13 Aug 31 things about China

I wanted to try and sum up China, or at least my time in China. So I put together an overall, tar brush description of the people and place. The following is a list of fun facts and opinions on this giant contradiction of a country.
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Chinese students happy to chat to a foreigner

04 Aug Heaven and Hell, public transport in China

I worked out the other day, that since landing in China, I have spent around 70 hours on trains. That is, 70 hours in about a month and a half. And it would have been over a hundred, had I caught the train to Beijing (they were sold out, a blessing in disguise). This truly is a vast place, and it is its scale which makes it so diverse and interesting to travel around. It also makes one a lot more patient when it comes to long journeys, you have to be, or you would go mad and batter the first Chinese fellow to hock up and spit, while you are staring into a bowl of "I can't eat that shit" train noodles.
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27 Jul Xian, The Terracotta Warriors, and a midget mugger

The next leg of our trip was a train ride from Beijing to Xian, the fast train this time, and only 9 hours. Newer and more luxurious than the trains through the rest of China, this one has individual seats that recline, are soft and comfy, and even rotate 180 degrees for when changing direction (they have some great ideas in China).
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If you build it...

25 Jul Beijing, it’s very big

Beijing is a marvelous city, there is an unending stream of things to see and places to be. It all costs a bit more than in the smaller cities around China, but then it is a modern first world metropolis of the first degree. Chengdu to Beijing marks my first flight within China, the extreme population means that train tickets can be hard to come by, especially if like myself you leave things to the last-minute.
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Early morning views

12 Jul Hiking Mount Emei

Day1 All set from the previous days walk, I woke at around 08:30, packed my bags, and went downstairs to check out and meet with our new friends (we had met a Canadian couple the night before and were going to hike with them). leaving our bags with the hotel, we grabbed a few complimentary walking sticks and headed out. Immediately we were met with a bit of confusion, according to the map, we could start at two points, one required a taxi ride, and the other was a 10 minute walk away. The closer added a bit of distance (how wrong we were), but meant not having to catch a taxi, so we started off for the closer point.
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Walk to the monastery

10 Jul Fuhu Temple, Emei Shan, China, it’s pretty cool

Chengdu to Emei Shan this time, to go and climb another mountain. I am starting to feel the amount of time spent on transport in China. Everything is so far away that to see anything you really have to be prepared to travel, a lot. A word of advice to anyone wanting to travel around the orient, give yourself at least 2 months, or alternatively, choose a few destinations and see the rest another time. Either this or spend half your holiday traveling.
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Peak a boo

02 Jul Panda wandas in Chengdu

We have been in Cheng Du for about 3 days now, and it is fair to say we have not done very much. There are a few things to do around here, but most are trips to surrounding areas and take a few days themselves. So recovering from our long trip here, and the desire to do very little, has meant that today was the first time either of us had ventured very far. And our outing of choice? The pandas.
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Sleep, where? Those are people under the seat covers

30 Jun Book ahead, it’s worth it

The valley is lost somewhere in the dirt clouds thrown up by our bus and its drivers erratic acceleration. A new curve exposes a town not entirely void of character, but seemingly so after the valleys effect on me. The houses and shops become more current in their use and wares, and mountains are obscured by the high rises needed to support a burgeoning population. The town is small-ish, and to some degree quaint, but the pollution starts to thicken as I watch towers billowing out cloud mocking smoke.
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