September 18, 2017: The final day in Changsha was a fairly chill one. There was no set itinerary at all for this day as it was meant to be a fly-out day. Some tourmates had their flights back home or to another city early in the morning, some tourmates had them in the middle of the day, or like us, we had our flight back to Hong Kong at night. Thus, we had a full day in Changsha to do whatever we wanted (within reason though because we were still on a time limit — there was a shuttle bus that was going to take us to the airport at 2 p.m.).
In the morning, we still woke up early to get a stab at the continental breakfast at the hotel. It was the same hotel that we stayed at on the first night in Changsha so the routine was familiar to us. I liked this modern style dining room and the options for food were moderate. I was surprised with how few people there were for breakfast. I guess most of the guests for the tours had already dispersed as well.
Our small group gathered with another couple in the tour and took a cab to the nearby Orange Island Park that was a possible sightseeing spot. We hailed two cabs and sat close to 30 to 40 minutes in traffic in order to get there. In hindsight, it was a bit of a waste of time to commute back and forth from the hotel to this place just for a bit of sightseeing but I digress.
When we got to Orange Island Park, we took a look around at the activities that we could do. There was a sightseeing bus that we could take which would take us around the park. We paid our tickets and went to the bus stop to hop aboard the bus.
It took us around the park and we got off in time before it took us further into the park. At this time we hailed our cabs back to the hotel for lunch.
We visited a fruit stand near the hotel where we got a durian to try!
We already decided that we would return to Mr. Grains (where we had dinner last night) for lunch. It was a franchise restaurant and thus clean and hygienic, the prices reasonable and the food was decent. This time for lunch, the restaurant was quite packed. We migrated upstairs to their second floor where there was a clearing set out with tables.
This time instead of rice noodle soup, my mom and I ordered the clay pot rice — their specialty — to try. It was fairly good. I didn’t like that some other customers were smoking on the same level which meant there was some second-hand smoke in the same dining area; there was nothing we could do about it though — China doesn’t have rules on smoking in its restaurants… not that I know of at least.
After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to retrieve our luggage and then board the shuttle bus to the airport.
At the airport, we unfortunately had five hours to kill before our flight. Time was spent at the souvenir shops, walking around, reading on my phone, and then some food! (We were so early that we also waited for our flight to open its check-in gate and then check in promptly.) I tried the KFC meal where the chicken burger included a side of chicken wings instead of French fries (they didn’t have French fries at all on the menu). The chicken wing was perfectly crispy and fried. I loved it! The chicken burger was really good too.
Back to Hong Kong we go! Super happy and grateful that we got to visit Zhangjaijie and all of the scenic mountains and gorgeous views. It’s another bucket list item crossed off for me!