Overnight Train to Guilin
Guilin Travel Blog› entry 88 of 136 › view all entries
Boarded the T38 train from Shenzhen to Guilin for a 13-hour journey in hard sleeper class (6 person berths). It was quite crowded but relatively comfortable especially since we slept through a major portion of the journey. I was in a berth with 4 other Chinese locals, but spent much of the early evening with my western companions (although did spend some time trying to chat with my bunkmates).
The train rolled out right on time at 17:51. Rolling through first Shenzhen and then Guangzhou on our way north I was amazed at the shear amount of new construction going on in these cities that we could see from the train. Large cranes dotted the landscape and new highrises were rising up around them.
Around 8 PM, Paul, Katie and I made our way to the dining car. At first we weren't sure we were going to stay, but finding it nearly empty (and hence mostly smoke-free), we decided to sit down and eat here instead of raiding our stashes of noodle bowls. I learned that they had been traveling around the world for a few years now, taking itinerant odd jobs along the way to fund their explorations. Now they were making their way slowly back home to London as they were expecting their first child in a few months time. They were welcome companions throughout my time in China.
After dinner we headed back to our train car where we chatted a bit more about what to expect in Yangshuo.
In the morning I was awoken around 5:15 AM by someone descended from the top compartment and stepped on my leg (I had the lower compartment). Seeing that our arrival was scheduled for 6:40 AM in Guilin I decided to get up and clean up as best as possible on the train. One thing to remember about the trains was that the toilet facilities closed any time the train was stopping for any reason. So I cleaned up using the sink and some wet-wipes, brushed my teeth using some of my bottled water, and then went and stood in the compartmentway to catch the early morning views.
Watched the sunrise as we moved into the karst country around Guilin. Once we disembarked from the train (pretty much on time) we still had another 1.5-hours by bus to Yangshuo. The scenery as we approached Yangshuo by bus continued to marvel and amaze but the hazy weather and bumpy roads made photos pretty much impossible to get. At about 8:30 AM or so we finally arrived in Yangshuo.