I'm Going Places...
With the quick announcement Monday that I was already on vacation for a few days, I thought that I should make a quick get-away too before someone changed their minds. I looked at getting train tickets to the South, but it's a real hassle because everyone and their pet Hello Kitty is going home for the Spring Festival. Imagine how busy the trains are in a developing country of 1.3 billion when everyone wants to go home! That's a lot of people to move.
I checked E-long.net for flights, and they had a sale on for the city I wanted to go to, and for the day I wanted to leave. The ticket with taxes, train to Beijing, and bus to airport will cost as much as a soft sleeper -but the flight is only 2.5 hours instead of 24 hours on a train. Between now and Friday, I'll just chill in Beijing.
The grand scheme is that YoungSuk (a Korean teacher) and I will fly to Chengdu on Friday for a few days (check out the pandas, the tea houses, maybe the world's largest Buddha), then go down to Kunming (capital of Yunnan province, where most of China's ethnic minorities live), before going to see the 'beautiful sceneries' in Guilin and Yangshuo (you know, those rounded mountains shrouded in mist with the water buffalo in front).
From there we'll probably part ways as I head on to Guangzhou to visit Adeline (whom I met in France) and then hopefully onto the East-meets-West of HongKong. Next the plan is to head north and meet Marie (a French prof) in Hangzhou (heaven on earth according to an old Chinese tourist advertisement) or in Shanghai (new China) where we'll hopefully spend Chinese New Year before heading north again.
A whirlwind trip of the South, if things go as planned, but I think I can make it in four weeks. Lots of adventure awaits, I'm sure.