Thursday, November 19, 2009

Catching up on stories

10 - 12 November 2009
Only 3 more days of China left. For the day after visiting the wall we booked train tickets to go to Xi-An, this is where the Terracotta warriors are. Being a train expert by now, I must say that this was the best one so far. Clean sheets, smooth ride, friendly staff, only thing was this time there was a hole for a toilet instead of the regular one.

We get to Xi-An and find ourselves a taxi. It's kind of shabby, iI sit on a wooden plank in the back, leaning against all the luggage and the rearview-mirror is a little tv screen on which the driver and we are watching some Asian Kungfu movie while he's driving.

It's still really cold in China, and on the way to Xi-An more and more snow has been falling. Our hostel is nowhere as nice as the one in Beijing ofcourse, it's got many open patio's and open spaces, which would be great in the summer. But somehow going to the toilet in your pj's and having to use an umbrella agianst the snow is not what you want in the middle of the night... The Terracotta warriors are amazing and very ineteresting. It's crazy to imagine that they only started finding these guys about 30 years ago!

After Xi-An I leave the rest of the group who are going to the Shaolin temple to visit the Kungfu monks. I would've loved to have seen that, but I have to catch my flight to Hanoi. In the evening I get on the train to Hanoi, it's no where as clean and as well taken care of as on the way there. One of my roommates told me that the train already had 8 hours delay, and that over 200 flights had been cencelled from Beijing due to all the snow. Apparantly this was the worst snowfall in 50 years and it was induced by scientists (!!), some people already died and i heard later that on the higway, people had been stuck for almost 2 days. It was actually quite a special moment in timeto be there I guess, all part of the adventure.

In the end I do get to the airport on time, but my flight has been delayed for over 48 hours, so I end up staying in an airport hotel. Not too bad actually: bathtub, moviechannel (Terminator 1 and Alien vs. Predator is all they had) and the room till 14.30 the next day.

From here on everything goes smoothly: The plane leaves earlier than expected, in Hanoi it's about 20 degrees and the Vietnamese are friendly. Ankie arrives 2 hours after me, so I wait for her with her name on a sign, between all the taxidrivers with signs aswell. We get to our hostel and the first thing we do (it's about midnight now) is eat our first PHO at a late night market stall. Delicious!

1 comment:

  1. Terracotta Warriors was een van mijn hoogtepunten (na het sleeper train reizen, ik ben echt ZO'N fan van de sleepertrain!) in China, wij hadden een hele goede gids en die verhalen over hoe ze gebouwd en ontdekt zijn zijn echt amazing! Jammer van Shaolin, is wel echt leuk, maar nu heb je een goede reden om eens terug te komen!