Sparky Travels

November 21, 2009

Chengdu to Xi’An

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 3:02 pm

On the 19th of November I booked my train ticket to Xi’An for the next day and spent my day hanging about with some Englishmen who’d just arrived, a guy from Chicago and Jacob (guy from Quebec).

On the 20th Jacob and I went out for lunch and then to Wenshu Temple in an attempt to crowbar some more sightseeing into my drinking adventure in Chengdu. Its a typical Chinese Buddhist temple dating back to the Tang Dynasty (10th Century). My temple fatigue has slightly abated so it was enjoyable to walk around it, especially the well maintained gardens. Its situated in a mock old town tourist area that must be at least 10 years old which gives it a relaxed feel compared to the relentless building and modernisation of the rest of the city.

Temple lion statue

Temple lion statue

I hopped onto the bus to the station and after going through security and handing my ticket to about 10 different inspectors (either it keeps unemployment down or the Chinese are particularly wily fare-dodgers) I boarded the train. I’d ill-advisedly chosen the bottom bunk on the hard sleeper so I expected my bed to be used as a seat by my bunk-mates until I kicked them off but this turned out not to be the case. Our 6 bed ‘cabin’ was populated only by me and a monk. We managed to communicate a bit using pidgin-english and pidgin-chinese and he gave me tips on places to visit and things to see as well as sharing his apples with me. My sleep was pretty crap for no reason at all and the train arrived late but overall it was a hassle-free 18 hour trip to Xi’an.

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