China by train

Only a little bit further from the center of Hong Kong you can find green nature and nice beaches. There are many islands in Hong Kong where you can go. We visited the largest sitting Buddha on Lantau Island and we made a day hike across the mountains in the shape of dragon’s back called Dragon’s Back Trail. We also walked through smaller paths on calm Lamma Island

On our last day in Hong Kong we woke up earlier and we went to Kowloon Park to exercise Tai Chi. After a while we really found some exercising groups in the park. There was also a Kung Fu Corner where locals were practicing Kung Fu with swords. Edita joined one of the groups and Karel tired from writing articles at night was having a rest on one of the benches. He was woken up by a policemen who didn’t like that he was sleeping on public.

In the afternoon we packed our stuff and we took a metro to Shenzhen railway station which is the gate to People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong is a special administrative zone with its own system and currency - Hong Kong dollar. At the railway station we had to pass through many security procedures. After security procedure in Hong Kong we also had to pass Chinese visa and passport control.  We have already had our Chinese visa from Prague. The last procedure was baggage check.

We were a little bit worried about our backpacks because there were many signs warning that every passenger is allowed to carry only one piece of luggage with a maximum weight of 23kg. “It’s gonna be hard.” Our backpacks have 23 kg but we also have smaller bags with laptop, camera and sleeping bag. Fortunately they didn’t check the exact weight and they let us in. We were relieved when we finally got into the train with all of our stuff.

We bought “hard sleeper” tickets which means that there are 6 beds in one compartment. More comfortable is to buy “soft sleeper” ticket because there are only 4 beds. This kind of ticket is slightly more expensive. The prices of the beds in compartment are also different. Basically the higher you sleep the less you pay. The most expensive are the lowest beds because you have more space and you don’t have to climb up the ladder. It was funny to watch how Chinese people climb to their beds on the very top.  Good for them they are not very tall. Another disadvantage of upper beds is that they are too close to very strong air-conditioning. With other Chinese people we prepared noodles with hot water.

At 10 p.m. they switched the lights off in all train. We jumped in our beds and we were ready for 13 hour ride to Guilin which is a part of South China Karst in Guanxi province. We were looking forward for real China full of rice fields and beautiful nature.


Copyright © 2014 | | Karel Stepanek |