We arrived at the airport to be greeted by our guide Lynne. Now, as we are generally the backpacking sorts of travelers, we normally don’t hire tour guides…and this time was no exception! We did however, use Lynne to book our transportation, which turned out to be the best decision ever! Little did we know how much she would impact our ZJJ experience for the best! Apparently our transportation had fallen through, so Lynne had hired her sister to drive us around for the weekend! And even though we didn’t hire her as a tour guide, Lynne made it her personal mission to make sure that we did all the best things in the best timing possible, which allowed us to see everything while avoiding the crazy crowds that inevitably flood every corner of everywhere during a national holiday in China.
That evening, Lynne’s sister invited us over for dinner. We were so honored, and, even though we’ve lived in Shanghai for almost three years now, we haven’t actually had that many cultural experiences. Welp, the food was yummy! Not as spicy as we would have liked, (since she thoughtfully left it out, thinking we wouldn’t have been able to handle it) but still delicious! Lynne told us that in Hunan they actually eat the rice before or during the meal, whereas everywhere else in China eats it afterwards, to “fill in all the cracks.” We like the Hunan way :)
Zhangjiajie is an incredible place like no other, and we are so blessed to have been able to go! If you are interested in going there someday, be sure to ask us for Lynne’s contact info. We couldn’t have done it without her!