Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Train Rides at CHINA at the end of 2010

I like train ride very much. 'Senandung Malam' 11pm from Johor Bahru towards Kuala Lumpur is my favorite mode of transportation when there's gig/shows or studio job in KL. The band always took train to KL since we able to rest the whole ride till the destination on the sleeper.

I've experience train ride from Jakarta/Gambir (Indonesia) to Bandung (Indonesia)... Butterworth towards Bangkok (Thailand)... Bangkok (Thailand) towards NongKai (Thailand)... Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) towards Vinh City (Vietnam)... and the most recent... CHINA and INDIA...

Some of you may experience more than that... or some of you may experience the epic siberian train ride from china or mongolia towards moscow... or any train ride in europe... or maybe crossing US continent...

this is the story of some of my memorable train ride.

Train 2603 from BEIJING to DATONG (November 7 ~ November 8, 2010)

Train 2603 (Sunday, November 7, 2010)

I'm traveling in Train 2603 from BEIJING towards DATONG in SHANXI province for the Hanging Monastery. It took around 6 hours to DATONG... It was my first CHINA train ride. Departed around 9pm from Beijing Train Station (West) and arrived before sunrise at Datong Train Station. Since, the train stops at LINFEN (don't ask me i don't know where) I getting hard time to convince my cabin mate to wake me up if we arrived at DATONG because of the language barrier. The journey was unpleasant because I keep on figure out when to leave the train... hehehe

Datong Train Station (Monday, November 8, 2010)

Because of the system made by China Railway... I manage to arrived at DATONG perfectly. Why? the cabin/car crew will take my ticket when I found my cabin at Beijing and replace it with another ticket... when  arrived at Datong she wake me up and give back my original ticket. Nice uh... simple but effective.

At that period of time, DATONG is a little too cold from BEIJING... and I experience a little snow outside DATONG train station. Apart from that... I realized all signboards in CHINESE... hehehehe... nice. :) waiting for the sunrise, I take out my cigarette, sit in front to the station and enjoy the experience. 

Train 2617 from DATONG to XI'AN (November 9 ~ November 10, 2010)

Train 2617 (Tuesday, November 9, 2010)

I took train 2617 from DATONG towards XI'AN in Sha'anxi province for Teracotta Warior and Hua Shan... this time I took Hard Sleeper (6 bed) because the Soft Sleeper (4 bed) were sold out. The train ride took 17 hours to reach XI'AN... departed from DATONG around 4pm and arrived around 9am..

Eager to meet Albert and plan to climb huashan together (we meet and travel together at DATONG).  

Hard Sleeper is 6 bed open cabin... means doesn't have any doors. From the pictures above showing that I put my CRESTONE up above the walkway all night. Some of you may afraid about safety of your things... you can trust CHINA. They don't even bother your goods or bags... however, still don't put your camera or handphones lying anywhere. Travel cautious still applies.

Sunrise from inside Train 2617 (Tuesday, November 9, 2010)

Its a surreal experience whatever your train ride is... any valley, city, villages you passing by is always meaningful and beautiful. Local activities always intrigues me...

Cabin mates Train 2617 (Wednesday, November 10, 2010)

Most of my train rides in CHINA, I found out that chinese people are super friendly and helpful. The guy beside the window always try to make a conversation, always forget that I can't converse in mandarin... so he decided sit there staring & smile at me the whole morning journey until we reached XI'AN. Kinda scary but nice... the woman with bright sweater always offer me food & water since we started our journey from Datong. Unluckily I need to pass her offer since I only eat halal food. :P the couple beside me, trying very hard to talk in english... so, I gave them my journal and draw where I came from and where am I going.. sharing my pictures. Huh... how I wish I can converse in mandarin, so we can share information/knowledge well. It's a memorable journey.

Train 2617 (Wednesday, November 10, 2010)

Train K878 from XI'AN to CHENGDU (November 12 ~ November 13, 2010)

I remembered on 12 november, I venture around Xi'an Muslim quarter with a dutch couple for Xi'an Great Mosque. We spend at the mosque until we nearly forgot our train to Chengdu... hehehe... we took motorcycle taxi back to our hostel and took bus towards the train station. We need to cross from the south city wall to the north in massive... massive traffic jam. The bus took a detour and we started to panic... luckily I saw the train station from a far... and we decided to abort the bus and ran to the train station with our heavy packs. When we pass by the departure gate, the gate closed immediately... then we realize that we're are the last three person who allowed to pass through... lucky huh.

Train K878 (Friday, November 12, 2010)

Apart from visiting Huashan and other great places in Xi'an, I'm hoping that I could follow somebody to LHASA, Tibet... but, unfortunately in winter very seldom traveler goes to LHASA. So I took K878 from Xi'an towards Chengdu... and hoping to get chances there.

Train K878 (Friday, November 12, 2010)

On K878 I took soft sleeper, much2 more comfortable with 4 person in a cabin... if you concern about safety & comfy you need to look for this. During the journey towards Chengdu, I try to figure out what is my next itinerary if I couldn't get travel partner towards LHASA. A lot of places in mind, like going down south towards LAOS via kunming/mengla/boten... or west towards TIBET border at ShangriLa or LiJiang... well we'll see.

Train K878 (Saturday, November 13, 2010)

Curious cabin mate, keep asking about my Journal... despite of can't read in english he carefully look into every pages. Then he'll talk to me in mandarin when he came across train tickets or hostel permits clippings. How nice... I just smile and nod. hahaha... :P

Train K853 from CHENGDU to KUNMING (November 14 ~ November 15, 2010)

I leave dusty Chengdu the day after I arrived. Eager to be in LAOS in a few days... however, it is such a waste if I venture towards LAOS after Kunming because I've been there before quite a number of times. So, during the train ride... I keep on calculating distances, durations and remaining USDs and yuan.

Train K853 (Sunday, November 14, 2010)

Since, chinese like to take flight from Chengdu to Kunming (the cost of soft sleeper and flight is approximate around same figure)... the number of passenger on the train left train enthusiast. My cabin was 4 bed soft sleeper... only occupied by me and a retired china railway official from Harbin. Lucky me he can talk little english... he said he have son at my age, we talk a lot about communism era... the history, the changes... the people... places that i should visit. We shares fruits and instant noodles... :) and along the journey he only drank chinese tea... sometimes he ate the leaves too... hehehe.. eww. 

Train K853 (Sunday, November 14, 2010)

Later that I know... the stainless steel bowl is for spitting. :P hahahaha... niiiceeeeeeeeeeee... 

Train K853 (Sunday, November 14, 2010)

The great thing about K835 train ride towards Kunming is the train wondering along the yellow river... it's like going upstream as the river getting narrower and the river currents getting stronger and stronger. The view was spectacular, the landscape... from numbers of cities and villages passing our way... the experience is amazing. 

Train K853 (Sunday, November 14, 2010)

The journey as if we travel from a flat land towards hills and mountains... sometimes you'll found out cities between mountains and narrow sleepy roads along the way. By far this is my favorite. 

By the time I reached Kunming, I accidently took 6 hours bus ride towards DALI west Yunnan province... it was early in the morning, thinking that I might spend a day or two at DALI or LiJiang. Later that I know... I spend 5 days in DALI for its friendly locals (beat hotel owner in snooker match for a 1 day free stay), mountains, huge lake and good food... nice huh...

Well thats about it... hope it will intrigue you guys to travel... if you have done it, congratulations... I bet it was memorable. :)


khairul said... sorang2 ke nas? caya lah.impian jugak nak buat

Nas Plague said...

ha'ah... :)
ada peluang pegi lah...

khairul said...

itulah.but china punya train nampak memang comfort jauh pun sedap.better compared to ktm

Nas Plague said...

tak payah jauh... Thailand Royal Railway pun selesa... katil dia lagi besar dari KTM. :P hehehe

Anonymous said...

oh may,,that's great nas...baca u punya journey ni mbuatkan perasaan nk travel mcm ni juga...great to read that..hope i can do it too...before leave china...


Nas Plague said...

thanks yanie...
hopefully my blog will encourage people to travel more and experience other culture... :)