Mon 9. Kunming
Went for a ride round Kunming today, It’s so different here from India and Bangladesh, there’s so many hi rise buildings, the apartment I’m staying in, is on the 22nd floor and there’s another 10 more floors above me! Hope the lifts don’t break down! All the buildings seem to have light displays on them at night, making for a very bright and colourful place, I noticed it on the flight in yesterday also.
The people seem to be a lot more reserved, they don’t stop and stare like in India and Bangladesh, they don’t tend to make eye contact and there certainly not as inquisitive or maybe that’s just me! The roads are so quiet, well not really, but compared with Dhaka it’s like riding in the countryside! The smells as you walk around, it’s like being in a chinese restaurant permanently and the taste of the food is gorgeous, it’s nothing like the chinese food at home.
It’s so cheap here and such a variety of food, lunch cost about 60p for beef, chicken and rice and dinner tonight cost £1 for some noodles. I just haven’t got a clue what I’m ordering as all the signs are in chinese and there’s no english anywhere in the restaurants and nobody speaks a word of english either. The only english I’ve seen since being here is on road signs which is good, apart from my maps all in chinese! Had to take photos of the road sings then study the map to try and marry up the chinese characters, got it sussed now!
Going to have to learn how to use chopsticks, or I’ll be going hungry! Think I managed ok tonight with a bit of coaching from some locals and the chef!
Dhaka to Kunming, China by air.
Got charged a lot more for the taxi from the hotel to the airport than I was told the other day, something to do with a strike and the traffic would be really bad, it wasn’t! Got there really quickly, personally I think it’s people making there own bit on top!
Got to the airport in plenty of time, rather be there early than have a last minute rush. Had the normal argument about the bike they were going to charge me $240, got them down to $35, apparently because I’m a tourist! Got charged a lot more for the taxi from the hotel to the airport than I was told the other day, something to do with a strike and the traffic would be really bad, it wasn’t! Got there really quickly, personally I think it’s people making there own bit on top!
Got to the airport in plenty of time, rather be there early than have a last minute rush.
Flight was delayed for 2 hours, bit of a pain, but hey ho. Not to bad a flight apart from at one point, there was an announcement in Chinese, being a Chinese airline, then in English “please could you remain in your seats and fasten your seatbelts, we have a little problem!) I looked around to see the stewardesses faces and everybody else to see if they looked worried but they didn’t and then shortly after an automated announcement came on saying it was turbulence!
Was met at the airport by the people who run the apartment I’m staying in so that was easy. First impressions of China, it’s a lot brighter with street lights, not so busy, but then it is quit late, a lot cleaner no piles of rubbish at the side of the roads and quite cold!
Last full day today. Breakfast seems to be getting less each morning in the hotel, no juice today until I asked, they then sent somebody out for some, the other day there wasn’t any butter, when I asked for some they brought a bowl out which was frozen solid, you could just about make out the butter in the frozen water, but there was no chance of getting it for an hour or so!
Spent most of the day on the computer again, the internet is so slow it takes forever to do anything.
Went to my local restaurant tonight for the last time and had roti and chicken, which has been my staple diet since I’ve been here. When I say restaurant, don’t think for one minute that it’s a like a restaurant we have back home with pretty table clothes, nice tables and chairs and a varied selection of meals and desserts. It has plastic covers on the table so locals can just spit there chicken bones straight out onto the table, it’s lit with bright fluorescent lights and the menu is rice, chicken, vegetables, roti, sometimes beef and fish, but the foods good and the people are very friendly and always trying to help you. I’ll miss the roti and chicken, onto Chinese food now!
Got up and had breakfast, then packed the bike away. Seem to be getting quite good at it now, it was all done and boxed up in just over an hour, mind you it might have had something to do with being watched by so many people, I even impressed myself, looking as if I knew what I was doing! Slightly worrying that I was in quite a lot of pain with my back/leg afterwards, but after taking some pain killers I was ok.
Nothing much else to say about today really, being a Friday, it’s a bit like our Sunday, most places are closed, couldn’t even go and sit at my favourite tea stall as it was closed! Spent most of the day researching future trips, even though I’m still on this one and watched Avatar on the tv in the evening.