Weeks 20&21: About to leave

   Posted by: Rhona   in China

Well I’m still in Beijing, though I leave tonight on a 40 hour train to Urumq1. It’s a long way but at least I managed to get sleeper tickets; there was only seats left for the next 10 days so I waited until 7pm when the tickets for 11 days in advance went on sale. By 2 minutes past 7 there were only bottom bunks left, I assume travel agents who know people working at the station snap up tickets before they go on sale to the public. Anyway, I got a ticket and will leave Beijing at 6:36 tonight. In 2 days I’ll arrive in Urumq1, site of the massive ri0ts last Ju1y 5. I’ve heard from another tourist who went there that there is still no internet access, domestic and international text messages are still blocked and you can’t make an international phone call. It’s almost 2 months since the troubles and from everything I’ve heard things are peaceful but communications may be locked down until after the 6Oth anniversary of the founding of China on 0ctober 1st. It’s hard to believe for people who haven’t been to China or haven’t opened their eyes while here that the government has such complete control.

Earlier in the week I headed to Dalian to catch up with some friends who live up there. It took me 11 hours in a bus with minimal air-conditioning to get there and I spent my time hanging out with them as much as possible. There didn’t seem to be many must see sights but it seemed like a very liveable city with a cosmopolitan feel to it. Lots of Russians apparently come to the beaches there though I doubted that they would be up to Australian standards. There’s also a big Korean population though my search for Sujeonggwa, our favourite drink while in Korea, wasn’t successful. Apart from a bit of wandering I spent most of the 2 days my friends were at work sheltering in the air-conditioning and watching movies online. Being able to go to the cinema for quality (as opposed to Hollywood)  movies is something I really miss while travelling so it was nice to have time to do that.

Back in Beijing I moved out of my apartment to a cheap hotel near my friend’s bar, picked up our Tajik visas and tried to pack all my stuff into the 2-3 bags I have with me. I’m not quite sure how it happens but my bags are always bursting full, even when I haven’t bought anything much. Some of it is because I was planning on sending a package of stuff to Brett’s place but couldn’t. Apparently they frown upon posting massive Uyghur daggers. We’ll try again in Kashgar or from Kyrgyzstan.

From Urumq1 I splurged on a flight to avoid another 24 hours on the train to Kasghar. I’ll get in a few days before Brett and will try to find some people to share a car across the Torugart Pass in to Kyrgyzstan. We’re both looking forward to hitting countries number 20 and 21 that we’ve visited together and to seeing something new. At the moment we have no idea when Brett is headed back to work but we’ll adjust plans accordingly.

Tags: ,

This entry was posted on Friday, August 21st, 2009 at 10:38 pm and is filed under China. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)