMB or something like that? I gave the guy double the amount because I wanted to be kind. My Baoting day out really did the most with twists and turns and that lovely looking mountain! Oh!

If truth be told, I was much too hungry to think about how my noodle bowl would taste, I dived right in! I loved the peanuts, they added a definite crunch to the noodle dish. I did notice that small fish were present in my lunch, I wasn't even sure what those fish were even called but they tasted fine. I literally wolfed my lunch down, there was no option with drinks because it was either Chinese tea or nothing. I felt the benefit after I polished off those delicious roadside noodles. Baoting had brought chaos, sure the scenery had been worth the noise! Heading back to Yalong Bay was the right thing to do, it was still the early afternoon and I wanted to hit the beach once again. That mountain experience was definitely not what I imagined it to be, if truth be told the day went as it was meant to. I was thankful for the lady's charity, the addition of the hot spring made it all better. Of course, lunch was a winner! Heading to the beach for a cocktail or five was a worthy plan, I needed another relax! Baoting was a whole lot, not like Wanning! Jeez! 

Baoting Better Know!

Desperately Seeking Adventure

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