Surely the best value accommodation we will get

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Mix Hostel Chengdu

Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Friday, April 23, 2010

Woke up to the man on the bottom bunks huge fart that woke all four of us up. Shortly afterwards at 06:00 the lights all came on and music started to blare out of the speakers as loud as you could imagine. Nothing nice just chinese pop that was highly irritating.

We spent the next few hours just chatting with Rorie and Emer, playing cards, and watching the beautiful views of paddy fields and other lovely scenery. Unfortunately we failed miserably as we had an absolute classic lookalike but got no picture, he was a chinese Donnie Brasco anyway complete with blue tracksuit.

We arrived in Chengdu at 2pm, another amazing brand new train station in another place we had never heard of that has an inner city population of 4.5 million and 16.5 million in the local municipality. China can at times just blow your mind. I have never seen as many tower cranes, over the course of the last few days I have seen construction on a scale that is mental. Basically whole cities with 30 - 40 tower cranes just being built in the middle of nowhere and 2 minutes later you will see another 20 or 30 tower cranes. Insane!

Anyway, the train station pick up was not there so we walked about 2.5km to the hostel following a tiny, not to scale, map. Bizarrely we walked past lots of brothels (at least that is what we presumed they were) with girls loitering in doorways and sex toys in the shop. With Chinas government, systems and secret police / informants we never imagined this kind of thing would go on in this society.

Anyway after 'the Irish' had stopped laughing at me having detailed conversations with several people to get directions, (all conversations were held in sign language) with me and chinese people talking and shouting in our own languages, we eventually found the hostel (near a space rocket statue how odd!). Remember how I said Erica would not be allowed to book any more accomodation, well, while Rorie and Emer had a nice private double room we were in our cheapest dorm room yet. Only a six person mixed dorm but it cost us 1.50 (pounds) a night. To put this value in context we also were able to take part in the evenings free chinese dumpling making and eating party (there were loads of them). So for 1.50 we had a bed, duvet, sheets, pillows, a curtain next to our bunk bed, a locker for valuables, dinner and as it turned out wine as well (although this is rice wine which is about 60% and costs about 60p per bottle (about 0.5L though we are carrying it round as its farily undrinkable).

After a late lunch Rorie, Erica and I headed off to another electronics city to check out more laptop action. Again we failed to purchase and after a little research and guidance from Steve in Hong Kong, there appears to be only one place to buy laptops....Hong Kong. As well as cheap purchase price and no tax, you get a warranty and dont have to worry about whether its a 'real fake' or a 'fake fake'. I still find it a little odd that despite the fact these computers are built in China which I guess isn't Hong Kong they are more expensive than at home to get what is probably a fake. Anyway big thanks to Stevie Z for the offer of a long luxurious stay in Hong Kong. We have pencilled in about 2 months to stay with Steve in Hong Kong and to recoup the losses against budget.  Cheers Steve!
Anyway the dumpling party was good fun however Emer drank too much rice wine and got wrecked while we all stuck to the Tsing tao (60p a 600ml bottle). Got chatting to a crazy Aussie who was making his way from Indonesia to Finland on a motorbike which he kept getting new reg plates for in each country (i.e. illegal) with no insurance or anything. He got hit by a blizzard the following day and took shelter in an abandoned building where we was so cold he burnt his note book, diary and all the remaining clothes he wasnt wearing as he thought he was going to die. Anyway the guy was nuts and appeared to find death hilarious.  He had come through various countries we are going through and took great joy in telling us the ways we may die (e.g. snakes and lots lots more).

Went to bed still full of a cold however Emer has a stash of vitamin C tablets which I'm eating for fun. Tomorrow we are going to Li Shan to see the worlds tallest Buddha.
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Stevie Z on

Only 2 months? But I've already signed you up for a 3 month sabbatical stitching St Michael y-fronts with a bunch of 12 year old's for that genuine dark satanic mill experience. It's like a holiday at Wigan Pier with mangos.

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