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Published: July 14th 2012
Well, no great trip is without its problems. Hopefully I got them all out of the way early and the rest will be smooth sailing. There was some heavy rain in Kunming the day I left which translates to heavy traffic. Despite leaving an hour early (usually a 20 minute ride) I missed my train... I had to go to the ticket office and switch the ticket. They put me on a later train but instead of a bed I had to take a "hard seat" YIKES! Firstly it is (obviously) not very comfortable. secondly it was 15 hours. Lastly, imagine the calibre of people that take the bottom class seats on an overnight train in west China. Disgusting! A child pooped on the floor, trash everywhere, crowded, noisy, hot, and everything.
Now, it wasn't all bad. I met some documentary film makers that had to grab the train last minute and also got stuck with the hard seats. They made for good company so we shared beers and snacks and passed the time. Not too bad. Got about 3 hours sleep...
Everything else has been going smoothly. I am currently in Emei Shan National Park in Sichuan Province.
It is one of the most famous mountains of Buddhism in China. Lots of monastaries, nunneries, and temples. I wandered around the base of the mountain today and checked out the museum and a couple of temples. Tomorrow will be a big day. Plan to hike for over 50km to reach the summit and hopefully climb back down a bit to sleep in a monestary. Pretty cool stuff! My hotel is excellent and a good deal at 50RMB. I have my own room with A/C and computer access. Not bad.
Pan to wake up super duper early tomorrow so I can get inside the mountain before the ticket office opens. Penalty for no ticket? You have to buy a ticket. Worth the risk I think. So I will update again when I get to Chengdu in a few days. I have that Giant Buddha to visit first!
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