perjantai 27. helmikuuta 2009

Train to the capital

My friend is visiting China now. I have no idea why anyone (or more accurately everyone) would think we are sisters. (I am on the left, by the way.)

She wanted to travel to Beijing by train. Train ticket, a soft-sleeper one, is almost as expensive (well, it is not really expensive, 514RMB, including delivery of the tickets) as flight tickets (from 540RMB; ours were last minute, and about 600RMB), but I guess train is a bit different experience compared to flying. We took the Z14 train, which leaves 7:20 pm and is in Beijing 7:00 am the next morning. In our cabin there were two Chinese men in addition to us. Which felt strange at first, but then... they didn't speak and didn't bother us, and mostly slept. To say we forgot them would be slight exaggeration, as used a lot of time to amaze the pajamas ALL the chinese passangers were changing into, when the night fall. Most had brownish, but some had patterns in their pajamas. Anyway, I was too shy to take a picture. Well, I tried, but obviously I am no natural born paparazzi.

We didn't have pajamas. We didn't fit in.

For some other trains they also have 2-person cabins. And some trains have luxury cabins, which have private shower and bathroom. But we (I) booked in a hurry, so our's had for beds. And a small table. Everything was clean and ok. I didn't take one focused photo in the train. It trembled.

We had dinner in the dining car, although we had stocked up fruits, cookies, sandwiches and jogurt just in case. To avoid starvation in 12 hours. But that was a fear with no grounds.

Breakfast was... very Chinese. I cannot eat noodles for breakfast. Or rice. Unless I am starving. But I thought I would make my friend's experience more authentic and ordered her a noodle breakfast. With an egg. Yam. She was very thankful for my help. It is difficult for a non-chinese speaker.

All in all, it was quite easy way to travel, all went well, and it is an experience different from flying.

On our arrival to Beijing, after checking in to hotel, we headed to Temple of Heaven. Outside the gate the Beijing authorities kindly reminded us:

I am not sure if well mannered imagination followed from our visit or not, but we tried our best to remain self-restrained.

And now to the commercials:
If you ever go to Beijing for sightseeing purposes, I can warmly recommend Hotel Kapok. The rooms were very nice to say the least, room rate 802 RMB, including one breakfast per room per night and internet connection. And complimentary fruits and some drinking water. And I liked the style of the decor. The exterior of the hotel is not very impressive, but who cares! I would go back anytime. And they were flexible: we checked in 7 am and checked out 2pm. No extra charge, no extra trouble. And, it is only a short walk away from Tian An Men Square, Forbidden City, shopping / walking street, night food market and some other places. And a short taxi ride to Houhai-lake bar area or some local restaurant streets. Of which you will hear more tomorrow...

to be continued...

2 kommenttia:

Hellen kirjoitti...

I loved your blog! Congratulations!

Eeva kirjoitti...

Thank you Hellen! I have to take a look at yours!