Hey, I’ve made it to Hohhot in Inner Mongolia, 呼和浩特 (pronounced huhehaote) in Mandarin (It’s in the north). It seems to be quite an interesting and hustling and bustling city, but I haven’t had much chance to check it out yet. Pretty soon Piotr and I will see about renting two bikes and biking around. Tomorrow we’ll take a bus out to the grasslands and see about going horseback riding.
The trip here was quite an experience. It was 11 hours and everything was sold out so we just go standing tickets. That means we were in the same car as everyone else, but we didn’t have seats. We talked with some of the local college students and shared seats with them for some of the time, but I ended up standing a fair amount of it. Oh, and it was from 8:45PM to 8AM, so I’m kind of tired now… :-p
Anyway, that’s all for now. We’re going to see about buying tickets for Urumqi tomorrow, in China’s far northwest.
Sigh, I had a nice post written up, but then the internet died and all was lost. I don’t feel like retyping it all so I’ll just summarize:
- We’re leaving today in a couple hours to Lanzhou. The ride will be 18 hours, but at least we got seats this time. Sadly the sleepers were sold out and the seats are hard and uncomfortable. I guess we’ll have plenty of chances to practice Chinese. I also broke down in Beijing and bought Congo by Michael Crighton. It was the cheapest American book there at 55Y but it was still really expensive (think of buying a $55 paperback in B&N back in the states). I had wanted to avoid English as much as possible on this trip, but it’s been nice having and is a very enjoyable read.
- Piotr and I went out into the grasslands yesterday and rode horses. It wasn’t quite as romantic as it sounds (we had a guide leading our horses by rope, and we were on kind of a path), but we could still pretend to be Genghis Khan leading our Cavalry army across the expanses. The horses mostly just walked but I said at one point, “快一点可以吗” (Kuai yidianr, keyi ma? [Can we go a little faster?]), and so the guide brought them up to a trot. It would have been fun to streak across the grasslands of Inner Mongolia on real Mongolian horses at full gallop, but this was pretty good still. We got a ton of pictures we’ll have to figure out how to upload at some point.
Alright, gotta go now. Off to Lanzhou and then Wulumuqi. Get commenting! There’s two already, and it can handle more. :-D
Thu, Aug 3, 2006 | For updates follow me on twitter