Joined July 2016
  • Day25

    Day 25: Not Forbidden- it is:Public-City

    August 14, 2016 in China ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Chineeeeeeeese people everywere you look. It started when I got up early but had the feeling it was not early enough and took a Riksja to the Entrance. It was not the entrance but close by. Guides offered themselves for 300 and promising you a quick entrance. Haha I bet he couldn't do it quicker than I / we did. On my way I met Thomas from Kopenhagen, who also needed to be there fast. Well we did the chinese way ;-) within 5 minutes we got in front of thousands, but it was not the ticket office. Crap, ok go back (almost harder to do ) but ok I had to say goodbye to Thomas he couldn't go through the forbidden city anyway in 30 minutes I found out. So ik waited 15min in line got my ticket and did the same trick. Within 25 min I was inside, eat that, tour guide ;-). It was 9:45 and the chinese style is take a picture and move on... well there wasn't much choice. There is a stream of chinese and you just go with the flow or be a brick wall they run into haha. While taking panorama's it was hard to not get hit by embrellas. This so called "forbidden city" allows 2 times more people a day than Defqon 1 in a whole weekend. It's an experience you must have had. The pictures speak for themselves, the historical interested can google, I liked both aspects. I stopped in the middle to read my lonely planet app ;-). After this city I climbed up this hill which gives you a good look on the forbidden city. A tip from my wonderfull guide in China (the same from the great wall) actually I asked her to show me the city. But she said she would show me the summer palace afterwards. She did this as a friend not as a guide and that was fun, I always have said that you have to meet locals to experience a country truely well I did. Some customs I never would have found out on my own. I didn't know how to get to the Palace but the south gate was 12km away. With the pain of the Chinese wall in legs i couldn't walk it. So I rented a bike, of course because it's the thing you have to do in Beijing. But this was far away haha, and to the wrong east gate haha but I got there. Wow the summer palace is actually a huge park without a clear palace building. There were a lot of buildings, to many to see in a weekend. We got a lot, because she is fit as well and I was not that fast anymore we were a great team. I got back with the bike and she lived in the outer ring, so said goodbye and wanted to give her something for the great tour. But it's not the way they do this in China. No tips just be friendly and thankfull :). Off course I was. I had some food and a beer at the bar-site and finished Beijing with a good feeling.Read more

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  • Day24

    Day 24: A great dream came true :).

    August 13, 2016 in China ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    One of the wonders of the world, it sure is. If you can see it from space it's certainly big.... what makes it a wonder is the fact that when you are on it, it just looks like it never ends. Infinity is a wonder for me, though the wall is somewhere around 6500km long? That is massive, it's also very beautifull because it located on the top of the mountains and surrounded by forests. After arriving at the hotel the first thing I did was book this tour, you can get there yourself, but I wanted a specific part. A more historical original site were not that many tourists go to. The badaling part of the great wall. We got there by car with only 2 tourists a guide and a driver. Good start ;-). A traffic jam got us from ETA 9:20 to 10:40 I was afraid it would be to busy at the site. But no, just a handfull that was perfect. I got 1 hour and 20 minutes before we had to go, well it was less but I negotiated. What would you need that long for? I donno just want to explore as much as I can. I walked 2.5km up steep slopes and difficult stairs to try and get to the highest part. It was a close one, when I got there I had walked 1 hour so my journey back had to be twice the speed. Running down the great wall.... not the best idea but some parts were doable ;-). Great fun. Next stop was lunch, pretty good and finally the Peking Duck well slices if I am right ;-). Than a jade factory well the tours get cheaper when you add shops and after we went to the Emperors thomb, good that we had a guide else it be not that interesting after experiencing the great wall :). We had 2 shops the next was a Tea ceremony. Haha finally a tea ceremony, in my time in china last year I had experienced the way they lure you in to this ceremonie. I didn't believe it to be real and just a con. But is really is a ceremony with tea. Ok crossed that off the list. The night had a few hours left I walked to the party area again and had some food on my way. But actually the day couldn't get better here so I went back to share my experiences with the homefront :p.Read more

  • Day23

    Day 23: Whoop there it is,Train7 Beijing

    August 12, 2016 in China ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Ooooooh shiiiiiit ;-), ok and that is why I set my alarm before I went drinking :). I fell vast a sleep while I was trying to figure out what time I should get up, I woke up looking at my phone in my hand to find out I didn't even come to that point. The alarm thankfully woke me because I apparently already had set it haha. Taxi to the right trainstation (this one is farther away), through scans like all the other sheep on the station, succeeded again and was just in time to get in line to scan the ticket again at the waiting area and on we go the herd was running again to the platform. Actually this time was not as bad as the other 3 I had in China. How come? I have the fast train wooooohoooo a pleasant surprise because I didn't know. Just that it took 4.5 hours. I couldn't assume it and was afraid to be disappointed ;-). Fast is 311km/h so I have seen, that's a really nice last part of my moscow to beijing / peking express journey, hurray and hell yeah was my positive attitude before this fast train after one hour went totally nowhere for 2.5hours. The train suddenly stopt when all power went out, precisely next to another train so knew something was wrong. The hard part, no airco with so many chinese in one small space. They go really nervous really quick. I tried to sleep and save energy and oxigen ;-). Well I was used to long train rides by know. So I managed and was happy when I was in Beijing and strated searching for the hotel..... well don't do that is my advice, without google maps, a location and only the street in English writing... I tried 30 minutes, than asked a cab driver and 2 others. A man helped me explain to a driver and after that i called the hotel and quess what... spoke no english so i gave my phone to the driver. This was a noisy conversation. He knew were to go, but after 10minutes driving we had to call again. Circled around and call for a 3th time. Now the guy from the hotel came to the street. Yeah I made it after 2 hours from the train station. A beautifull hostel actually, simple but nice. A quick walk in the area was all the energy I had left in me. A tip: when you are tired even the fun things are less fun. So I went to bed early :). The adventure happens anyway so I am conent :).Read more

  • Day22

    Day 22: Train part 6 & my Xi'an army.

    August 11, 2016 in China ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    One less world wonder on my wish list :). I had the night train sharing the Cabin with Chinees guy Andy and his son. A good guy who made it a quest to learn as much english because english lessons are very expensive haha. When I woke up I was in Xi'an, a beautifull walled city and the train stopped at the North Gate. I walked the 3km to my hotel, which was far enough. I tried to check in but could get my room untill 12. I was not waiting on that, I freshened up in the womens toilet ( because the mens was way to small and dirty). I booked a tour to the Terra Cotta Army and off I go without backpacks, in a car and with 2 south africans who spoke the funny Dutch :). A special tour you think? Hell no, we got dropped at a parking lot where a touring car was waiting. Haha as suspected and full with tourists and 3 dutch guys. Great fun, 2 came from Apeldoorn, a lovely place in Holland a came to appreciaty a lot ;-). Ok enough chit chat, the tour was the normal Chinese Chaos and I think not that bad for standards here ;-) haha. The Terra Cotta army is wonderfull and beautifull. Found by a farmer digging a well who is now owner of the museum and rich. I shaked his hand if I must believe the guide. I will save the history lesson for wikipedia, but why this army is here and so big with all it's details is so fascinating. We saw a terra cotta factory which off course was a commercial stop and we ate really good with the whole group. A lot of fun with the dutchies and other nationality's. I have to mention Laura because she was solo also because her Australian friend overslept because of his hangover. I knew how this could happen because he was repeating the night with Laura and me again today hahaha. But after playing with my Army I went to the Wall of Xi'an to see if my Xi'an was in good shape and order. Actually Laura and I went together biking the Xian wall all around. Lot's of fun and especially nice to chat someone's ears off ;-) she tought the same thing haha. The sunset was beautifull, and quite romantic especially while we were talking about our lovers that way they were there as well :). "The day knew that night has fallen" and so did we. A quick shower and we meeted up again to have some food en drinks, the Australian bloke was hilarious, so much fun I had a great evening. I ran back at 2 o'clock while drinking water to sober up ;-).Read more

  • Day21

    Day 21: Yellow river, yellow river

    August 10, 2016 in China ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Here I found peace, inner peace and outer peace. I was getting a little anoyed by all these chinese staring at me. When they don't look at the ground (or not seeing clearly ;-)) and bump in to me every 20 meters, they see me from 20 meters away and keep staring even if you're passing by. Wow yeah I am blond, have blue eyes (which I hide behind sunglasses), am more white then yellow (which I hide behind a beard :p ) and am taller than all of them. Do we do that in the west as well? Ok so I was beginning to say Ni Hau to most of them... no respons, made the peace pesture (especially when they take photo's) no respons, ok different tactic an experienced master said once: attack is the best defence. So I decided to photo bomb their selfies before they even noticed me, hahaha that made me smile and laugh and so did they. That was the trick, smiling couldn't have been easier ;-). So I was starting to play with this and got a few nice selfies with this unique but lovely people. I also found a really nice place to " rest and be thankfull" it was a spot that was actually behind a closed fence. But a climber that I am could easily get around :). I made a nice selfie with my sleeve hung up in a tree, creativity came when the Inner Peace was in body and soul. About creativity, I don't know if I am a good writer, but what I learned is that I must write asap after the actual events. So therefore are some of my texts written a bit hasty, my appologies ;-). Short summary of the sightseeing today: crossed the yellow river 4 times but it didn't make the river yellow, I think it is more brownish haha. Ok up to the place that was so damn beautifull, White Pagoda Mountain, when climbing up it was already nice because all of the Chinese Pagoda's (roofed terras like things situated in nice gardens) but when climbing down the view was even better. See for yourself. One more thing about today, after the last bagage check with the knife, I changed the way of packing it ;-). Actually hiding it, but when I know that I am hiding something it also makes me nervous. So there I went into the station, bagage check in front, all the attention on me anyway, I was just keeping busy with my stuff and diverted the attention of employees by asking if the plastic bag also needed to go through.... I dumped my small bag with the load :p, first and threw my backpack partly on it. There were 4 more bags on the same square meter ;-). I got searched, not thorough, and could take my bags of directly when they came out. Not hanging around, I took my bags and what normally is an ok procedure and in these country's a more stressfull procedure was now an adrenaline rush. And that for something that was actually allowed earlier ;-). Ok kept my cool, walked to my waiting hall (more a people stall) and oops one more bagage check, but no line and no other bags. Same routine, and...... yeah did it again. I think I did a good thing to put it next to the laptop with my phone and battery chargers around it ;-). Hurray, and now to Xi'an and it's Terra cotta army :).Read more

  • Day20

    Day 20: Train part 5, to Lanzhou

    August 9, 2016 in China ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Damn that station at Urumqi is horror, I needed to pick up my backpack at one side and had to walk around a whole parking lot like area to get through ticket check and security. They found my rescue tool which was not allowed since it is a pocket knife. Well that was fucked up, I need that thing also because they don't serve cuttlery in these trains if they serve at all. And it was a gift, so I begged for the return of it and finally I had an Idea, if they could only wrap it up somehow and they had some taped so I helped doing that as much as possible to get my swiss tool back and it worked, wow. That was exiting. Then find your perron, there were none, only waiting rooms???? What the F.... ok it took me 20 minutes to find my waiting spotand shit it was crowded there. I was getting used to the pushing and overtake people at qeue's. So I came in front while dripping of sweat and only there I felt some breeze. The backpacks where getting heavy but after 20 minutes the gates opened finally. I was the first for my wagon, how I did it?? Being taller than all the rest helps ;-). I arrived in my Cabin and changed to fresh clothing, then this Chinese family came in. Really nice people, the girl spoke a little english and eager to learn to speak since she wants to become a lawyer. The father was Master in Chinese Medicne and the little boy was full of energy ;-). I had fun, I had been all by myself often enough anyway and this was good for my Chinese as well ;-). Also the girl really liked me, she made hearts and a sunflower for me, so kind and sweet. In the end she also said that she didn't want to say goodbye already. We had to, but there is always a borderless thing called internet :). So of I go into Lanzhou, walking became harder with all these obstacles on the road to my hotel. Had to climb and pull myself over some fences and through road blocks cause I didn't want to walk around it. 2.5km was nothing when I started the trip ;-) . I was happy that my room had a bath, lovely deep but very short for a Dutch guy ;-). Wanshang hau :).Read more

  • Day19

    Day 19: Ni-Hau Urumqi

    August 8, 2016 in China ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    After again 33 hours in the train which I am getting used at. It's not the fastest way of traveling but it's an adventure on itself, especially when you have contact with other traveling people. It's more fun and you feel like you are on a party boat or school trip. So leaving the train was harder this time and than you step outside the train station and you just know it: you are in China. Like falling in a hole of antz, and I had to look for one chinese man also. He found me first, how surprising ;-). Great guy, perfect English helped me with dropping my bag and gave me my tickets for the next 2 trips and even changed money. There I was set to check out Urumqi, the weather was bad, but it was nice to feel some rain after these dry days. It was interesting to see the Chinese part of town and the Islamic part go over in each other this city is famous for it. Time flew and I had to get my next train ;-) Bai- Bai Urumqi.Read more

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