The first thing I must do is apologise for not taking any pictures of the front of the Chinese trains. The reason for this is that you never get to view them. When you arrive at Chinese stations you are screened and luggage x-rayed. Then you have to enter a waiting area for your train. This is usually on the first floor. You can of course stay out of the waiting area and sit in McDonald’s or KFC but we chose the waiting area as part of it had big soft lounge chairs, (usually they are hard steel ones), so we settled back for a four hour wait. During this time you can leave the area to buy food and return again but you cannot get onto the platform.
The people come and go in this area as their train is called. They will NOT call your train until thirty minutes from departure.
So the plan is and knowing how bad train food can be, about an hour before departure go to the food and drink kiosk and buy a couple of beers and ask if you can leave them in the ice cream freezer till just prior to leaving time. About thirty minutes before boarding head out to KFC and buy four or five thighs making sure you examine them or they will palm you off with wings, buy some cakes sweet and savoury from the bakery, (hard to tell sweet from savoury). Buy some bananas or other fruit and then pick up beer and when your train is called you can queue in line with hundreds of other passengers or wait till the queue lessens (which we do and go through final ticket check to the train. The trains are long, about twenty carriages and even if you have the time to walk to the front it is usually barricaded, that is why pictures are hard to get.
Once on board we crossed our fingers that we would have a four berth sleeper to ourselves. But not this time “Josephine”. We ended up with two unrelated Chinese guys about thirty years old. No problem, we had paid for the lower bunks so they climbed into the top and settled down. That was until night time when one dropped off to sleep and snored, and snored. I got up several times during the night to shake him but it was a long night. He took it in good part and the next day we nattered away together him speaking Chinese and us speaking English. 🙂
You can view parts of the trip on the video. We don’t have many still pictures as the cameras don’t like moving trains….
Beijing to Guilin China by train. A twenty two hour journey in a shared four berth sleeper with a Chinese guy who snored all night !!!!!
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