Hard Sleepers=Hard sleeping
Shanghai Travel Blog› entry 10 of 39 › view all entries
So, we caught the sleeper train to Shanghai!
Our train was scheduled to leave at 3.15pm but we got the metro to the station after we checked out at midday as we didnt have anything else to do and it was way too hot to wander around aimlessly with our backpacks on.
We left on time, to start our 20 hour journey to Shanghai. We decided to abandon our beds for the time being, we would have plenty of time to spend in them later, and explored the rest of the carriages. Most were hard sleepers like ours, but some were soft sleepers, four bed cabins that were more comfortable, more spacious, had doors and personal tvs! One carriage also had first class, these were only two beds, an ensuite, and a chair to sit on! Along the walkway of each carriage there were various seats that a lot of people were taking advantage of. We met Nick, the guy we were talking to at the station, as we were walking along and we went down to the dining carriage (which could only hold 40 people strangely). We ordered drinks, a water for me and tea for Rachel, but had a bit of a problem when we went to pay as they didnt accept Hong Kong Dollars and we didnt have any Chinese Yuen on us *blushes in embaressment* and Nick had to pay on our behalf. it was good fortune that we had picked up some sandwiches and snacks before boarding the train, otherwise we would of been VERY hungry by the end.
We stayed in the dining carriage as long as we thought we could then headed back down the carriages and perched on a couple of free seats outside the soft sleepers. We sat there for quite a long time, watching the countryside whiz past before heading back to our cabin. Dinner consisted of a rather soggy, crustless sandwich, yum(!) Most people headed to bed fairly early, we tried to stay awake as long as possible but there are only so many fields you can watch before getting bored so we gave up and went to bed around 9.30pm. Now, think about our luck so far and you can guess what Im going to say next...........yep, you guessed it, we had a snorer in our cabin! A loud, abrasive snore that drilled into your head and couldnt even be drowned out completely when I put my headphones on and switched my music up. I managed to fall asleep as some point, and was woken at 6.30am by the bright sunlight streaming in and loud talking. It seems the Chinese are early risers *groans*. I stayed in bed, trying to will myself back to sleep but eventually gave up at 9 and climbed/fell down from my bed to eat a lovely breakfast of rock hard croissant.
We arrived in Shanghai at 11.15am, and after avoiding the mad exodus we disemarked the train and joined the pack of pushing and shoving people that were fighting their way towards customs. It took about 45mins of being squashed, trod on, having our ankles bashed with trolleys and being sweated on to make it to the front of the queue where our passports got a three second glance before being stamped and waved through. As we emerged from the station we were hit by a wave of incredible heat, it was very intense and made us sweat twice as hard as we were before (we later found out it was 100 degrees!). We found the nearest ATM where we got money, then headed for the metro system. We were a bit confused about which line to take so asked one of the station attendants. He pointed to a train which was filled to the gunnals with people and literally shoved me in the back to get on it! The metro system in Hong Kong and Shanghai are very good, large, clean carriages and air conditioned (thankfully).Thanks to my rubbish map reading skills we got a bit lost on the way to our hostel and spent some time wandering up and down several streets before working out where we were meant to be going and arrived at the hostel litterally dripping in sweat (it wasnt pretty).