This was the farm hotel that we stayed at. A few classmates and I hiked up the hills around the farm, the hills of trees were endless. Most of my classmates slept on a kang, a large, hard mat that fits up the five people. I fortunately was given one of the special suites with my RA, where we had a thin mattress that fit two people.
We woke up early the next morning, ate breakfast (CET brought cereal and Nutella!), and then set off by busto Bingyu Ravine (冰峪沟).
Natural Stone Pillar Jutting out of the River
We arrived and then took a boat to the park. The stone masses in and around the river were mesmerizing. When we banked into the park, we walked as a group to the other side of Bingyu Ravine to take a boat ride around the scenic river-view of the towering karst mountains.
After the boat ride, we walked by a practicing Buddhist temple and then split up in our own groups to enjoy the park. I joined a group that planned to go hiking up one of the karst mountains. The steps up the mountain were incredibly (almost dangerously) steep. Hiking up the mountain was quite exhausting, but the views were worth it.
Almost to the Top–Where the Karst Mountains Seem to Never End
After a ton of huffs and puffs, I finally reached the top to a pavilion called 观日亭 (guanriting-sun observation pavilion). I felt so relieved, proud, and happy to reach the top and to see the smiling faces of my fellow classmates. There was a small Chinese pavilion with a tiled roof and red columns with a few seats at the top. I walked through the pavilion to see the view and was in awe.
At the Top–Thank you Fulbright
We quickly hiked down the mountain and met up with our classmates. We took a boat and bus back to the farm for lunch and then took a 4-hour bus ride back to Dandong.