Ticket 2 Lhasa

Golmud Travel Blog

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05:30 am; The sleeper bus from Dunhuang arrives in Golmud. The driver must be living in Golmud, as he is way too early by at least one hour, there goes my planning by ditching my stuff in the left luggage in the train station. At this hour everything is closed. Fortunately for me there is always a "helping" Chinese who speaks a little more than; "Hello" and is eager to earn some extra Yuan. My "helping" Chinese came in the form of a taxi driver. He can help me to get me a ticket to Lhasa so he takes me to the other side of town to a hotel that can hook me up with a bus or jeep to Lhasa. A bus or a jeep is not the same as a train I explain to him so he takes me to the train station again at the other side of town.

06:00 am; I crash into a very cheap Binguan opposite the train station and wait till the ticket office opens.

09:00 am; I have to walk like 200m from my very cheap Binguan to the train station and in these 200m I have to shed off several "attacks" from bus drivers who are keen to take me to Lhasa. Ahh safe, the train ticket office. i walk up to the counter and ask if she speaks English she points to me that I have to wait for someone else.

09:30 am; The English speaking ticket lady arrives and I ask for a hard sleeper ticket. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows me a monstrous big certificate, the dreaded FIT permit sold only by CITS. I decide to play stupid and look at her, as I don't understand. Magically she shoves a little book under my nose and opens it and there it is written in Chinese and English; please buy tourist certificate.

09:45 am; I arrive at the nearest CITS location but it is closed so I head to the next location at the long distance bus station to Lhasa.

10:15 am; The friendly lady of the CITS is willing to give me a permit if I will part of 1700 of my Yuans. That's too much for me so I use the escape clause and go to the Internet cafe and mail Martin if he can give his contact details of a certain yet mysterious Mr. Niu. Luckily for me Martin is online and I get the information and give this Mr. Niu a call and explain him my little problem.

07:25 pm; I take the train to Xining.

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photo by: seahlk