Nightbus from Kunming to Luang Prabang

Date: 2018-11-21 to 2018-11-22

From Guilin I went 6 hours by train to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. It was just a transfer stop, because I headed directly to the south bus station and was happy to get a ticket on the same day with the night bus to Luang Prabang.

I had already taken some night busses in my life like in Europe and South America, but this one was a surprise. They really built beds into the bus.

After we went off, I got comfortable with the bed, it was nice and just after one hour we made a short stop and I had my last Chinese dumplings (饺子) for dinner at a petrol station.

Back on the bus the highway in China was really good and so I slept well. After a break in the night, where the drivers slept as well we got to Mohan border town on the Chinese side. There we had a longer stop until 9 am when we finally headed to the border.

Well on Chinese side they were again very curious what an Austrian is doing here, but finally after some chat – I even could use one of my selected Chinese phrases again: 我是奥地利人

It was funally so perfectly pronounced that the border guard asked me if I speak Chinese. But I was sorry to tell him I only can speak some phrases.

So after the Chinese let me out we walked to the Lao side of the border which was not that far.

First I had to pay 1$ tourism fee and then I filled out the visa on arrival form. I already had taken a passport photos in Beijing, which is another hilarious story, and so I handed over the form and the photo after three offices nodded an smiled at me doing lots of writing and stamping I was the proud owner of a 30 days visa for Laos.

So finally I filled out the arrival form and headed for the real customs check and there was no problem so I finally was in Laos.

After the checkpoint we had to wait a while, because the bus had to be checked.

But at about 12 pm we headed again southward to Luang Prabang.

The roads in Laos were not that nice with a lot of curves and were really bumpy. Lying on a bed was not that good idea. Some other travellers around me already got sick, but my stomach was strong.

At about 2pm we made a break for lunch I  Oudamaxi. There I had noodle soup again, but as well bought some interesting new stuff to eat.

It is some kind of sweet sticky rice filled in a leaf.

Well it was really tasty.

So finally after 26 hours bus ride we reached Luang Prabang, where I headed straight to my hostel – happy to have a none moving bed again and a proper shower.

Hiking Li River (漓江)

Date: 2018-11-19

Attention: The old hiking route from Yang di to Xingping is closed or at least not supported any more. You cannot do the first section of this path because there are no ferries going through the River from Yang di to the Langshi side of the River and there is no ferry from the Langshi side to Quanjia Zhou.

But I did the second part of the hiking path which was really amazing.

First for a “yinguo ren” like me – even though I am actually an “aodili ren” – who is not speaking Chinese it is not quite hard to find a way from Guilin to Yang di pier. On every corner around the Guilin train station there are people who are selling trips to Yangshou and so I spoke to an old lady there to get a bus to Yang di. So she showed me a way through several streets to a booth of a small travel company, there I bought a ticket (40¥) to “Yang di lu”. This is the crossing of the main highway with the small street to Yang di. There I waited a little bit for a bus to Yang di pier which is about 11 kilometres away from the crossing. It costed 10 ¥.

Well on Yang di pier I could confirm that the route is not open anymore. So I nearly got comfortable with the idea to go by “bamboo” boat, which is actually a boat made of plastic tubes, down the river.

But then I met a men who said he is driving me by car to Quanjia Zhou, so that I can hike the path from there. First he wanted to have 150 ¥, but after a little bargaining I paid 120 ¥. So we headed to Quanjia Zhou. Actually the trip was really cool in some king of sightseeing car and he stopped and showed me the best viewing points on the way – so it was really worth the money.

After this trip I was really looking forward to hike the path. I found out that the path is not maintained any more, but most times it is only putting some plants aside and stairs are already broken, but no real serious climbing is needed.

And the views there are amazing like small waterfalls amazing views on Li River with the limestone mountains. And the rotten path with the rotten buildings which formerly may be restraunts make the way really special.

After about two and a half hours I came to the village called Lengshui, because there are still people living the ferry there to the other side where Xingping is, is still operating. I paid the 30¥ so they shipped me to the other side.

There I expected a path near the river which is very  crowded, because at the ferry station there were lots of tourists, but no one except me was going this way. So there were some obstacles like broken bamboo trees, but again nothing serious.

So I finaly gut to the famous 20 Yuan view ans arrived in Xingping. Form there I headed back to Guilin by bus and train.


Date: 2018-11-17

Going by train from Xiamen to Guilin I had to change train and stations in Guangzhou. So I had there about 4 hours to spare. Therefore I went to Shamian island and the old city centre.

Wuzhen … or Internet what???

Date: 2018-11-09

On Friday the 9th of November I went to Wuzhen, because it is a famous water town. So I took the train to Tongxiang. At the station there the first thing which was really awkward was that they checked my bag again at the exit. This was the first time since I was in China. And then I went to the bus stop for the local bus. The stop had a special entrance … next surprise they checked my bag again there. The next check was then short before I went on the bus. I wondered why are they all so paranoid here.

I went with the bus to Wuzhen and then walked through the town to the entrance of the scenic area of the watertown. Something strange was going here on, because when I went in I was stopped by three security guys and they wanted to see my security batch. Well I have no batch, that is why I wanted to buy an entrance ticket. But they told me then that here today is the World Internet Conference and I won’t come in without a security batch.

Well bad luck, so I turned around and took some pictures outside the scenic area in the town.


Date: 2018-11-07 to 2018-11-10

Hangzhou once praised by the poets in ancient times to be one of the most magnificient places on earth has developed in a modern mediocre Chinese city. The flair and glamour of the old times has nearly gone, just around the lake there are some spots where you can imagine that it must have been beautiful.

I visited as well the Dadou Road, because it should have some old buildings. There are some reconstructions of old buildings – just for tourists. It has no charm.


Maglev Shanghai

Date: 2018-11-06

I went on a round trip with the magnetic levitation train from Shanghai Longyang Road to Pudong Airport and back.

The roundtrip ticket costs 80¥ and the train runs every 15 minutes.