A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Chloe Bailey


The train journey and first day in Pingyao.

Our train last night arrived early at 23.00 and departed the station at 23.20. We said goodnight to the french ladies we had just eaten with and went to find our bunks - 003 and 004. "021, 015, 009..." we heard the noise at the last lot of bunks and I knew thats where we would be. I heard mum "Oh for god sake this better not be ours!" I could only laugh inside- YUP IT'S OURS! Due to mums back I tried reaching to place our bags on a top rail but thankfully a man helped me and got them up, he then asked to see our tickets so he could help us 'find our bunks' - even though we had already found them. We think they just like to help foreigners and practice their English but they're usually very kind. We had the 2 middle bunks out of the 6, we were very tired as we had little sleep on the train the previous night but the thought of a hot shower the next day was so exciting! We cimbed up to our bunks, the people were quiet (well i say quiet but i mean not shouting like before, still pretty loud) the bunks under us were empty even though we were told the train would be full! We put our heads down waiting for the lights to be switched off- waited.... waited.... Then about 4 girls aged about 19 walked in and sat on the bunks below shouting a crunching on sun flower seeds! GREAT! About 10 minutes later the lights were turned off but they girls continued to chat (probably having a gossip the same as I would be with my friends. I just stuck in my head phones and listened to some music as i drifted off.

I was woken up by the usual poke in the foot which made jump and nearly kicked the guard in the face, she looked at our tickets and kept speaking to us in chinese which we obviously could not understand but just nodded and agreed. It was 6:30 and we were told the train would arrive at 7am so we had plenty of time to get our stuff together. The train started to slow down, we were told "you stop, naw it you stop!" so we put our shoes and coats on and another man got our bags down for us. Its was only 6.40 so the train arrived early. We tried opening the door to get off but it was locked so we walked to the next one- Locked! A guard came over with a panicked face "neo koi che geo foi" Huh? "what you stop?"
''Pingyao we answered but the doors locked?''
She replied in more chinese and i could see the train began to move before mum did "I think we've missed our stop. The trains moving" I told her "What?" Typical really.
The man who help get our stuff down just before came over but spoke little English (more than the guards) they all tried to explain that we had missed our stop- Yes we know! Thankfully the nice guys wife spoke English so he called her and we were able to talk to her over the phone and she told us they would get us on another train to get back for free and the next stop is 15 minutes away. Yay! We arrived and they got us straight onto another train and within 20 minutes we had reached Pingyao. The train staff were all very helpful too.

It was about 7:20 and there was a lot of snow! Brrrr didn't expect that! We went outside the station and got a taxi to our pre booked hostel. Whilst in the taxi we got a quick look at the ancient city and the city wall that was built in 771 BC! Wow!

We decided to book the cheapest room- a 7 bed dorm for less than 2 pounds each! We checked in and were showed to our dorm, there were 4 others in there still in bed so we quietly got into ours to get some more sleep. I woke up at about 11am! There were still 3 others in bed- heavy night? I woke mum up and we got our stuff ready to go down to the bathrooms, i saw mum shuffling through bag after bag so went over to see what she was doing "I think I've left the shampoo and conditioner....." Typical Mother!! Luckily we had some sachets of shampoo that were taken from a previous hotel so we went down for our 'well looked forward to' shower. We walked into the mixed shower block and there were 2 showers, the floors in there were FREEZING. Actually, the whole room was freezing! Thank god the water was hot!

After we went back up to our dorm to find everyone still sleeping so we had to be quiet, we ditched our stuff and went back down to get some breakfast. It was 12.30pm after all this and it was cold inside so we didn't want to know what it would be like outside! We booked an extra night here so we can have a look round tomorrow instead! We've had a kind of lazy day on the internet and drinking hot tea its now 18.00 and to what we know of there are still 2 people in bed- one got up about 2 hours ago. We've heard a lot of coughing and sneezing and just hope it really was a late night out and not that everyones ill! We've found a nice restaurant online that we are going to go for dinner as it said they have good vegetarian food! Ciao for now!

Posted by Chloe Bailey 08:09 Archived in China Tagged hostel wall ancient journey mother_daughter blog pingyao world_trip back_packing yuman chloe_bailey flash_packing Comments (0)

Never been thrown out of a tuk tuk.

The other day Nana and Ellen arrived in Bangkok to travel with us for the next 3 weeks. We were so excited to see them and had lots of things planned to do.

We headed off to the airport to pick them up but because we missed the train we had to wait for the next one (we were so sure we would be late and just find them sat on a bench somewhere looking slightly disappointed we weren't there to greet them!) Luckily we got there just as people were coming out "this must be their plane" mum says.... 10 minutes later "they will be out a minute now".... 15 minutes later "Shit, we're stood at the wrong arrival gate." We ran though the airport with our sign that said 'Nana Bailey +Ellen (boozer) Blackwood and found the right place, we looked around but couldn't see them anywhere! Just as we were about to ask someone if their flight had come through they walked on out with big smiles on their face (but looked very tired!).

We got them back to the hotel, cracked open a bottle of champagne and dragged them down to Khao San Road for a 'few' drinks. It reached about 4am and I admit I had a few too many buckets and nana was tired so we headed back.

The next day mum woke me up at 8am as we had to go and apply for our Chinese visa (not good after the night we had). After the worst half hour taxi ride I have ever had we got to the embassy only to find out it was closed. Grrrr 'closed on the 5th and the 12th' just our bloody luck!

We got back to hotel and I clambered back into bed. Mum went to the doctors to get her mosquito bite seen to and the rest of us woke up about 2pm so we didn't do much that day and after a wonder round that evening we headed back for an early night.

Yesterday we had another late night but vowed to be up in the morning to do a day trip.

Today we planned to get a train to the monkey temple but didn't get to the train station until 12.30pm which meant we would of had only a few hours to spend their- plus we were sick of being ripped off so decided not go. We barted outside with the tuk tuk drivers until one gave in and said he'd take us to our hotel for the price we offered. He was an old bloke who always had a fag in his mouth and drove REALLY slowly, instead of over taking the traffic like all the other tuk tuks did he decided to sit in and wait patiently- we have no time for patience today! Nana and I started to huff and puff 'are you going to go or just sit here?!' this went on for about 15 minutes before he suddenly pulled out of the line of traffic (wahoo were off!) or maybe not... He pulled into the curb and pointed his fingered to the pavement and shouted 'OUT'. We climbed out giggling and he zoomed off after checking my empty bottle on water onto the pavement. I can honestly say I never expected to come to Thailand and get chucked out of a tuk tuk.

After this crazy experience we decided to hire free bicycles to get round the major temples in the city- it was so much fun! Weaving in and out of the traffic with near misses- it has been a highlight so far and we will be hiring them again in other places! So thank you mr tuk tuk driver for without your strop we would never of found these bikes! Kob kun kaa!

Posted by Chloe Bailey 07:58 Archived in Thailand Tagged travel bangkok tuk_tuk journey mother_daughter blog world_trip back_packing chloe_bailey flash_packing Comments (0)

Porn star set.

First impressions of Bangkok...

sunny 32 °C

So after our flight on the most uncomfortable seats ever made we finally arrived in Bangkok at 2.30am and couldn't wait to put our heads down. We almost got ripped off by people saying they would get us a really cheap taxi- 800 baht but thanks to mums research before hand and the experiences in India we continued walking and took a taxi for 350 baht.
So we told our driver where to go and he nodded and made it very clear he knew exactly where he was going- yeah right! We were driving round for 2 hours in search of discovery lodge- coincidental name as it really was a discovery being placed in the middle of a multistory car park! We were greeting by 2 fat blokes in greasy vests who stank of booze but we didn't care we just wanted to sleep. He showed us our room (if that's what you call it) I looked at mum and she gave me a 'what the bloody hell have you got us into' look (it was my turn to choose the accommodation- I went for one of the cheapest..... oops).

The room was spacious with a bunk bed and a noisy fridge and then there was the suprise through another door was our own manky bathroom with free mouldy curtain. But the best bit was to come, another room as well, going in there was a huge bed encased with a wooden mantels and pleather! Then above the bed was a hanging light hidden behind net curtain with a large mirror as the headboard. On the adjacent walls to the bed were more mirrors. Above the bed, yes you've guessed it, another mirror but this one had grubby fingers and hand prints so god knows what had been going on before we had the room. First impressions? We are in a porn star set in the middle of Bangkok. I tought it was a laugh until mum wondered if the mirrors were two way and the greasy fat blokes might be sat watching us worse still videoing! There was a nice glass block wall between the bathroom and the bed, yuk!

We managed to get some sleep until mum woke me up saying she was hot, I wasn't cause I had the fan on me ha! In the morning we left and wondered how long it would take them to see our 'Chloe and Vicky were here' drawn into the thick dust on the tv screen.

Posted by Chloe Bailey 22:15 Archived in Thailand Tagged bangkok ex_porn_star_movie_set Comments (0)

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