GuiYang to Xian
Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
110Trip End Jul 01, 2017
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Where I stayed
Guiyang Backpackers Youth Hostel
What I did
Highland Coffee Shop
Guiyang is a small yet lovely all-Chinese city in the Province of Guizhou which is just north of
Guangxi, where I live. My trusty “Suunto” traveling watch from Finland reads 4100 feet in altitude for Guiyang. It also showed a dropping barometer which usually means rain, which it did most of the days I was there. A pretty rain. Nice cool temps in Guiyang due to the altitude. I could live here ok,
“No big deal” as my new American-ophile “Aiden” would say as she helped me find a bike repair shop and many other important things
good friends in Dallas who will help her on her way to success. This girl spent several days helping us buy train tickets, change hotels, ETC.
She also hooked me up with the only ex-pat place in town, the “Highland Coffee Shop” which is in a back alley that I would have never found had it not been for her. The owner is from Indiana who married a Singaporean wife of Chinese descent. The shop is most comfortable and is a nice way to pass the time. I love coffee shops in China because Chinese cities are places where you cannot rest and watch the sights or pass the time. Everything is too energetic and fast moving. You do not sit in a Chinese restaurant for more than 30 minutes without feeling weird, the staring and the noise is too much. But the Western Coffee shops are places to read, listen to cool music, drink expensive coffee or even eat a sandwich! I spend 15 % of my income in coffee shops. Fortunately there is one in Yizhou (where I live). Unfortunately the menu is all in Chinese and they don't know the words "Cafe' American"
After 4 nights in Guiyang, I relocated from the expensive business hotels to the “Guiyang Backpackers” youth hostel in Guiyang where I rented a bed in a dorm room for 8 dollars. No other occupants showed up and I slept in a room to myself with it's own bath and shower for that low price. That evening I met a bloke from Cornwall who looked exactly like my nephew. We hit it off immediately and played “pass the guitar” for 5 hours playing and singing most of the night. Nice kid, aboutmy sons age. He had spent the last 7 months touring the orient and
still had his wits about him. This kid was a great conversationalist.
I prefer to stay in Youth Hostels (people of all ages stay in these), since they usually are a good source of information and a place to hang out with other travelers
After 5 days in Guiyang I had to move on. I met up with my colleague on the last day and we
headed up to Xi'an by train. My first time in a “Hard Sleeper Car” but it is the only way I will train ride in the future. Only a little more than a “Hard Seat” which I had on my earlier train ride, but one must buy the tickets several days in advance. Much more room for me and the bike, no “standing” passengers in my face, I could lie down and sleep during the 24 hour ride, which I did for 18 of the hours I was a passenger on board. No scary tunnel stopping and the train arrived promptly in Xi'an exactly on time. What can I say about being on a train for 24 hours????? I think I will fly home.