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Golmud to Urumqi China

Urumqi Travel Blog

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Another train trip

We then decided to stretch our legs and we walked several klms to the rail station with our packs.  We rocked up and got on a train straight away to Lanshou via Xinning, perfect timing. 

 

On the train we meet a group of Chinese guys who wanted to practice their English as they often do on the trains.  The trains are very sociable places.  The guys worked for a natural gas company and were going for a holiday themselves, all 30 of them from the company.  It is exhausting talking to them but rewarding as we both learnt some things about each others’ countries etc.  We cracked open packet noodles and instant coffee for the trip along with a heap of other snacks we bought from the supermarket earlier. 

 

Lanshou

 

We arrived at Lanshou 16 hours later.

Inside the train
  We got straight off the train, found the ticket counter and purchased a new ticket for
Urumqi, which left in only a few hours.  Good luck again.

 

The Lanshou train station is as big as the Brisbane airport and is not the same one we were at last time we were here.  Underneath the station were massive multi level underground shopping centres just as large as the Brisbane city mall. 

We got on the train for Urumqi with the usual crush from the locals in the rush for the cattle class seats, but we were going hard sleeper with is a pre-arranged bed, a bottom/middle/top/ on either side of the cabin.  We were in a cabin with a pair of neurotic want-to-be beauticians, one dressed in a jersey cow outfit from head to toe.

Outskirts of Golmud China
   This woman had recently been operated on for what we are not sure, but every time she laughed or moved she was in pain.  Our comedy would prove to come in handy here with this girl.  They had one suitcase full of clothes the other full of food, and for the entire time they ate, including but not limited to noodles, giant tomatoes, whole cucumbers, packets of sunflower seed (some birds will starve because of the amount of seed these girls ate), rose petals, giant cups of tea, dried meat, dried fruits and stuff we are not sure of just to name a few.

 

We arrived in Urumqi 24 hours later.

 

Realising a train would be leaving soon we jumped off the Urumqi train and were bowled over by the massive dust/wind storm that had just blown in as we arrived.

re-fueling
  Little Chinese guys were rolling down the station like tumble weed from a cheap spaghetti western. 

 

But we missed the connecting train to Kashgar by 10 minutes.  To their credit all the trains here run exactly on time.

 

So we walked out of the rail station and into the wind storm.  We walked the streets in an effort to find the bus station, but despite a number of Chinese giving us dud directions and a taxi driver took us to a hotel instead of a bus station, we eventually  located a Chinese chick who located a taxi driver who knew where we needed to go.  He took us across this small Chinese town of 8 or so million people and dropped us off outside what appeared to be a giant Muslim Mosque, complete with 1000's of Muslims standing around us and not a Chinaman in sight.  Where the hell were we?

 

 

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Another train trip
Another train trip
Inside the train
Inside the train
Outskirts of Golmud China
Outskirts of Golmud China
re-fueling
re-fueling
More of nothing China
More of nothing China
Urumqi
photo by: AndySD