Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Dec 22, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Friday, September 28, 2007

October 1st is the People's Republic of China's National Day. It celebrates the creation of the PRC and all of China gets a week vacation to celebrate. What this means is that people all over China travel: they either return home to see their families or go sightseeing. General consensus DO NOT TRAVEL during National Week. We however, could not miss this opportunity to travel. So we decided to bear that huge crowds and inflated prices and travel to one of the top ten tourist spots in China: Mt. Huangshan. Following this we decided to travel to Hangzhou, which is supposed to be heaven on earth.

We left the Friday before the beginning of the Holiday in hopes to miss some of the major crowds climbing to the top of the mountain. I must say it was probably the best decision we made.

We decided to take the 11 hour over night train ride to Huangshan. We had the choice to either take the soft sleeper or the hard sleeper. The soft car has four beds per a room, a door the closes, hot water and basically more peace in quiet. While the hard bed is located with rows of other bunk beds with a narrow walkway down the middle. Jessica, Maria and I choose to spend the extra $9.00 (US) and pay for the luxury, while Alex choose the hard bed.

We made it to the train station two hours ahead of time, not sure what to expect we wanted to be prepared. We found a free spot on the ground and decided to play cards. Well, this was quite the spectacle as throughout the whole two hours we had groups of Chinese people surrounding us to watch us play. They would slowly creep up and the stand over our shoulders. Mothers would bring their children and point out the "Waiguoren" (foreigners) to them. It was quite the experience.

The train station was fairly calm, being that it was a Thursday evening and most people had to work the next day. However, when they say you are boarding your train at 11:39 they mean it. The gates openned and people started sprinting toward the train. We were boarded in moving in a mere five minnutes. Let me tell you, I was in awe.

We entered are room and met a Chinese woman who was also sleeping in the room. She was having a conversation with the attendent, who, from what I could gather, was asking her to leave the car and join another car so that we could have a private room. She however did not want to leave because the other car had a man sleeping in it. We quickly reassured the attendent that we did not need a private room. After he left we all passed out from exhaustion.
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