Monday, November 26, 2007

Long Road to Lijiang

I was planning on taking a bus to another Minority village and working my way to Kunming and onto Lijiang via the providence of Guizhou. After reading through the guidebook some more and looking at the route I decide to give that a pass and take a route via train rather than a bunch of long bus rides without anything that sounded really interesting to me.

I caught a bus back to Sanjiang walked across town to the other bus station again and caught a bus to Gullin. I spent a night in Gullin and caught a train to Nanning the following morning. While in Gullin I exchanged emails with an English student in Nanning that I had meet in Yangshuo and ask if she wanted to practice some English the evening that I was going to be in Nanning so ended up meeting Susan and July again. They showed me a little bit of the town and bought me an interesting drink and some really good noodles. We talked some but since they had class the next day and live a ways out of town it was a short but enjoyable evening.

I had bought a ticket for the night train to Kunming so spent the day walking around Nanning and visiting the Guangxi Provincial Museum. This museum is suppose to have more bronze drums than any other museum and since I don’t think I have every heard of a bronze drum before I believe this. I think of a drum as always being something with a cloth or skin over the top and not a bronze top. Here is a picture of some bronze drums.



There was also an exhibit on bronze stuff from Vietnam and enjoyed seeing some pictures of place in Vietnam since I plan on going there shortly but unfortunately most of this exhibit was in Chinese so I did not understand as much as I would have liked.

After a full day of walking around Nanning the train ride to Kunming was long but not bad at all. I seem to enjoy hard sleeper travel. I’m not sure this would be the case if I did not have the bottom bunk, which I have managed to get each time. I don’t think I could make it up into the top bunk so keep requesting and paying a little bit more for the bottom bunk. I did not know the Chinese character for the bottom bunk but my little drawing of 3 bunks with an arrow pointing to the bottom bunk has worked wonders. I now also have found the Chinese charter for lower so add this to my little picture when buying train tickets. I usually don’t say much of anything when buying a train ticket just hand them a card. I write on the card: the city name in Pinyin and the Chinese charters, Hard Sleeper in Pinyin and the Chinese charters, the date and my little picture for lower bunk.

In Kunming I found my way to a hostel and checked in with no problems but the girl warned me when I was checking in that the room was noisy and I said no problem. When I got to the room it was not bad at all until about 9PM when the disco started down stairs. I thought I could sleep through anything by just putting in my headphones and turning on my MP3 player but the bass from the disco proved me wrong. Also the earplugs that the hostel places in every room was not much help and I was really glad I had only booked the room for one night. I did manage to get some sleep and the disco did seem to close prior to 2AM so was up and ready early for the 9 hour bus ride to Lijiang.

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