Train journey: Lanzhou to Urumqi

Train T197 Depart Lanzhou 11:00. Arrive Urumqi 07:35 (actual arriving 9:30 – 2 hours late! Total 22.5 hours). Distance: 1892km
Hard sleeper bottom 390 RMB
Hard sleeper upper 365 RMB

The second train. Before we come to China, we had in mind that it’s too much to ride 2 long journey trains in a row for 3 days.. I thought we would suffer bored and got nothing to do. I even wanted to bring 3 books to read in train, plus LOMA notes that I was going to take exam in May. But we have come to rather enjoy the train ride (of course, there’s boring times too) and it does feel like faster than we thought. I am not even reading books (except checking Lonely Planet PDF chapter). We’re almost there! :) I mean, it’s survivable.

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Uneventful train ride back to Delhi

Train Agra to New Delhi
Mahakaushal Exp Train# 12189
Depart AGC 08:23 Agra Cantt
Arrive 11:35 NZM H Nizamuddin
Duration: 3h 12m
Class: AC 3 Tier
Cost: Rs. 706 (2 pax)

This is our last train in India, and apparently the first (and only) train that was NOT on time. It was delayed and arrived around 11am, almost 2 hours than expected. But we were not mad about it as we were mad about missing train because of being cheated by tout!

We stayed at the train patiently while watching people around. This time we were more brave to take photo (but trying not to look obvious) so Az could snap some faces from our zoomed lens. We felt great when we could silently take a closeup photo of some random  people without them realizing, and our super zoom camera is quite helping in this ;) So it was our mode of entertainment while waiting the train… *bored* =.=  We noticed a Caucasian couple waiting train for Delhi as well, and since they’re waiting for long as we do, we guess that they’re the same train as us. Which turns out to be correct.

There was this designated stall selling drinks and snacks at the platform, and when Az wanted to buy a snack, the seller apparently give a price higher than what was printed on the label! Being surprised, Az asked him why but instead of explaining, he took back the snack rudely with a look of “take it or leave it”. What a jerk!

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The Chronicles of Penang Hill trains!

After I finished posting the last Penang Hill entry I was wondering myself if the trains really date back from 1923…. until I had to bang my head on the wall recalling that I actually SAW the older train (or rather, a carriage) which was displayed as historical item on the top of Penang Hill itself.. aghh.. which I forgot to take a picture of it, hence the forgetness.

Photo from wikipedia. This is it!!!!!!!!! The 1923 train!! :D And what’s more surprising, this carriage was serving people to go up Penang Hill for many many decades until 1977!! So the red train that I was riding started its service since 1977, yeah. The trains and carriages had funny shape like this because of the hill steepness of 50-51% along the way up to the peak.

I also found this rather amusing historic introduction from

The idea of a railway line up Penang Hill was put forth as early as 1897, before motor vehicle was even introduced to Penang Island. It was built by the British between 1906 and 1923 at a cost of 1.5 million Straits Dollars, so that the British officers can journey up the hill for convalescence or simply to relax and enjoy the cooler air. The funicular railway was only open to the public on 21 October 1923.

See.. everything also British invention one.. still we don’t know how to upgrade (quickly). Haih.

Penang Spotlight: Penang Hill a.k.a. Bukit Bendera

Continuing another part of getting-to-know Penang posts. A tourist doesn’t come to Penang if she/he isn’t going to Penang Hill, or Bukit Bendera (translate: Flag Hill) which is located near the capital Georgetown. It was my first time there ever since I can remember, though I used to come to Penang when I was little kid (6 years old?) and at that time we had a cousin family living in Penang, hence the holiday to here and Langkawi. Penang Hill is about 833 m high and what’s there on Penang Hill? Now I bring you to take a furnicular train ride to reach the top.

Penang Hill train schedule. It takes about 30 minutes to go up there..

See the train coming down the hill? No?

Okay, here it is. Not actually new trains. I think these trains have been around ever since the existence of Penang Hill T__T so old and obsolete.. and it got fans! (no aircond).

Oh guess when did the Penang Hill train railway started its service here? Guess! Guess! Guess! 1923!!!!!!! And I wonder if the very train itself dates back from 1923 as well =__= Well it won’t surprise me if it does… I mean… look at it.. sad and old.. and small.. and superslow.. and you think you’re visiting one of tourists places in Penang?? The state of Georgetown, the World Heritage site???? Unbelievable.

So tiny space inside *tsk* and people are flooding.. so you better hurry if you want a seat. But most people end up standing.

OK, don’t be horrored yet, coz when I was inside this small train (standing, yes) there was a paper notice telling that the Penang Hill railway system will be upgraded starting February 2010.. yeay, good news to tourists coming after this and it will save Penang people from tortures for the old school railway system. Bye, bye, tiny train!

Train moving slowly, and after a while, we get to see this sight of train track we’ve coming from.

Yay, we reached the top after crawling for 30minutes or so.. the train stopped in a few stops where locals get down (whoa, there are people living in the sides of the hill!)

Sight from Penang Hill.

I can say the view from the top is very breathtaking.. and it’s cold too (when I say cold it’s rather cool air, below 20 degree I guess) since yeah, in tropical countries like Malaysia the only places to get a chill air is on the highlands! There are places you can have a walk and shops to buy souvenir, and if you want to take a further look around Penang Hill, you can take a baggy ride, or car or anything available there. Oh well, it’s practically a small town at the top of Penang Hill, anyway.

We took a ride of this baggy around the Penang Hill throughout small path.

…and got to see many of multimillionnaires’ holiday homes like this, but I can’t remember the names that the buggy boy was mentioning one after another. Who is it, Vincent Tan??

I spot my favorite item!! :) It’s an old red post box from the British colonization time..

You can see part of Penang Island from up here. Notice the Penang bridge? It spans 14 km to the mainland of Malaysia Peninsula.

OK, that’s all for Penang entry this time. Penang Hill sounds exciting right? Hehe.. what? No? Hm nevermind.