By train from Beijing to Kunming on standing tickets

By train from Beijing to Kunming on standing tickets

China, February 2013.

By train from Beijing to Kunming on standing tickets. The toilets are locked nonstop. People smoke where ever they wish to and every couple of minutes a lady pushes her food cart through the narrow aisle. The air smells like noodlesoup, cigarettes and farts. And in the middle: Annika and Roberto traveling by train from Beijing to Kunming on standing tickets…

We are cycling tourists, but that does not mean that we do not use public transport if necessary. In China our visas were about to expire when we were in Kunming, Yunnan, but Roberto needed to get a new passport from the Mexican Embassy in Bejing, 36 train hours away. It was early in the year and we went to buy tickets early because we knew that the trains were going to be very full with the Chinese New Year near. The lady at the counter sold us two tickets to Beijing.  “Come back for your return tickets ten days before departure day, because we don’t sell tickets any earlier than that”, she told us. So we came back. Early in the morning, just to be on the safe side. The lady was not there but another lady told us that all tickets were sold out already. Same for the following day and the one after (11 and 12 days to go). Untill today we have not solved this mystery, but what we knew was that we had to return somehow. Our only chance were two standing tickets.

This is how 36 hours standing in a Chinese train feel like.

More about our time in Beijing in our blog entry.

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  1. Bill says:

    Next time buy a plane ticket.

  2. Pete says:

    Enjoyed the video. I live in China. Reminds me of some of my own experiences. I had to do two 36 hour trips in a week once, that wasn’t fun!

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