Day 163 CHINA!

Dongxing Travel Blog

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Finally I made it out of Vietnam and am now in China!  This is very exciting, I didn't think I would come to China on this trip, and after the week spent in Hanoi waiting for my visa, i am definitely looking forward to it.

I arrived in Dongxing today during a power outage.  Funny thing about that, I didn't notice.  I wasn't planning to stay the night in Dongxing, but life being unexpected and all, you don't always do what was planned.  So I crossed the border from Vietnam with no trouble and quickly found a nice motorbike taxi driver to take me to the bus station (I was hoping to take a train to Nanning, but i don't think they have one).  Unfortunately there is no ATM's at the bus station and all I have in my wallet is a few thousand Vietnamese Dong, about $7 US, which is just enough for the bus ticket but then would have nothing to give my new buddy, the taxi driver.  So we climb back on his bike, and head back to the main road for an ATM, but for some reason none of them work, a few of them don't even seem to be turned on, oh well, it is getting late and I don't really want to get to Nanning in the middle of the night, so I decided to stay here for the night.  I do a little sign language to show that I can't get money from the ATM and now want to go to a hotel rather than the bus station, so my buddy dropped me off at a hotel just a few blocks from the Bus station and helped me book a room for the night. 

No one working at the hotel speaks any English, to book the room they had to call someone who did, I wonder if they called Shanghai?  As I am checking in the woman on the phone tells me that she is sorry there is no power in the hotel but the whole town is suffering from a black out.  I figure out this must be why I can't use the ATM's.  I go to my room and get settled, learn my way around in case the power doesn't come back on before it gets dark and start to wish I hadn't lost my flashlight at Nora's.  But the power does come on after about an hour so I go out to get some money so I'll be able to pay for my room in the morning.  I still don't have any luck with the ATM's but figure they must not be working after a blackout, or perhaps they don't work at night... some of them seem to be turned off.  Now however I have to figure something out for dinner.  I just want something cheep from the street but have no local money.  I decided that the best option would be to find a taxi driver who will exchange a few Dong for some Renminbi which works out pretty well.  Even without being able to speak we can work out a decent exchange rate.  I don't think this would have been as hassle free in Vietnam. 

After a quick dinner of noodle soup (and a promise to James that I'll try Chinese fast food tomorrow) I go for a walk around town and see what I see.  I have a great time walking the streets, people look at me a with a little curiosity, but not much and go about there busy, no one approaches me on the street to try to sell me anything, I feel like a person, not a walking cash machine.  I like it here, I just hope the ATM's are working in the morning.

PS  Turns out the ATM didn't have any money in it, I had to wait for an hour while they put money in so I could take money out.  They wouldn't let me withdraw money at the window, had to use the ATM.  I did find one person in Dongxing who spoke English with me, he was shy at first, but eventually we became friends, we still email each other.
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photo by: Lil_Lea