Published: January 20th 2008January 20th 2008
I am back home. It happened all of a sudden really, one minute I was planning on buying a train ticket to Samarkand and the next thing I was reserving a seat on an earlier flight home to Melbourne. There were a few reasons behind this, but mainly I was over it all; the constant travelling, the difficulty of it all (which my chest infection just added to), and I felt that I had done enough of the 'touristy' sights.
I have enjoyed my trip immensely, it was amazing to see so much of China and to see how the landscape and culture changed as I moved west through the country. China is an amazing country and there is so much more that I would like to go back and see; I would love to go back and do the southern part of the country, but it would have to be in summer to take advantage of the good weather and head outdoors into the mountains that abound in that part of the country. I really liked Beijing, I had lots of fun there and found the city very easy to get around and the surrounding sights are some of the most recognisable in the world. Yes the smog is really as bad as you have heard, actually it is worse, but you shouldn't let that get in the way of you enjoying yourself in a city that offers so much. Tibet was by far my favourite place, the people are so hospitable and friendly and the countryside is absolutely breathtaking. Kyrgyzstan was cool, even though I only saw one place but Osh itself was a cool and interesting place, and I can believe that 93% of the country is mountainous. Tashkent in Uzbekistan was very modern (unlike Andijon) and was very easy to get around and very easy to get a 'western' fix if needed.
There were a few things that I took with me that I found really made my trip a lot easier: firstly, noise cancelling headphones - these were amazing on all my flights and even better on all the trains that I took throughout the country. Secondly, antibacterial handwash was a godsend when there was a lack of a sink or soap to wash in after going to the toilet, which was quite often in my experience. Thirdly, wetwipes were quite handy to give myself a bit of freshen up during those times when I either had no time to have a shower (i.e. early in the morning to catch a train) or there wasn't a shower (i.e. on an overnight train) or when there was no hot water and I didn't feel like washing with cold water.
I will write a short blog about my time in Tashkent and will upload the rest of the photos, but if anyone who reads these entries has any questions about administrative aspects of the trip (visas, permits, tickets etc.) or would like any more information about the places I went to, please don't hesitate to send me a message.
Thanks to all of you who have read my entries from the start, I hope you have enjoyed the journey! Also, thankyou to everyone for all the comments, they were great to receive and to read.
Finally, Matt out