Unlike Indonesia, where we mainly drove ourselves, we rely on taxis and buses – taxi to School and bus home, taxis to town and back. We have a “taxi book”, which lists most of the places frequented by foreigners in English and Chinese. Currently, our Chinese is limited to about 20 words, if that. So, it was a bit of a surprise this evening, when we got in the taxi, in town,  and said “Baiyun Bao” (the Chinese name of our estate), “Bayun Dadao” (the main road to it) and “Yong Tai” (the adjoining village) to hear the taxi driver ask, in English, “Do you speak Chinese?” We did not have the language to say “No. that’s pretty much it.” At least he understood the accent.

We spent five hours on a bus on Saturday, on a return journey to a hot spring area. A colleague plans great trips for groups from school, and this was one of the day trips. We weren’t sure what to expect, but it wasn’t the huge, modern complex that awaited us, up in the hills. We entered the hotel-like foyer, and then the genders parted ways to different change rooms and entries to the hot pools area.

Outside, there were beautiful, landscaped gardens, with small pools everywhere. The 40 – 42℃ pools were lovely, but the 43 – 45℃ one we tried felt like the skin was being removed. A few of the party tried the women-only volcanic mud treatment, and Helen had a very enjoyable massage on a heated stone slab.

We wandered from pool to pool, and were very pleased to find that we could partake of the (ordinary) buffet lunch in our swimming costumes. This meant a few more pools after lunch.

I got changed and went for a wander around the surrounding area, which didn’t take long. There were some quaint little places, but, as is mainly the case in China, they are surrounded by construction and/or rubbish. However, we had a lovely day, and will make more of an effort to get out and about.

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