Jul 08

Pingyao to Xi’an

Saturday, July 19 Cut to the chase. We made it!

We woke up extra early, checked out of our super cute Yide Hotel (Josh calls it a very well preserved, traditional courtyard house) and walked to the slightly shadier hostel that would actually arrange for us to hop on a bus in the middle of a highway. Our hotel would not arrange such illicit tickets for us and the workers there were concerned that this was our plan, but the only trains through Pingyao to Xi’an left at late evening and we needed a morning departure. I am actually no longer so certain that the hostel lady is truly a CITS agent. I think that Pingyao does not have a CITS office and she is maybe a helper – or a go between – or a friend of CITS – but really I think she is a Red, a man who knows how to get things, and we are Andy. Continue reading →

Jul 08

Datong to Taiyuan to Pingyao

Friday, July 18 We woke up early and headed straight back to the CITS office.  Thankfully, Josh felt a little more within himself in the morning and did not explode on the CITS guy.  When he saw us, he knew something was wrong and recognized his mistake when he looked at the tickets.  He ran us over to a bus ticket station and bought us tickets to a city called Taiyuan from which we could catch another bus to Pingyao.  We got the bus fine and slept some and saw some funny Chinese movies on it.  In Taiyuan, we had to take a taxi from one bus station to another, buy new bus tickets and get on the right bus to Pingyao.  This we managed reasonably well with only a little help and pointing and gesturing, but no English.  The second bus to Pingyao was more adventurous with not great roads the whole way and random passengers picked up and dropped off all along the highway.  No one seemed to think it was weird, so we tried not to either.  We finally arrived at Pingyao at about 3:30pm after 5 hour and 2 hour bus rides. Continue reading →

Jul 08

From Beijing to Hong Kong

This is where we are headed…

I can’t tell which mapping program is better so I have included two maps.

We are headed in a counter-clockwise direction, beginning in the upper right (i.e., Northeast) corner in Beijing.  Since the green and red push pins are not labeled with the appropriate city names and do not tell us “geographically hindered” people what cities they are “tacking”, here’s the list in chronological order:  Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, Xi’an, Guilin, Yangshuo, Shenzhen and ending in Hong Kong.

Map #1


Map #2

Map image

Here is the first map zoomed in a bit differently.  The map of the states beneath it is set at the exact same scale just so you can get an idea of how far we will be traveling.