A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: sharpting

End of trip

Hi Again. Back home now and already thinking about my next trip.

A few notes about my trip:

Flight from Manchester - Shanghai (Return) = £500 Lastminute.com

I spent £600 while in China:

£160 = Train/Bus tickets

£65 = Touristy stuff tickets

£120 = Accomodation for a month

£255 = Everything else (food/drink etc)

Posted by sharpting 14:37 Archived in China Comments (0)

Shanghai 02/05/11 - 03/05/11

02/05/11 – Shanghai

I woke up this morning and Linda made me a banquette to bring on the train. Linda is obsessed with food by the way; she should be a food critic or chef. I also get the impression she is obsessed with sleep but not sure what career path that could lead her down. She made sure I got in a taxi ok and we said our farewells before I left. I really like Linda, I’m sat on the train now remembering the two days we spent together pretty much consisting of her running around Wuhan waving at buses and taxis like a lunatic. In the space of two minutes she managed to hang of a taxi door handle trying to get in as the thing was driving along the road and then just jump into some random girls car because it looked like a taxi haha.

The train is currently doing 250km/h across the centre of China and I’m happy because I have a western toilet and paper is supplied, where was this two weeks ago!!
Arriving in Shanghai I hopped across a few metro lines and got to the Shanghai Soho Int Hostel. Johnson had emailed me to I gave him a call to arrange a meet up in the evening. Johnson came to the hostel and we ventured out to some outback part of Shanghai where Johnson’s old college owned a bar. When we got in we were surrounded by neon lights and girls shouting things like “I love you, I love you, I love you”. It’s ok I thought, Johnson wouldn’t bring me to one of these rip off places. Then we were escorted to a karaoke room and supplied with beer, fruit, nuts and other snacks and green tea. If I was with anyone else I would have been out the door but things were fine as we sat down with the owner to reminisce (in Chinese) and sing the night out with classics from the beatles and Britney Spears, my favourite was Zombie with was filmed on my phone but it won’t be making it onto the internet.

We caught the last metro back and Johnson went home to bed. I had other ideas though and decided to drink in the hostel bar until 5am and get about 10 different nationalities to play killer on pool… at least I knew what was going on if no one else did.

03/05/11 – Shanghai – Last day

Woke up and ate breakfast, then headed out for an hour in the back streets of Shanghai to explore the weird and wonderful goings on of the locals. I found an indoor market which sold about 20 different types of eggs and also some sort of shell fish that were engaged in a water fight, one even squirted water on me. After that I met Johnson and we went around some markets looking for a Chinese tea set for my auntie, I had already bought a little cup in the morning for 1 Yuan but I decided that wouldn’t be good enough. We mooched about all day and then Johnson treated me to a going home meal and then a beer back at the hostel as I had completely spent up. Now it's 22:20 and I need to get up at 04:50 for my flight home so time for bed.

Posted by sharpting 14:36 Archived in China Tagged shanghai Comments (0)

Wuhan 29/04/11 - 01/05/11

29/04/11 – Travelling again

I checked out but not before being confused by the reception staff as Mr Shitter after they tried to give me Robs insulin out of there fridge. Then I headed to the train station and stopped off for a bottle of water in a shop. Inside a sketchy Chinese guy standing in one of the isles was trying to sell me an IPhone4 for £80. He bartered himself down to £30 quid when I was leaving so I offered him a tenner which after a cry he accepted. It turned out that if I then wanted to hold my new phone a switch it on before handing over the money, the phone would have to enter his pocket before and after the test. I promptly cancelled that purchase and went to the train station to make the 21 hour journey to see Linda in Wuhan (I met Linda in Shanghai when I first arrived in China)

30/04/11 – Wuhan

I got a taxi to Linda’s campus where she works and lives as a English Teacher. We had breakfast which consisted of bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit salad, fried potatoes, tea and juice. Also some ginger cookies which I made from scratch using only water, an egg, butter and errr…. ginger cookie mix. It was a nice change from Chinese breakfast and really nice.

After breakfast we walked up a hill to a viewing point where I got my first mosquito bite of the holiday. Linda fell asleep on a rock and I went wildlife spotting before I giant bumble bee decided to attack me and chase me down the hill.
After that we got ready and although Linda had arranged for us to go out down Hankou with her friends. We were both pretty tired and just decided to hit a few local bars.

01/05/11 – Wuhan

We got up pretty late and caught a few buses and a taxi to a place called Helen’s for breakfast. Getting around Wuhan is pretty exhausting. There is about a million buses which no-one seems to know where they actually go, and about 2 million taxis, of which 90% of them won’t take you anywhere because they are either off duty, can’t be bothered or there taxi number isn’t odd so cant go over some bridge. We finally made it to the Irish bar (Toucans, located inside the holiday inn) where we ate some free bbq and drank a Shirley Temple each while waiting for Linda’s friends to arrive.

Linda’s friends were all really cool, even the slightly dodgy American who apparently picks up mice on street and talks to them was ok (we played an intense game of fuzzball later on). Linda and Les from England and the American (Matt or Adam I think) made up the group for the night. After giving everyone a lesson in pool (and that included literally giving Linda a lesson in playing pool) and a few drinks we were heading back to Linda’s for sleep.

One more thing about the day, while working our way through the city, we came across a renovated church that had been turned into a bakery. Going inside I was amazed to see all the original windows were in place and pictures of Jesus etc were covering the walls overlooking the baked goods. We had a great laugh about not buying the body of Christ to make our French toast for the next day.

Posted by sharpting 14:35 Archived in China Tagged wuhan Comments (0)

Chengdu, Leshan 27/04/11 - 28/04/11

27/04/11 – Chengdu

Arrived in Chengdu to a barrage of people, certainly not the laid back city I had read about. After trying to get some information from some westerners about where to find hostels I found myself stood at a bus stop that no busses where stopping at. I decided this wasn’t working and I would just have a wander through the city and see where I got to, after a while I remembered that I had the shitty lonely planet and that had a map and accommodation so I reluctantly used it to get me out of the shit and into a hostel. The problem was that the map didn’t extend to where my current position was so I found a subway and found my way to Mix Hostel. I booked in and shortly after another English guy called Rob booked into the same dorm and we had a chat. Rob wanted to eat some of the famous Sichuan spicy food and I needed to book some train tickets before the May public holiday left me stranded in Chengdu.

I walked to the train station as I once again couldn’t see any buses coming that I needed and proceeded to book two tickets (Chengdu – Wuhan & Wuhan – Shanghai) after a long wait in a dynamic queue. Y600 lighter in my pocket I was off around the city getting lost for the rest of the day.

Getting back I sat with Rob and had a beer, I tried one of Robs recently acquired chickens feet and then watched the first part of Pirates of the Caribbean until it crashed so I went to bed (not the crazy party life I had read about Mix Hostel on the internet).

28/04/11 – Chengdu

Going for a shower in the morning I realised I had left my shampoo in there the day before and some bastard had nicked it. I went back to the room and Rob had his eyes open so I whispered “Rob, have you got any shampoo”, no response. He then turned to me and started looking around, “Rob, have you get any shampoo mate. Your asleep arnt you?”, no response. I went and got a shower and when I returned Rob was sat up in bed looking at me, “Are you awake now?”, Rob nodded. “you sleep with you eyes open” no response. Very odd, I thought, so I went outside and jumped on my laptop and about 15 minutes later Rob appears staring at me. “Have you picked up my shampoo yesterday when you had a shower”, no response again. He then walks past me and when I look to at him I see that he has shit all over his boxers and half his back. He wanders around in front of everyone for a while as people are spilling out of the dorm room choking from the smell and then looks at his arm (which also has shit on it), he doesn’t react at all so I tell him to get a shower but he just looks at me again. Then after another few minutes he takes off his boxers and puts them in the bin giving a Chinese girl an eye full as she brushed her teeth. “Mate, you know you’ve shit yourself don’t you, get in the shower” I say. He has a shower and come out and takes some random towel and come over to me. He is awake/out of shock at this point and able to talk. He tells me that he thought it was all a dream, haha. The problem then is that everyone in the hostel thinks it’s me that’s shit myself as I’m the English guy in that dorm too…

After that fiasco we got ready and got a bus to Leshan and went to see the big Buddha at Dafo. It was really impressive and well worth going to see, it’s 70 odd metres tall which is huge and the world’s biggest. Also there is the world’s biggest reclining Buddha at something like 170 metres long at this location but we couldn’t find it and ran out of time because we got there so late.
Getting back we shared an illegal taxi downtown with a really nice Chinese guy who we met at Dafo, he paid for the taxis which was really nice and he dropped us off at a nightlife street where we had food and proceeded to get wasted for the rest of the night, we started on beer and then supplemented it with the little bottles of daft strength paint thinner which, last time I drank it ended with me dancing in the hostel reception in Beijing after narrowly escaping a beating from gang of pimps in a brothel. Fortunately, I was heading out the next day so this would be a much tamer night.

Posted by sharpting 14:33 Archived in China Tagged chengdu leshan Comments (0)

Travelling from Lijiang to Chengdu 25/04/11 - 26/04/11

25/04/11 – Lugu Lake

I had a choice to travel back to Kunming or bus it around for a bit before joining a train track so I choose to go to Lugu Lake and after getting up at 06:45 and travelling until 17:30 I’m finally here. The only problem is that I’m 30km on the other side of the lake where I need to get the connecting bus with no way of getting over (cheaply). I will spend the night here and then set off around the lake and hopefully I can hitchhike to the other side. The other problem is, I was told by Panba hostel in Lijiang that not only could I get the Xichang bus here but also that from Lugu Lake to Xichang its 2 hours but it’s about 8.

We arrived here as a storm started, as I was walking in the pissing rain to the hostel I saw a massive bolt of lightning hit the mountain in front of me. After check in I wandered about for an hour along the front, watch a guy slit a chickens throat and then went back to the hostel to have a Chinese meal with the staff (Y15).

After the meal, nothing was happening so after a chat with an Aussie women, I went to bed.

26/04/11 – Travelling….

Left the hostel at 10:30 and started walking around the lake, I managed to hitch a ride part of the way for Y10 and then the rest of the way with another guy for Y20. Although I thought I would be staying in Lugu Town overnight, the second guy that I hitched with pointed me to a bus heading to Yu Yuan, I boarded that for a 3 hour journey and then switched buses for another three. We drove through the mountains of Northern Yunnan throughout the day, all the time I wondered if I would survive a vertical drop if we veered off the road for any reason, then just as we arrived on the outskirts of Xichang and got on the freeway we had a blowout. I think if it had happened any other time of the journey we would have been gonna’s. It’s quite odd that it happened on the best bit of road we had seen instead of the horrendous roads we had been on all day.

After arriving just after 7pm I shared a funny little bike taxi with a women from the bus and somehow managed to buy a ticket for a sleeper bed on a train leaving at 22:40. After that I wandered around the street sellers outside the station and bought a chicken leg for Y6. Now I’m waiting in the station for the train that I will be on for a further 11-13. I have no internet access so no way to book a hostel or even find one when I get off the train.

Posted by sharpting 14:31 Archived in China Tagged lake chengdu lijiang lugu Comments (0)

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