Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LANZHOU - How to Get to Chengdu?

January 14, 2011
Eng: Lanzhou, Gansu, China

Chn: 兰州,甘肃省,中国

Written by Dan

   At the station it is Pan.De.Mo.Ni.Um. When it our turn we ask for the soonest train to Chengdu. Within the next 10 days, there is only standing room left on one 21-hour train leaving tomorrow morning. Standing. With all our bags. Cramped in the corridor of a train, with people smoking, puking, spilling instant noodles, and no heating. That was not going to happen if we could help it.

   See, it’s closing in on Chinese new year and from now until mid February, it will be near impossible to buy train tickets. Buses and planes will be a bit easier but still difficult. We will now try to find a way to get to Chengdu by January 19th at the latest, hopefully without flying which would cost 1200rmb ($180 USD) per person or without retracing our steps to Xiahe which is along the back road route through the mountains into Northern Sichuan.

   Naturally we panic at first but quickly we turn to our best friend the lonely planet guide and find out that one of the long-distance bus stations is right across the street! We practically run over and ask with every hope in our hearts if there is a direct bus to Chengdu. Thank the lord, THERE IS A BUS! We instantly by the soonest ticket we can get which leaves on Jan 16th at 3:30pm and arrives the next day at about 10:00am.

   This is the best news ever because neither of us were really looking forward to an 18-hour bus or train ride right away. Happy to rest for a while and explore Lanzhou, we look for a hotel.

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