Summer 2018

四号,第一部分:Sichuan Specialties in and around Chengdu (pt. 1)

After our late night in Tongren station, Chengdu East station rolled in at around midday, bright and modern. The metro was busy but reasonable and we emerged at our stop into a subterranean shopping mall, which proved to be troublesome every time we had to pass through its labyrinthine depths. The bloody thing didn't seem to have a discernible end - you just had to find the right turning to duck down to find an exit stair. (more…)

By TJC, ago
Summer 2018

Three Idiots Are Now Abroad (China)

It turns out that travelling from Edinburgh to South China across two flights and twenty-four hours is a bit of an ask. Booking was the easy part; also easy was deciding that a 4:30am start was absolutely fine. "We can sleep on the plane," we said. Ha haa. My tone might betray an element of hindsight, since I'm writing this from our Guangzhou hostel room in the afternoon of our first day and we. Are. Shattered. (more…)

By TJC, ago
Weekly

Week 50: The Journey Ends in Beijing

Our final hostel was an irritable trek from the nearest metro stations but well worth it - one of the nicest, and very reasonable room rates. In the dorm of ten beds we had eight of them (throughout the week there was a steady influx of Project Trust volunteers arriving from their travels) but quickly made friends with one of the other travellers, Amy, from Australia. The other room-mate fairly blatantly disliked us, though this was probably justified, given eight people laden with suitcases from a year-long stay quickly spread to fill all floor space. We tried, we really did. We also resorted to shared resources (mainly communal shampoo) since we had so little time left. (more…)

By TJC, ago
Weekly

Week 49: ‘Storms’, Day Trips, and a 27-Bed Dorm

We went from a box hostel to a loft, although it was actually much better than it sounds. Despite having 32 beds, the air-con was good and the beds were comfortable, and far from feeling like sardines in a can, the loft was full of beams, nooks and crannies which made it feel much more separated than it was (you weren’t aware of the other 31 beds at the same time). The first night, George, Calum and I ran off to Pizza Hut because we couldn’t resist. It’s actually a relatively high-end restaurant in China - at least compared to the UK - which we found quite surreal. (more…)

By TJC, ago
Weekly

Week 48: Shanghai, for the Third Time

We had a relaxing few days in Bagang with shopping visits to Ürümqi and last Pollo (ever?), before the relaxed start heading off to Ürümqi South in a 7-seater van. There were only 6 of us, but don’t get the wrong idea, we between us had at least one suitcase and backpack each, and the back three seats came at the cost of the boot. If we’d crashed, as Calum helpfully pointed out next to me in the back seat (underneath Kieran’s larger suitcase), we’d probably lose various limbs. Despite arriving at the station with an hour to spare, we were somehow running for the train. The ride was surprisingly smooth until we realised that we were going on the high-speed line (pity we couldn’t go at the higher speed as well to cut down the journey time). (more…)

By TJC, ago