Dec 30, 2009
.The 14 hour bus ride to Xining was not as bad as it could have been but we both agreed that we were never getting on another bus ever ever again. Western Sichuan has been truly amazing, but the travelling was hard. Xining is a tiny city by Chinese standards but having been in the middle of nowhere for a couple of weeks it felt huge and dazzling. We’ve been here 3 days now and it feels tiny and provincial! The reason that we are still here is that we have decided to go to Tibet and are waiting for permits and train availability. Yes I know we decided not to, and we have just travelled 2000m away from Lhasa, but Xining is on the train route into Lhasa and the tours from here are about half the price of the ones from Shangri-La. So on Thursday afternoon we will be boarding the Qinghai-Tibet Express and taking the highest train in the world (over 5000m, 15000ft)!