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Sichuan 2019-20 Day 3

Glaciers and AMS

snow -5 °C

Had some good noodles and bao for breakfast. I realise that Chinese bao (meat filled bread) is much oilier than the Singapore type, which is really just steamed bread. I wonder what the difference in the cooking is.

Drove the short distance to the Hailuogou entrance. Took the bus up to 5th stop (last and highest). The guys bought some warm yak meat for 50y , then we did a little hike up to a viewing point. About an hour or so. It was nice, if very cold. Turned out that it was considered a very cold day for that region. The locals felt cold in their own homes, and that’s saying something. As we climbed the stairs we did get warm and shed layers.

There were some cute squirrels (or chipmunks?) that came up pretty close, obviously looking for food. Super cute. But also, they've had too much human interaction, methinks.


There were monkeys too, probably Tibetan macaques? From what my 2min wiki research tells me. I was admiring one of the big ones that scampered on the railings towards us, and I realised only just in time that he was aiming for S who was packing his bag. I yelled a shout and he quickly grabbed all his stuff, moving away from the railing. The macaque, caught in the act, scampered back from whence he came. Later we heard explosive sounds, turns out they were lighting firecrackers to scare the primates off. Not good for business if they steal tourists' stuff, eh.


Went back and took the cable car up to the glacier. The cable car crosses the lower part of the glacier and it's an amazing ride. It's so much bigger than what I saw in New Zealand. Fox glacier, I think, was the size of Glacier 1 only, which is what we saw from the final platform. It was freezing. Later I found out it was -10 degrees or so. You could see Mt Gongga in the distance, at an astonishing 7556m in height! The tallest mountain in China, with more deaths than summits. There's a bunch of Tibetan temples you can walk to, spots of bright colour amidst the austere beauty of dark frosted trees. I wanted to see the red rocks but they were sadly obscured by the snow.

View from inside the cable car

The Tibetan temples

Red rocks lie beneath that snow

Took the bus back to pos 3 and walked around there. It's a pathway built over the lower Glacier, so you feel like you're really there. (only in China can you get that close). S got out his drone and we took a bunch of cool photos. It was snowing too, our hair was all so pretty with the flakes. We were the last group there, and then we hurried onto the last bus down, which leaves pos 4 at 5pm. Then car back to rest in hotel.


A number of Chinese women turned up in gorgeous traditional costumes to take fun photos

Overall hailuoguo was very nice, but I wouldn't recommend going in winter simply because it's cloudier and there's snow cover. Take note that it is a little expensive, because on top of the entrance fee you also have to pay bus fee and cable car fee. The bus fee is non-negotiable (not allowed to drive in, and it's at least a 40min drive to the top), while you can just not do the cable car if you don't want to.

Much of the day I'd been feeling slightly sick. No biggie, there was a bit of phlegm build up, that's all. Probably the food. But I knew something was coming. What I didn't expect to get was AMS. It was 3000m high, yes, but I thought it would be bad at Siguniang. About halfway through the day I started to get a headache and nausea. Just felt bad. Later after resting a while I gave up and asked B for diamox, but it took a long time to kick in. At dinner I almost puked at one point, but after drinking a whole bunch of fluids (yay for soup) I felt better.

We had a lesson from profs B and W on how AMS and diamox works, which I will not repeat here, but I think what exacerbated the altitude issues was how little I drank and urinated. Generally I'm quite dehydrated, but when it's cold I drink even less. So gotta learn to not to do that.

J and I had an early night, while the guys went out for a few drinks, including one called 今夜不回家 (not going home tonight). It's a mix of two alcohols which is then lighted up. S had three. I think they had some heart to heart talk, about which they would not share with us!

123y Moxi accommodation (2 nights, double bed) 海螺沟一念时光旅舍
160y Hailuogou entrance
135y Hailuogou cable car
30y Hailuogou bus
50y yak meat (to share)
66y dinner

  • *All nice photos were taken by W. Anything not as nice was likely taken by me.*
  • *Unless otherwise mentioned, all listed prices are per person*

Posted by seaskimmer 01:10 Archived in China Tagged nature glacier china sichuan reserve yak macaque ams

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