A Travellerspoint blog


The ups and the downs

Lijiang is a very popular tourist area for the Chinese as there's a beautiful old quarter with historic buildings, temples, souvenir shops and restaurants. We spent a lot of time wandering through the old quarter and having coffee stops. You can find some nice areas with boutique shops and posh guesthouses if you wander away from the main square. We also hunted out an Indian restaurant too,which gave us our curry fix. Overall I would say its worth a quick stop, but there are better places to see traditional Chinese architecture in a less touristy area.

In one of the tea houses we made a mistake by asking for some advice about booking plane/bus/train tickets to Chengdu. Somehow the shop owner ordered a 30hour bus ticket from Lijiang to Chengdu. We then got stuck with an indecisive 16year old Chinese student, who had helped with the ticket buying in the coffee shop, and wanted to hang out with us for the day. At first we though "great, somebody to show us the ropes", but it became quickly clear that that wasn't going to happen. Nevermind...I think he enjoyed his day with us.

We'd finished our sightseeing in Lijiang and were most definitely ready to move on...then we had a transport disaster!!!!!! We missed our bus...not our mistake...the public bus didn't turn up for over an hour instead of every 20 minutes and then no taxi driver would take us to the bus station! Ggrrrrr! We have had numerous times where taxi & bus drivers won't help us because we are Westerners.... so frustrating. We were limited with what to do next, we had to get to Chengdu and the only way was to get on an 8 hour overnight train to Kunming (luckily in a hard sleeper bed) and then a further train from Kunming to Chengdu for 22hours in a seat.

We had a few hours to kill between missing the bus and catching the train, neither of us were in the mood to do much, but luckily found a posh restaurant with amazing food, free WiFi and plug sockets to charge our tablet for the long train journey. The waiter used a translation app to convert Chinese to English...this proved quite entertaining. Firstly he said "wait one moment like Kazakstan" and then he turned to Jason and said "beautiful guy, you want food and drink". We spent the afternoon eating, skyping and internetting. We both felt much happier.

Then came the trains...it was the worst journey so far! It was long, uncomfortable and found many of the people really rude. I was stared at the whole way by a women, whilst being surrounded by people that think its OK to spit, drop litter and shout on a train! Not happy! Neither of us got any sleep.

Let's hope Chengdu was worth the journey.

Posted by bloorsontour 04:45 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Ha! Brilliant translations! I'm sure Chengdu's pandas will make the journey worthwhile! Xxx

by Ma and Pa

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.