Article by: Randy Henderson
Photos by: OkDeal members
Okdeal Hou`an Village EscapeTrip in 1-3 May 2014
Day 1: It was a beautiful Thursday morning, cool and the sun was shining. The weather forecast for the three day adventure was to continue with sun and warm temperatures. Everyone arrive at the bus pick up this morning before 8:00, loaded our belongings and started the 5 plus hour trip to Hou'an Village with a full load, 47 travelers plus guides.
We arrived at the Hostel at Hou'an Village, checked into the hostel and had lunch, which was very good by the way. After lunch we loaded up on the bus and took a short drive to visit Hanshan Lake for a relaxing hike and photo opp. There were tents set up for camping and families were relaxing by the shore and the children were having fun playing in the water.
We returned back to the hostel for dinner, again was great by the way :-), followed by a social party to enjoy drink and mingling with other members of the group and talk about the day’s events and to get acquainted with the others that you have not met yet, then it was off to bed.
Day 2: I set my alarm for 4:40a.m. so I could be at the base of the mountain to hopefully take some bird photos and then return to the hostel by 8:00 or shortly after for a western and Chinese style breakfast.
After breakfast we were off to see Mingyan Ancient Temple which provided plenty of chances to take some great photos. The views were great and there were plenty of great photos taken by the group.
We returned to the hostel for lunch and then we had the afternoon to ourselves as free time to either relax in our rooms, rent bikes to ride around and enjoy the scenery or hike through the nature trails. Back to the hostel for dinner followed by a barbeque/social party with hotdogs, lamb and/or mushroom skewers and of course drink :-) . The barbeques are always great.
Day 3: I again was up and out by 5:00a.m. chasing the birds and getting a few good photos. If you like wildlife and hiking or just relaxing this place provides them all.
There are around nine different species of birds in the area that I saw. The birds were building their nest so love was in the air :-) . I was back at the hostel by 7:30 for breakfast and we loaded up around 9:30 heading back towards Shanghai with one more stop on the way to see Qiongtai Valley for hiking and more great scenery. Unfortunately I took too much time photographing and site seeing on the way up that I did not make it to the waterfall in time to see it much less take some pics of it, my mistake :-( We loaded up and drove a short distance to a local restaurant for our final lunch before the trip back, again, more great food. Can you tell I like the food here :-) .
I was skeptical at first about going on a three day trip with 47 people but kudos to Josie and the OKDEAL team, they did a wonderful job. Everything went like clockwork, ok I held the bus up maybe once or twice, but the crew handled everything with respect and professionalism. I can't speak for everyone on the trip but I would say we all had a great time. The food was great and the company was even better, it was a great group of people (47 of them :-)J ). New friendships were made, good times were had and some great memories were made. I have been on 6 or 7 trips that OKDEAL organized and they have always come through with great places to visit,accommodations, scenery and of course food. I am looking forward to more of their trips in the near future. Thanks OKDEAL!