Airport Worries

Chengdu Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 22 › view all entries
Our hotel for this leg of the journey is Wenjun Mansion.

          At 9:25 a.m. we said our goodbyes to Ross as he dropped us off at the Lhasa airport to catch an 11 o'clock flight back to Chengdu. We faced an endless line of travelers that wrapped back and forth four times. This is the line we were forced to wait in because travelers were required to go through the first of two security checks before even entering the building. At ten o'clock we had not yet reached the half way point, and anxiety was quickly growing. We knew that a half hour before a flight's departure, Air China discontinues check-ins for the flight. We were three fourths of the way through the long line when my watch read ten thirty.

We walked along this gorgeous river in search of an ATM.
We were sure we were going to miss our flight, and we didn't know what to do about it. Our tour guide had already left and no one around us spoke English. Since there was not much we could do about anything, we continued to wait in line, hoping that things would work out well for us, somehow. Perhaps there were multiple flights to Chengdu each day and it was just a matter of catching a different one. At 10:55 we finally made it to the security checkpoint where they ran a sensor up and down our body, asked us to empty all of our pockets, and scanned our bags. After showing the guards our passports and e-tickets, they let us through. We timidly walked up to the check-in counter, handed over our passports and E-tickets, and waited to be told that we were crazy to even think that we could still make the flight, since the clock now read 11:00.
Jason is leaving the Shamrock, and Irish Pub in Chengdu.
Surprisingly, the lady behind the counter took our luggage and handed us boarding passes. We took off and ran up the stairs to the gates, trying not to get our hopes up. Before we could reach our gate, we had to wait in line for a second security check, which seemed to last a lifetime. Of course, our carry-on bag was chosen to be searched, so we had to move to the side as a guard emptied the entire contents of the bag and packed it all back up again.

          It was 11:15 when we dashed out of the security checkpoint to our gate, where we saw our plane still sitting. We were able to walk out to the plane with another couple who was running a bit behind as well. We soon learned that the plane was late arriving in Lhasa, so we didn't actually take off until 12:30. I guess Buddha was smiling down on us today!

          When we reached our hotel in Chengdu, we decided that we needed to find an ATM and pull out some more money to pay for our next train ride and hotel in Xi'an. There are very few places that take foreign credit cards in China, so we have found that we always need to have a lot of cash on hand. After walking around for about an hour, we finally found an ATM machine that would accept our cards, so we pulled out some cash and faced the heat as we headed back to the hotel.

         Once at our hotel, we purchased train tickets for the next leg of our journey and went to our room for showers. After cleaning up, we decided to try an Irish pub, called Shamrock, that we had heard about at our previous hostel. We had a good evening at the pub, but we had to laugh because here we were, two Americans in China, eating Mexican food in an Irish pub, served by Chinese men.

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Our hotel for this leg of the jour…
Our hotel for this leg of the jou…
We walked along this gorgeous rive…
We walked along this gorgeous riv…
Jason is leaving the Shamrock, and…
Jason is leaving the Shamrock, an…
photo by: spocklogic