The coastal town of Xiamen
Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
173Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
A little bit stupid leaving it so late, I try to pick up a ticket to Xiamen for tomorrow. After waiting for the ticket girl to finish her lunch (I was not leaving this queue), I end up getting a 1st class soft sleeper for 900Yuan whereas ticket prices for a hard sleeper are normally about 240-340Yuan – ouch. And the upsetting thing is that I’m not even going to spend a night on the train; the journey is during the day for 6 and a half hours!!
Now I know that I am going to be in Xiamen tomorrow night I start looking for accommodation online
The rest of the day was fairly quite just chatting to randoms in the hostels bar area whilst blogging etc.
The next morning (2/10/10) I leave for Xiamen. 6 and half hours later in a luxury 900Yuan compartment to myself, where I snooze and watch half of Hot Tub Time Machine – one of the shitest films I have seen btw, I arrive at my next destination.
As soon as I arrive, I look to arrange onward travel to Shenzhen and ask about trains to find out they don’t operate between the two cities. I am led by a very helpful tourist information employee to a random looking booking office in the middle of a ticket hall for trains. After some exchange of words and iffy translations, I hand over 220Yuan and am given a receipt and told to be back 2 days later at 8am. Good stuff, but not sure if it is legitimate or not?? We’ll see.
Compared to Shanghai and Hangzhou, this place is hot and the weather is a welcome change
The game starts a 10pm, so I head out around 8pm hoping to have a few drinks beforehand and to meet some other peeps. I follow his directions, walk, and end up in bit of an industrial estate?? I walk around for a bit more, asking locals if they know any bars etc and am met with kinda blank looks... I am now thinking this was a wild goose chase.
After walking around for hours looking for a bar with football, then just a bar to have a drink, I end up finding nothing, missing the football and walking back (at least I saw some of the town though :-) ).
When I get back to the hostel, I realise that someone has stolen my locker key (not that I was using it anyway) and also my bed. Not a problem as there is another one free for me to use, but the key is annoying because I might not get my deposit back. I explain to the hostel people what happened and they say I’ve lost the key. I argue it’s not lost, just being used by someone else. They eventually understand my point and say it’s not a problem; they’ll get the key back eventually and I’ll get my deposit back regardless.
I see the American guy later, don’t say anything about being led to an industrial estate, cos what’s the point??, and listen to him tell me and this other Chinese guy about his failed date. Karma.
A bizarre day in the end, bit of a fail.
The following day (3/10/10) it was pissing it down; the rain had obviously followed me here, so I spent most of the day indoors.
Quite frustrating though, about half way through the day, I noted what Lonely Planet said about the place... it mentions that to visit Xiamen without staying on (or least visiting) the tiny island of Gulang Yu, would be to totally miss the point. Well, it was raining, getting on in the day, so looks like I totally missed the point haha.
Got quite a bit done on my laptop today though and just spent the evening chatting to another American guy, a cool one this time, Jed, who said that if I ever go back to Hangzhou, he would put me up.
I go to bed fairly early in anticipation of an early start the next day for Shenzhen and Hong Kong.