Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Trip To Wuhan & Wudang Mountain From Kota Kinabalu

Pack. Unpack. Pack. Unpack. And keep repeating.

That's what I did for the past few months. It would be a lie if I said I'm not exhausted but then, this is the fun part of the travelling process.

So right after I came back from UK & Europe, I went to China a week later. It's a short trip with my boyfriend in conjunction of his birthday celebration. And we picked Wuhan as our destination.

2018 China Wuhan Cover

Why Wuhan? Simple, cause there's a direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to there. The boyfriend is kinda lazy to transit in Kuala Lumpur lately, hence we chosen those route that fly directly from Kota Kinabalu.

To date, not just one but there are two non-stop flights from Kota Kinabalu to Wuhan directly; you can travel with AirAsia or Malindo. And to my surprise, Kota Kinabalu is the one and only city in Malaysia having this route currently cause the one from Kuala Lumpur has been ceased permanently.

2018 China Wuhan AirAsia From Kota Kinabalu
The flight duration from Kota Kinabalu to Wuhan takes 4 hours.

Since it was just a short trip, I think it's best for me to do a full post with complete itinerary instead of another sneak peek one. Bear with me cause it's going to be a lengthy post.

FLIGHT DETAILS
Airlines
From
To
ETD
ETA
AirAsia (Daily except Tuesday)
Kota Kinabalu
Wuhan
6:40pm
10:45pm
Wuhan
Kota Kinabalu
11:45pm
3:55am (+1)
AirAsia (Tuesday only)
Kota Kinabalu
Wuhan
4:55pm
9:05pm
Wuhan
Kota Kinabalu
10:05pm
2:15am (+1)
Malindo Air (Wed, Fri & Sun)
Kota Kinabalu
Wuhan
6:45pm
10:50pm
Wuhan
Kota Kinabalu
11:50pm
3:20am (+1)

We flew with AirAsia and since our flight was on Wednesday, by the time we arrived at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, it was almost close to midnight. We decided to stay somewhere nearby to the airport since we need to catch another flight on the following day. For this trip, I don't have the full details like the hotel's name, the room rate and etc cause the boyfriend planned the whole trip. Finally I took a break from becoming the trip planner/organiser.

As I'm pretty much illiterate and can't read/write in Chinese, the boyfriend booked all the hotels from Chinese website which were slightly cheaper. And our first night stay even included free transfer from/to hotel too. Oh well, the hotel was kinda so-so only but it's pretty sufficient for us to have a quick nap, shower before woke up at 5am to catch the next flight. Therefore, I'm gonna skip this part.

FROM WUHAN TO WUDANG MOUNTAIN武当山
Early morning with the free shuttle provided, we back to the airport again. The boyfriend decided to begin our trip by going to Wudang Mountain (武当山). From what he told me, there are 3 available options to travel to here; via plane, train or bus. If possible, I would prefer to travel with the high-speed rail but it would be quite costly. Hence we ended up taking flight instead.

2018 China Wuhan China Southern Airlines

Even it's just a short flight which takes an hour only, but I'm so excited cause going to experience new airlines which is the China Southern Airlines. Besides entitled to a baggage allowance up 23 kg per passenger, we're given snack and drinks. Although there are no in-flight meal and entertainment provided, but I already pretty satisfied with the baggage allowance cause I don't have to carry my 6kg backpack around the airport.

Upon arrival at Shiyan Wudangshan Airport which is the official airport for Wudangshan, we took a mini bus which located just outside the airport to Wudangshan National Park that cost 15 yuan per person.

2D1N IN WUDANG MOUNTAIN武当山
2018 China Wudang Mountain 01-1

So what's so special about this mountain causing the boyfriend to make the trip here? Situated in the northwestern corner of the Hubei Province, this mountain range is the birthplace of Taichi martial art and being listed as part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not just quite number of Chinese films have been shooting, even The Karate Kid (2010 Hollywood movie) by Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith (Will Smith's son) has been taken place here.

2018 China Wudang Mountain 02

To enter into Wudang Mountain National Park, one has to park an entrance fee of 248 yuan which I found it's one of the most overpriced parks in China. However, the ticket is valid for the entire duration of your stay and there is no time limitation. The ticket even included all the shuttle bus from the entrance to any temples within the park.

After got off from the local bus, we took the free shuttle bus straight to Nanyan with a short interchange. And after reaching Nanyan, we decided to have lunch first before tackling the mountain. You know, no eat no energy then. From what we've been through, it wasn't a difficult hike but it wasn't easy too cause it requires tons of energy to walk through all the never-ending ups and downs stone steps. Plus, both of us were carrying our backpack along the hike.

2018 China Wudang Mountain 03

It was low season when we were there but we absolutely loved it cause it was less crowd and not many people walking around the man-made stone hiking trail. We can stop at anytime we want and continue once we had quick-and-short breaks. In between the hike, we visited quite number of Taoist temples, monasteries and palaces before checking-in into our lodge.

2018 China Wudang Mountain 05

The boyfriend suggested to overnight in the small village of Nanyan before we proceed to conquer the Golden Submit, which is the highest peak in the region on the next morning. I don't know what's the English name of the hotel that boyfriend booked but what I know, I pretty love this hotel. At least there was a hot shower provided since it was freaking cold in the mountain area, especially during the night time.

2018 China Wudang Mountain 06

Once again, we woke up as early as 4am to continue with our hike up to the Golden Submit. It was pitch dark and we relied on our handphone's torch all along the hike. After 3 hours of strenuous walk, glad that we made it to the top for the sake of witness the perfect and magnificent golden egg yolk, I mean golden sunrise. It was indeed true that the best view comes after the hardest climb but I told boyfriend, no more next time after this. Seriously, I feel like dying while climbing up lots of very steep uphills. By the way in order to reach the Golden Submit, one is required to pay entrance fee of 27 yuan.

2018 China Wudang Mountain 07

Done with the Golden Submit, we continue to walk back to our hotel, immediately packed our backpacks and checking-out in order to catch the train going back to Wuhan. It was last minute decision cause the train ticket sold out initially not until the boyfriend received notification that the train ticket is open for sale again. It was one way long journey to get to Shiyan Railway Station all the way from Nanyan Town; from taking the free shuttle bus to entrance park, then continue with an hour local bus #202 to the railway station (it costs 4 yuan only per passenger, damn so cheap).

2018 China Wudang Mountain to Hankou Wuhan

Just like what I expected, it wasn't a pleasant ride at all. It's not the train problem but the people inside the train. During the four hours train ride, the Chinese citizens keep talking on the phone with loud noise and they tend to like to argue with each other. Quite number of them purposely sat on the wrong seat and there you go with all the drama inside the train. Oh my goodness!

3D3N IN WUHAN
You can't imagine how happy I was when I heard the train announced that we had arrived Hankou Railway Station of Wuhan. And this is where our hotel located too. Out from the station, I spotted McDonald's in front of me, KFC on my left and not forgetting Burger King underneath the station. Cool, I'm trying my best to love this place.

2018 China Wuhan Hankao Railway Station

So what we did and where we went when in Wuhan? Basically, just eat, play and shop. Of course, with a bit of sightseeing.

1) Hubuxiang - A famous breakfast alley in Wuhan where you can find all sorts of Wuhan's popular breakfast dishes. I noticed that this street resembles those like the one in Taiwan. Both boyfriend and I managed to try few breakfast food such as "reganmian" which means hot dry noodle and "doupi", rice fried into a cake with tofu skin and some pickled veggies.

2018 China Wuhan Hubuxiang

2018 China Wuhan Hubuxiang Breakfast Food

2) Yellow Crane Tower - The most iconic landmark of Wuhan. It is considered one of the four great towers in China. Sits atop of the Snake Hill with the fascinating view facing the Yangtze River, its cultural significance led to its being made the symbol of the city.

Entrance Fee: 70 yuan
Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm (Apr to Oct); 8am to 5pm (Nov to Mar)
How To Get There: Bus #10, 61, 401 and 402

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2018 China Wuhan Yellow Crane Tower 02

2018 China Wuhan Yellow Crane Tower 03

3) East Lake Scenic Area - The largest lake in Wuhan. Boyfriend bought the package to enter Yellow Crane Tower along with the boat ride, we got visited few parks within the lake. However from my honest opinion, the ride was quite dull and boring. 

2018 China Wuhan East Lake

4) Optics Valley Walking Street - This 1,350 m long walking street is the longest commercial walking street connected up to date. It combines shopping, dining and entertainment, business office, hotel service as a whole, with integrated, multi-functional, all-format, complex commercial style. Adopting the essence of the buildings in all over the countries, here you can feel like travel around the world in a day - one building with warmly Spain architecture, the next building with classic Italian design and then, Germany's Octoberfest on the other side. This reminds me of Terminal 21 of Bangkok, Thailand. 

2018 China Wuhan Optics Valley Pedestrian Street

2018 China Wuhan Optics Valley Pedestrian Street 02

If you are searching for Insta-worthy spots, then this is the right place for you.

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IMG_20181109_192901_541

5) Jianghan Road & Hankow Custom House - A pedestrian mall looks alike Shanghai's popular East Nanjing Road. It's recommended to come here at night where thousand of little stalls selling variety of goods such as clothing, housewares, beauty products, souvenirs, food and etc. At the end of the road, there is where the Hankow Custom House situated with its famous clock tower which has been part of Wuhan's landmark. 

2018 China Wuhan Hankow Custom House

6) Starbucks Reserve - For Starbucks coffee lover, don't forget to visit the one in Chu River and Han Street for its handpicked and premium coffee-brewing.

2018 China Wuhan Starbucks Reserve

Almost every night, we went to shopping malls for window shopping. Trust me when I said window shopping cause the price of the items there were quite premium and not cheap like I expected. Oh yeah! We even went Walmart Supermarket twice to stock up snacks before leaving the city. 

2018 China Wuhan Walmart Supermarket

HOW TO GET AROUND WUHAN
Majority of the attractions and shopping streets can be reached via metro and by the time when we're there, the metro network consists of 9 lines in operation so far. We did take local bus too but only once and I personally don't recommend to take bus in case you don't understand Chinese like me. Before embarking trip around Wuhan, it is best to apply for Wuhan Tong card where you can use on metro, bus, light rail stations and certain supermarkets. A deposit of 15 yuan is required and you can top-up at any metro stations.

2018 China Wuhan Tong Card

You can ever reach Wuhan Tianhe International Airport under Line 2. However do take note that the metro in Wuhan tend to close earlier than most of the cities around the world. Hence to play safe, it is advisable to get back to your hotel by 10pm, at least.

EXTRA INFO
1) Visa is required for Malaysian. For Sabahan, you can apply at Kota Kinabalu's Consulate General of the People's Republic of China which located opposite of CityMall. For more details about fees, processing time and payments, check out here.
2) There is no time difference between Malaysia and Wuhan. It's same-same.
3) Do bring along extra foldable tote bag cause many shops apply no plastic bag policy.

THE END
And that's sum up my short trip to Wuhan including an overnight stay in Wudang Mountain. Would I be back again? Frankly speaking, probably nope in this shorter term but who knows what the future may bring, right? 

LRM_EXPORT_161182794740507_20181104_232006155
If only I can bring you back to KK, Mr Brown

2018 China Wuhan Postcards
Anyone love postcards like I do? Prefer the phototaking or painting type?

2 comments:

  1. Wuhan is in my travel list because KK has direct flight for it, hehe.. but the travel time is not so pretty, in the night time.
    Will easy to go around in Wuhan? Take local bus will difficult or not?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought Wudang is just a mystical plac when I was young. Yea... watched those wuxia especially ANdy Lau's Condor Heroes... wah lau eh.. they had to carry buckets of water up and down those steep stairs.. LOL

    Wudan- interesting looking noodle. Like Hakka Mee over here.

    Lovely view of the Tower.

    FAmous Lake indeed. Yikes. Boring ah... hmm.... too bad.

    Alamak... price steep... ...bad news or us tourist then.




    ReplyDelete

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