A Travellerspoint blog

Kunming 18/04/11 - 21/04/11

18/04/11 – Travelling to Kunming

We set off on the bus to Huaihua along a dirt road for 2.5 hours and when we arrived we decided to eat KFC and pick up some snacks for the long train ride ahead. While in the supermarket Johnson realised he had left some expensive tea on the bus that his cousin had picked up for us and ran off to get it back. Leaving me to wander the store with only one instruction “buy some sausage”. This was easier said than done. I searched the but couldn’t find any, after a while an assistant stopped me and said something in Chinese (I presume “what are you looking for”) so I got out my phrase book and before I could find the word I was surrounded by at least 10 workers anxiously waiting for my words of wisdom. I finally found my word “Xiangchang” I shouted as they all burst into laughter and pointed me upstairs.

After taking some pictures of the livestock they had in the store which included pigeons, I set off for the train station where I had agreed to meet Johnson after 1 hour. I sat on the step waiting for him for over an hour, during this time I was approached by a very old man (about 90+) wearing a straw pointy hat and a black cloak. He sat talking to me for well over twenty minutes, at first I think he was after money but then proceeded to ramble on at me, mostly about girls as he constantly pointed at them walking past. I gave him the “wo bu mingbai” about 40 times before he finally pointed to his ear in an effort to tell me he was deaf as a bat.

Johnson returned after he left and he waited with me while I boarded my train, I had a 16 hour train trip to Kunming and he had a similar journey back to Shanghai leaving an hour later. I boarded and lay in my bed watching China’s farms, mountains and small villages fly by for the first 3 hours and then at 6pm decided to eat my noodles and sausage. This was when things went bad, shortly after eating I felt sick, really sick. I felt bloated and constipated so I visited the toilet.. twice, then once again to throw up. After this I couldn’t go 15 minutes without either puking my guts up or having bum gravy, the fun was added to by all this happening in the Chinese train toilets which stunk of shit and cigarette smoke and were literally covered in the same.

I finally got some sleep but it didn’t last long.

19/04/11 – Kunming

Arrived here at 7am and surprisingly managed find the bus stop and get to the hostel within 30 minutes. After checking in got showered and went for a stroll around town. As I didn’t have a map I decided to cross the road and walk straight ahead and then turn around. I had landed on a big shopping street, everything from Nike to Armani, just like Manchester’s Market Street but Chinese characters as well as English. I got to the end and couldn’t proceed as I was at an army building so I turned around and set back along the next street across. A whole new world from what I just encountered emerged, I first found a junk shop stacked to the ceiling with old books and antiques, it could have been cashed in for millions or fifty quid, you would only know if you were an antiques dealer and had a few weeks to spare to sift through everything. I then found a small park where I sat for a while and watched people feed the birds before setting back off down the road to find people literally living in waste and scrawny diseased looking chickens picking through shit.

Seeing a little boy running about looking like he had never seen water reminded me of a really happy baby I saw the other day, he had a rock tied to some rope.
Getting back to the hostel I met a Korean guy who was 66 but seemed to be the fittest guy I ever seen. A Chinese guy and Polish guy. The Polish guy bored the shit out of me for an hour with his negative thoughts about the world, specifically the difference between stupidity and intelligence within politics. After this we all went out (minus the Polish guy) for food, but not before the Chinese guy told me he was a pharmacist and wanted to give me some drugs for sickness. He dished out some prescription drug, that when googled was revealed to be a last option drug for something none related and often causes anticoagual problems. I ditched that idea and he then gave me some herbal medicine which I had to take four. Then he marched me round to the pharmacist where I had a further 3 tablets and a rehydration sachet.
I was so stuffed full of drugs that I didn’t need any food but we went for some anyway, the old do it yourself on the table type of cooking. After that it was pretty much bed.

20/04/11 – Kunming day 2

Up early and bus hopped until I was at the bottom of a Mountain at the Western Hills, It sits next to Tien lake which stretches 50km (sixth biggest fresh water lake in China) and the best way to see it is to hike 8km up the mountain. I was far from feeling up to it but decided I had nothing better to attempt so I bought some water and set off up. I first met some Chinese that didn’t speak English so left them. Then I met some Mongolian Monks who wanted to take pictures with me, the talkative one was far to touchy feeling to be straight so I quickly left them too. I then met a Chinese girl who I completed the trek to the top with, she bought a ticket to some dragon gate thing but I couldn’t be bothered, I’m sure the Pavilion view that we saw was just as good as the dragon gate that costs Y40.

I got back and met a Welsh guy, we mooched around town for a bit and then ate at some shoddy rip off KFC called Dico’s. After this we went back to the hostel for a beer and bed.

21/04/11 – Travel to Lijiang

Got up and went with the Welsh guy (now known to be called Russ) to the hospital as I was still throwing up a bit and shitting water every 20 minutes. It was difficult to figure out where to go but eventually I found someone to point me in the right direction. The right direction was in a clinic room with 3 doctors, one of them spoke English which helped a lot. He put me on the bed and pushed down on my stomach a bit while the other two doctors gathered around me to observe. Then we were off to have blood and stool tests done (the doctors refer to it “we need to test your shit” haha). Apparently these came back ok so I was left with only a prescription for some shitty drugs that do nothing be fill my stomach with gas which gives me severe stomach cramps throughout each day (diarrhoea continues). After the hospital we wandered around a bit before heading back to the hostel to await my train to Lijiang at 11pm.

Posted by sharpting 14:29 Archived in China Tagged kunming

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