Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Sleeper Train from Shangri La to Kunming

Sunday September 28, 2007

I just finished watching the LSU victory over Miss. State virtue of the internet even though it was 10 am Sunday here. I arrived in Kunming at 7 am after a 14 hr sleeper bus from Shangri La. This was my first sleeper bus experience and not the most fun that I have had in China. The bus is lined with upper and lower beds. What I did not know was that in the back is one giant bed which is for 5 people. Guess who got the middle space in the giant bed. If I had known better I would have requested a single bed. The entire night is made up of jockeying for position and waiting for the next bathroom break, since there is no bathroom on the bus.

I seem to be the only foreigner on most buses and most trains in China. I know visas have been hard to get for some. I was walking around the bus on our first break when a little boy about eight asked me what I was doing on the bus. I quickly realized that most travelers have their own buses and transportation and that the Chinese almost never have contact with foreigners on the local buses. Most of the Chinese that know any English will try and practice it with me when they can. Even walking down the street people will start up a conversation just to hear English.

After arriving, I quickly went and rented a dorm room at a hostel. My next sleeper bus to Luang Prabang, Laos leaves at 6:30 pm today and will last for 32 hrs. Yes, I requested a single bed. The hostel gives me a chance to shower and rest even though it will be shortlived.

Tomorrow a new country and new experiences.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did. "
Mark Twain

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