Luoyang to Pingyao
Luoyang Travel Blog› entry 38 of 111 › view all entries
Today was our check-out day and so we had to kill time in a fairly boring town until our train to Pingyao later that evening. We wandered around the local area and found a nice local restaurant which smelled great as we walked past. We sat down and looked at the menu on the wall, which was all in Chinese, but we recognised the symbol for noodles and figured that was a safe bet.
Better still, we thought, we’d eat what the guy behind us was eating since nothing on the menu was expensive, so even if it was the priciest choice we’d be able to afford it.
The waitress came over and we pointed at the dish the guy was eating and tried to order fried noodles with beef too, but they only served steamed noodles, so we settled for two of the original dish.
When it came it was really nice - a cold noodle dish but with meat, salad and vegetables. I enjoyed it until I found a dead fly in mine, which put me off a little, but Fab munched on. For two huge bowls of noodles plus one dead fly, we only paid 10RMB.
It was a pretty hot day and we didn’t really feel like doing too much, so found our way to a shopping centre/square and wandered around there for a while. We bought some little pancake type things filled with red bean paste, which were not bad, and continued wandering around. We came across a Arsenal store which amused us, and lots of cheap clothes stores selling the cutest dresses in the world.
(If you love pretty clothes, take the biggest suitcase you can find, get on a plane to China and buy as much as you can - worry about the excess baggage charge when you’re at home looking gorgeous in your new things! A dress will cost you no more than £5, but you can find them much cheaper - buy in bulk for big discounts!
Anyway we wandered back to the hotel en route past a dumpling place where we bought 6 dumplings for 5RMB.
Upon arriving at the hotel we got chatting to another couple who were also taking the same train as us. Their names were Lisa (from Australia) and Marco (from Germany) and they were taking a vacation from their jobs in Nanjing (Eastern China). We walked to the station with them where we met up with a Spanish guy who we’d met at the hostel the previous night.
We sat waiting for the train but there was a delay (second one since arriving in China). We tried to communicate with the people around us to find out how long the delay would be, using our various phrase books and mime, which caused much entertainment and fun.
We also discovered that everyone else was travelling to Pingyao directly unlike us, who had a ticket for Taiyuan and expected to change trains there to get to Pingyao. Stranger still, they arrived sooner than we would but on the same train… clearly we’d bought a ticket for the final destination expecting to change, when the same train passes the station we wanted!
After the train finally pulled into the station we rushed to the gate and joined the train ‘queue’ madness than ensued. We had agreed to meet for dinner with Lisa and Marco the following evening in Pingyao so said our goodbyes in expectation to see them there. We found our beds and the conductor came by shortly. We asked him if we could alight at Pingyao (helped by the Chinese characters one of the guys at the station had written for me (he could read pinyin)). The conductor nodded and indicated it was fine. What a relief!
We had bought some noodles for the train so we got those ready to eat. While waiting for them to cook, I took my antimalarial tablet. After eating our noodles we brushed our teeth ready for bed, and while brushing mine, I had a funny nauseus feeling in my stomach. I ignored it for a few moments but it was no good. I rushed to the bathroom and lost my dinner. Thing was, being on a train, it’s difficult to aim, with the moving around and so on, and so sadly, the hole in the ground was clean but the floor nearby was covered in regurgitated noodle. I cleared it up, brushed my teeth and went to sleep in the hopes we’d be alerted when the train arrived in Pingyao, not Taiyuan.
(Tip: ALWAYS carry tissues/toilet paper with you on Chinese trains, or anywhere in China for that matter!)