A Travellerspoint blog

October 2008

Hong Kong

....at last

sunny 28 °C
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Hello Everyone!

Well we survived our epic train journey....just!! I think we can safely say that we have never been so bored, EVER!!! We set off at 8.30am from Xi'an with our bag of day old subway sandwiches because the food on the train is just a bit toooo chinese haha and could have been anything! at least this time we got a bottom and middle bunk so we had room to sit upright on the bottom one...the chinese guys were fine again pretty much the same as the previous train. We arrived in Guangzhou at 11.30am the next day!!! feeling full on minging and going from cold Xi'an to 29 degrees in Guangzhou we were sweating cobs! we had to then get the subway to the other guangzhou station and book on to a train to hong kong which was easy enough and so 28 hours after leaving Xi'an we arrived here!!

the new hostel is probably the best one we have been in, in terms of room and facilities we have air con, a fan, a fridge, tv and dvd player and an ensuit bathroom. Space is limited in hong kong so its fairly tiny but we're not complaining!! The first night we were out walking around having a look round the local area and we walked straight in to Jason and Louise the couple we had met in Beijing!! out of 10million people that was a pretty amazing coincidence. So we went with them up to victoria peak to get a panoramic view of the whole of hong kong at night...1 view that we will never forget!!! (pics to follow soon) and had a couple of extortionately expensive beers (compared with china) down by the harbour which was a good first night. Obviously yesterday we hit the shops...well the fakes market in search of chanel bags for JoJo and xmas prezzies for some of you guys back home haha! it is fair to say we are expert hagglers and got everything for at least half price :) we love Hong Kong!!

Anyway we are in need of food and we are going to meet one of my friends from school who happens to be here at the same time!! although i doubt we'll be up to anything too taxing after we met another couple last night and dug in to some free cocktails haha :)

Love Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 20:22 Archived in Hong Kong Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Trains Trains and more bloody trains!!

sunny 15 °C
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Afternoon from Xi'an guys n gals! (well, evening for us!)

We have FREE internet in the new hostel, happy days, so a swift update for you all!

We left the hostel in Beijing last night in the POURING rain around 8pm and headed to flag down a taxi...thinking because there are so many of them here in china that it was going to be a breeze! ha! nope! we were met by a bunch of soaked to the bones americans who claimed to have been waiting for 2 hours! eeek! also we didnt realize it was raining outside so our waterproofs were well and truly packed away haha. We ditched the yanks and headed up the road to steal any taxi with its light on before they got their chubby hands on it. After about 15mins and a foot of rain and me standing in the middle of the road we got one! RESULT....spoke too soon again haha i showed the driver the train ticket he said ok and we were away...in the wrong direction but i gave him the benefit of the doubt after all taxi drivers should know the way to the biggest train station in Beijing (and biggest iv ever seen) ...wrong! he turned and asked to see the ticket again after 10mins. Horture?? he asked ..Yes mate its a f*****g train ticket!! we got an oooh in chinese and he jumps out of the taxi at a green light with the ticket and in to another unsuspecting taxi next to us! seems we should have got that one after they gave the guy perfect directions!

we made the train with half an hour to spare and our previous worries about the hard sleepers seemed a bit daft! even though we were the only westerners in sight and possibly on the train it was a breeze. we found the compartment and pushed our way through to our two middle bunks out of 3 on each side! no doors either haha! but the chinese guys in there with us were all smiles and "IN-ger-lisha??" haha i attempted a conversation through the phrase book with the woman above me but we hit a snag and even after thrusting her mobile at me to talk broken in-ger-lisha with her husband we couldnt figure out what either was saying!! i think i slept better than jo in the end but we were both in decent condition but dying to get a shower and a decent toilet (after jo came back whiter than a sheep with horror stories of the excrement covered squat hole :S) and some antisan for the million and one mozzy bites i collected on the train, compared with Jo's 0 i might add!

Xi'an is nice! and terracotta warriors were AMAZING!! pictures will follow but we have reached the monthly upload limit already :(

we have changed route to hong kong now due to the time constraints and we now head out to Guangzou on saturday morning on an EPIC 26hr train!! arriving on sunday morning and hoping to immediately hop the border to hong kong from there (another 2hr train)

then i think a major chill out will occur after shopping for fake handbags ive just been informed :) haha

Much love Rob and JOJO xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 05:54 Archived in China Tagged train_travel Comments (1)

Forbidden City and The Great Wall

sunny 20 °C
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Hi everyone! its Rob this time so no text speak haha! Well the past couple of days have been interesting!! on monday we managed to sleep quite well and had a bit of a lie in and in the afternoon we headed over to the forbidden City...its MASSIVE!!! we had no where near enough time to see everything in there (its about 4 square km) but what we got round was pretty amazing. heres a link that will tell you more if you have never heard of it... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbidden_City just click it (NO VIRUSES grandad!! haha) unfortunately since the weekend everyone in Beijing has gone back to work so the smog has decended once again!! its unbelievable and its not that great for our photos :( nevermind! the photos we did take here are probably not even 0.1% of the buildings in the whole complex! however they are pretty samey which would be the downside of it. 100_0089.jpg 100_0093.jpg there are these huge golden statues all over the place and huge cauldrens that were filled with water incase of a fire...since everything is wooden!! 100_0096.jpg. That evening we ate in the hostel which was really good, cheap chinese food and booked our trip for the great wall starting at 6am tuesday morning! Sods law ruled and we got NO sleep!!!! well i think we eventually dropped off around 3.30am just in time for the 5am alarm!! grrrrr. not the best preparation for a 10km trek! 100_0115.jpg
BUT even with no sleep and no food in jo's case (and yes she did learn the moral from the story) the great wall was every bit as spectacular as we thought it would be!100_0118.jpg100_0120.jpg however the walk was no where near as easy as we thought haha!! we learnt afterwards that even though the section we went to was the most scenic it was also the steepest!! 100_0124.jpg so there was at least 6 of these really steep sections for us to walk up coupled with the crumbling terrain and equally as steep decents the other side it made for tough going!! Even for someone like me ;o) hahaha. The section we did was no where near as touristy as the section closer to beijing...we travelled 3hrs out of beijing to get there! this meant it hadnt been rebuilt in the last 400 years so some of it was almost in ruins! but it also meant we were'nt over run by loud americans or over run by chinese souvineer sellers (some did follow us for 3 miles though only to get a big NO haha ah well they shud have asked at the start ey?!) so the legs are aching today but thankfully we got LOADS of sleep!
Today we are having a chillaxing day in and around the hostel...we packed up this morning but paid a little extra so we could keep the room until we leave for the overnight train this evening which was handy!! I also just got an email from the hostel in Xi'an offering us a free pickup from the trainstation in the morning which was totally unexpected but from wot iv heard about these noisey trains could be a bit of a godsend!! im sure we'll have loads to tell you about the train and Xi'an in the coming entrys!!

Love to you all..... Rob and Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by rob_harvs 01:40 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

China!!

sunny 20 °C

Hey everyone!!
well were in frickin china!!lol very interesting and getting starred at ALOT ..i guess it's because im a celebriteee dont no why they're starring at rob tho!! have been to tiannamen square and olympic stadium both AMAZIN headin to forbidden city today and great wall tomorro on a four hour walk!!! :( (10k) obviously not my idea! went to a night market the other night and found sea horses on sticks which they proceeded to eat!!! not impressed! leavinf for xian on wed night on the overnight train! will be interesting on a hard sleeper as iv already had to drug rob with valium as he couldn't sleep on the first night!! hostel is good basic and communal showering!! zo you would NOT be impressed- no baths!! met a couple from stockport y'day and headed to stadium and out for t and drinks with them on a roof top which was really nice.. hope your all not missin us to much??!! must go times running out and im getting hungry maybe some seahorses are in order!! will update again soon and will try get on facebook later if rob lets me!! lots of love JOOO and rob xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Posted by rob_harvs 22:15 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Stage 1 complete

rain 12 °C
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Hurray!! i have arrived safe and sound in rainy northern ireland. Jo has given me this new picture of us just in case you all forget what we look like haha! I better go get her organized anyway.... it may take a while!! n276701802..97_2660.jpg

Posted by rob_harvs 05:16 Archived in Northern Ireland Tagged packing Comments (1)

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