Published: March 2nd 2008March 2nd 2008
Friday 29th February
We woke to find a new chinese man in our room, a few stops during the night meant that people moved in and out much to my oblivion! This chinese man was a bit panicked tho trying to get out of the cabin, i think he needed to go to the loo but it appeared we were locked in!! After a while of going at it with a clothes hanger and jacinta helping him, he resorted to banging on the doors and calling for help (well i presume thats what he was shouting!!). Eventually a train attendant opened the door with no problem! A girl from the hostel picked us up from the train and brought us to the hostel which we are not impressed with! its cold and theres no lounge/bar area or kitchen, such a fall from the last place. boo! We didn't arrive til nearly 4pm so by the time we settled in we only had time for a wander around the place, went to the supermarket and got some food in a beef steak place (the typical food here is hotpot which is like fire apparently so we avoided that!!!) Saturday 1st March
Today we went to see the pandas! the tour from the hostel was pretty expensive so we arranged with an english guy to share a taxi there which saved us loads! (see what good backpackers we are now!!). The taxi man nearly helped us meet our maker in what was a very very close call car crash, im sure he lost an inch of tyre on that road skidding when a guy pulled out in front of us. He didnt check were any of us ok, instead raced after the culprit to pull up beside him and roar abuse out the window at him (although Kingsley hadn't opened the passenger window which we reckoned he should have done to facilitate the abuse!!). It was worth the risk thou coz we arrived at 8am in the Panda reserve for feeding time (the time they're most active, other times they mostly sleep) and spent hours in complete fascination with them, they are just the most cutest things ive ever seen, especially the babies when they were playing with each other, i just fell in love with them, we were all there standing with googley eyes at each enclosure
for ages!! Wait til ye see the bazillion photos i took!! We went to a nice western place for lunch then (sandwiches...mmmmmm!!) and went back to the hostel via the Mao statue and the travel agency (where we booked our train tickets to Guilin for tomorrow). Wreaked after the long day (7.20am is very early when ur unemployed u know!) we rewared ourselves with some beer with a few we rounded up in the hostel & then we went across the road to a street cafe for some typical sichaun (the province) food which was sooo hot! i was eating the chow fan (fried rice) mainly to stop the fire in my mouth!! We got a taxi into "town" then, all 5 of us squished into 1 & pretended to be 4, the bar we found was quite nice and full with chinese people singing, not a KTV (kareoke) bar tho, they were better sticking to their chinese songs tho....one singers version of "I am sailing" left a lot to be desired since she was going on sound rather than actual words! A few beers there and it was back to the hostel for more but i left them to
it for the last hour, sleepy from the long day and the beer, and conscious of the early start the next day..... Sunday 2nd March
The alarm got us all up and running for the taxi to the airport, we decided on a taxi all d way to the airport (in non-backpacker style) since crankiness didn't really allow for a short taxi ride followed by a bus journey. This worked out reasonable enough & we arrived in the airport in plenty of time. D place was ridiculously expensive tho and we were sickened to pay way above average for what i called "barbie" sandwiches coz they were small enough for barbie to eat!! Onto a really nice plane then where we got served 2drinks and a lunch in record time (ryanair and aerlingus hostess should see these guys work! efficient is not the word!!)......and off to Guilin with us!......
There are more photos below