First Day In Ping Yao

on Saturday, 22 May 2010

We arrive at Ping Yao train station at about 6:30am, first of all we try and book our train ticket the next day to Beijing. We are told that there are no sleeper beds available for the tomorrow or the day after that and we can only go by hard seat. We decide we have no choice and book the hard seat for the 23rd. We then get an electric rickshaw to the hostel that we have booked. The place is really nice, but the girls at reception speak next to no English. We spend most of the day chilling out as we had both not slept very well on the train. We do hire some bikes and have a quick look around town, visiting the draft bank, which was the first bank built in China as Ping Yao was like the wall street of China. We then decide hard seat is just too bad and that we could do with a few relaxed days. We speak to someone at another hotel and his English is much better and he kindly writes down in Chinese the options so we can go to the train station and find a sleeper train. There is only one bed for the 25th, but there are lots for the 26th, so we book two tickets leaving in the evening and arriving the morning of the 27th where we have our plane to Japan at 3pm, so are cutting it a little fine.

Later that afternoon, we meet a couple of a girls Amanda and Fabueolo, a Canadian and Brazilian, who are English teachers in Beijing, we seem to be meeting a lot of English teachers out here. We have a few beers and some food in our hotel and play a bit of cards, before deciding to cycle to a nearby bar. The bar was completely empty, but we decide to just have one and we play some dice games, then cycle back to the hotel, with the girls being a little worse for wear.