17.07.2009 - 19.07.2009 27 °C
Firstly, if there are any typos this is due to the usage of the iPod for blogging. The journey to Kunming was very long and tiring. It started with Rob and I being dropped of at Kowloon station. From there we took a non stop express train to guagzhou east station. This only took a couple of hours. After going through immigration and swine flu checkpoints we headed out into the arrivals where a courier was meant to give us our tickets from Guangzhou central to Kunming. She wasn't there and we frantically tried to contact them. The only number provided went to some confused Chinese man who couldn't speak English. Eventually almost 2 hours later we got our tickets and went outside where we got a crazy taxi ride to the other station. When we got there it finally hit us how difficult it was going to be being English speakers in china. We managed to find our way into a crowded waiting room. When announcemens were made we didn't know what to do, once they made an announcement half of the room got up, we followed only to realise this was probably for the purchase of cheap late tickets. However when the whole room vacated we followed them and managed to get to the platform. Unlike most tourists (we were probably the only ones on this train) we got ourselves hard sleeper tickets. This meant our room consisted of 2 triple bunk beds. Rob and I had the middle bunks and we shared the room with two Chinese men who tried to converse with us and a family of three with an over enthusiastic young boy. This was going to be quite the 25 hour train journey. For most the journey I slept and listened to the audiobook version of yes man. Rob finished both his books and wondered around the train if not only to buy grapes. Unusually we did not eat much and our only proper meal was a pot noodle sort of thing which I bought from the station for five yuan and was spicy on the level of the curries we had eaten in hk.
When we got to Kunming I was surprised at how urban it was as our taxi driver took us to the camellia hotel.
As we had come a day early we had to pay for that night's accomodation. So we decided to stay in a four man dorm at the youth hostel that was part of the hotel for 40 yuan each and move into the hotel the next day. We then had a filling dinner at a nearby pub and slept very well.
The next day we woke up lateish and went to have a fry up. After that we moved to the hotel part which isn't much more glamourous. We then headed to yuan tong budhist temple which had this amazing green lake full of fish and turtles as well as some stunning statues of buddah. After a while in the temple we crossed the dangerous roads of Kunming and wandered the back streets. We then had some sort of meat and noodle soup at a local resturaunt cafe I. Which we ordered by pointing and only cost us around 12 yuan.
We then managed to navigate on foot back to the hotel. We have an orientation meeting with intrepid and have a 9 hour bus journey to lijiang at 7:40 tomorrow. This means less blog updates and more Twitter ( which is blocked on the Internet in china)