Side note: This is a super lazy post, coz it’s THE FINALE!
The journey from Xian to Chengdu was uneventful, we’re reaching the end of the long journey and it’s definitely been tiring. From Chengdu, crossing Far West China to Urumqi and stretching to Kashgar and Karakul, it easily spanned 10000 km. OMG. We hardly could belive ourselves that we did go that far :)
Arriving Chengdu around late morning, and didnt really have plans for today. We took the Metro and randomly stopped at any place we thought can kill some time. There was this Science museum or something we almost entered but changed our mind as it required ticket.
Found a McDonalds outlet and it’s our lunch for today. Probably early dinner too. They have this McCafe outlet that we got so excited about (read: by the time we visited this, McDonalds around KL had not yet attached any McCafe – so the only time I had ever heard about it was from Az’s experience in Sydney. Hence the jakunness :P Which also reminds me, it has been sooooooo long since we did this trip, but I only managed to complete the travelogue today.)
To get to Chengdu airport, we simply asked one of the Metro station staff and you could get an airport bus from some particular bus stops, but in our case, we might have waited at the wrong bus stop that we could see airport buses passing us several times (and didn’t stop!!) but in the end there’s this bus going to airport as well, although I dont think it’s a direct one (it stopped many times along the way and it was full we had to stand for a while and it was such a long journey! Almost an hour I think..). And yeah, although the last day and Chengdu was pretty boring, the whole journey was so overwhelming, you can tell. Our flight that night was apparently delayed almost 2 hours and I couldn’t really remember anything except being sleepy when we boarded.
Until next time, China! :)
Depart Chengdu 12:05, Arrive Lanzhou 09:15. Duration: 21 hr 10min. Distance: 1172km
Hard sleeper upper 256 RMB
Hard sleeper bottom 274 RMB
Our very first China train. 1 of 4. First impression of the hard sleeper class: not as hard as they’re called. We got one upper berth and one lower berth, and in different compartment. The arrangement is done automatically by the online system and as Derek says, we can find possibility to ask for changing berth with anyone who dont mind. Communication is hard being the only foreigners on board and nobody can speak English, but sign and body language makes everything possible here. Within a few hours, we managed to negotiate with a man to switch berth so Az and I could at least be in the same compartment and row. One of us gets the upper ticket and another gets the lower berth ticket. It’s okay since we can both sit together in lower berth during the day, and for sleep at night, Az would climb up to sleep at upper berth.
Rewind to 24 hour earlier: Az just arrived in KL from KB at midnight and I have been mad at him since 2 days for cancelling flight ticket I had booked for him to come back 2 days earlier (for packing!). Now we barely have half day to pack for our China trip. I mean, I havent started yet! (My policy is I never do the packing alone while he’s away. No way!). But we end up too tired and sleepy to start packing at 1am (after work somemore) and decided to get up early morning to get started. It’s already insane to do last minute packing when you’re heading for 18 days trip overseas and you have to leave the house before 2pm to catch airport bus, still, we managed to wake up late that morning and hence a rush packing (ugh!). With a quick stop at McDonalds for brunch, 1 hour+ bus to airport, we almost had to kiss our trip goodbye when the luggage check-in counter was nearly closing! We were the last! I was gonna have a heart attack! End of rant.
Now. We arrived around 11pm in Chengdu Airport, and the moment we got worried that we couldnt get through Derek’s phone when using mobile phone belongs to a girl in the same flight, Derek was right at the arrival hall, smiling and waving at us. (Read here how we get to know Derek from CS). We immediately followed him to his car, both surprisingly and unsurprisingly a BMW 3-series, and had a ride directly to his house. And the first thing we noticed when we landed in China other than Chengdu being so cold (brr!!), all the signboards and building signage are in Chinese and we hardly see anything English!