03.08.2012 - 09.08.2012 30 °C
A lot has happened since my last entry, and it`s getting harder to make an entry every day, so much to write about! But here we go:
After Hong Kong I had two days of travel in China. At first I went to Guangzhou. That`s just a couple of hours away from Hong Kong, and the train was very comfortable. The arrival in Guangshou was quite a shock from HK, only chineese people (and there`s quite many of them...) and NO ONE could speak a single word english. I tried to ask for a taxi, and the woman sendt me in the opposite direction. When I finally found a taxi I had my next problem, how to tell him where to go? I arrived at the East station and needed to go to the main station. Luckily I`ve downloaded this offline app on my iPhone that you can read about different cities all over the world, and they had written "main station" in Chinese. Puh! At the main station it was just to get in line to buy a ticket for the next train, - Guangzhou to Nanning. A twelve hours train ride. Since I got there quite late I only got a ticket without a seat, but from interrailing last summer I know that sometimes you get lucky and theres a seat fre now and then. The first hours I got to sit most of the time, met three lovely chinese girls about thirteen years old that tried to communicate with me. They gave me food, and came with english phrases they had learned at school. After they went off I met a whole family that made space for me at their seats (they were quite small, as most chinese people in the south, so there was room enough for us all). One of them was a teacher and we could talk quite well. Thenthey went off as well, all seats were taken most of the night, so tried my best to make it comfortable at the floor with the rest of the chinese budget travelers. Had to get up at like every stop, cause the only floor space was by the door, but still I got a few hours sleep. Still, quite good when we finally arrived!
I spendt the day in Nanning, just walking around in the sun. A quite weird experience. Still not a single white person anywhere, and that would be completely fine if it wasen`t that me as the single white person got a lot of attention. Everywhere I went people were pointing, looking, laughing and taking pictures of me (later I`ve talked to many others that also traveled in China, and they said it happened to them as well). I felt it was quite uncomfortable, and actually it was like being an animal in the zoo. Still I couldent communicate with anyone, and not a single word was written in english. The town wasen`t a turisty place at all, and I found people quite unfriendly when I tried to ask for help. I found a lovely park though, Nanning People Park, with a lake full of koi fish. For the train I got a "hard sleeper" ticket. I got a "room" that I shared with five others, and I met a lot of nice people. One of them was a vietnamese girl that gave me many tips about Hanoi and what to do. One other girl was a chinese, from the north which also were traveling alone. She had been to europe as well and told me that China was a little bit like Europe, in the north people are more wealthy, traveling a lot and know english quite well, but in the south there`s not that turisty and the people are more poor. Therefore theire english isn`t that good either, since less can afford an education. We arrived in Hanoi early in the morning, and I spendt the day with the chinese girl before her flight left. We did a lot of shopping, ate some local food and went to a beautiful lake. After she left I went to the BBQ party at the hostel, Hanoi Backpacker Hostel, where I again met a lot of people. The hostel was relly good, well organized, and a great place to met people from all over the world. After we had a couple of drinks before we went to a pool party organized by "Couchsurfing", that were in this really fancy hotel. The pool, that were outdoors, were surrounded by three big skyscrapers and we had a lot of fun After a while a storm came, and there were lightening for sever hours with quite strong wind. Still it was that far away so it didn`t affect the party, it was just a beutiful sight with the sky lightening up with just a couple of seconds in between.
The day after it was time for the trip to Halong Bay! We left the hostel eight in the morning and then had a five hours bus ride to Halong Bay. We had a stop at a pottery where you could buy all kinds of vietnamese specialities, silk, vases, pictures etc. From Halong Bay there was a four hours boat trip to Castaway Island, the tiny island where we spendt the next two days. We had rain almost all the time, and there was a lot of activities we couldn`t do because of the rain, but still the view was so amazing and we had a great time. Because of the rain the air was really humid, and we (and all our stuff) was constantly wet for three days. I came back from the trip yesterday, and immidiately sendt all my clothes for laundry. About time since I have almost no clothes, and been walking around in humid thirty degrees, for a week.
At five tonight I`m taking the "hell bussride" to Vang Vieng (through Vientiane). Totally it will be about 30 hours buss ride, if I`m lucky. I`ve heard about people spending three days on the trip since the busses brakes down all the time. Actually it isn`t that far, but the roads are so terrible that they have to drive really slow. Looking forward to a bumpy ride!
Today I just had breakfast the vietnamese way, noodle soup on tiny stools almost in the road. The streets here are really busy, and everyones riding a motorbike or a scooter. And they know very well how to use their horns! The streets are small, and you have no other choise than to walk in the traffic. Theres street food everywhere, and everything tastes delicious! Vietnamese food are defenitely my favorite now
Now I`ll just have to wait for the bus. Got about seven hours so perfect for exploring more of the city! And also eat some more food. Really looking forward to Laos, everyone that`s been there says there jealous of me because they want to go back. And that`s a good sign
Sooo, see you in Laos!