Trip Start Sep 21, 2007
Trip End Apr 10, 2009

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hello everybody!

It is time for a new update from my travels. Although I didn't do that much since the last entry I feel obliged to create a new entry. Especially since I am going to Myanmar soon and I will probably not be able to use a lot of internet, if at all.

In Yangshuo I had a nice New Year, with Liza & Elad and Amy amongst others. The fireworks were pretty good - much better than my last year's New Year in Madrid. And as one friend commented: I was able to see illegal Chinese fireworks legally!

My last full day in Yangshuo I did the beautiful Li River Walk, together with Amy. The weather was very good: blue skies and I could walk for a bit in my T-shirt. The scenery was amazing and we had a great time together.

The day after that I left Yangshuo for Guilin. In Guilin I tried to buy a sleeper train ticket to Zhanjiang, in which I succeeded after waiting in a queue for about 2 hours..... After that I walked a bit around Guilin to kill some time. At nighttime the train left for Zhanjiang.

I arrived in Zhanjiang the next morning, from where I caught the direct bus to Sanya. Sanya is on Hainan Island and the bus was also shipped on the ferry to Hainan. The bus ride was quite boring and took longer than I expected (12 hours) and I arrived at Sanya in the early evening. Here I booked a dorm room in the Blue Sky Youth Hostel at Dadonghai Beach and here I met Max again. With Max came also the two Lonely Planets he bought for me (thanks again Max!). Somehow that evening a group of great people (Dadonghai crew) was formed with whom we hang out pretty much the whole time in Sanya: Esther from the Netherlands, (another) Max from Finland, Rob from Sweden, Knut from Norway and Cornelius from Germany. The same night we went out to a place called Bar Street (many pubs and clubs clustered together). Here I met the Chinese girls Peony and Kim.

In one of the following days I tried to exchange Chinese yuan into US dollars (which I will need for Myanmar) and here I met by chance Peony again. At this bank I waited for about two hours and then I couldn't exchange money, so Peony guided me to the right bank, which was closing (but I managed to exchange money the following day). After that we went to see the sunset, which was beautiful. Later that night, we had dinner together with the Dadonghai crew and with Peony's help we ate great food.

Pretty much all the days in Sanya I hang out with the Dadonghai crew - with some new 'members' added as the days passed by - and Peony and sometimes her local friends Kim and Chrysy. A typical day was about sleeping in, relaxing at the beach, having great local dinners, and sometimes going out. I am normally not a beach person at all, but because of the very friendly hostel, the great people I met here, both foreigners and locals and of course the excellent weather, I managed to stay here for about 11 days!

The day Max and I left Sanya it was the first overcast day in Sanya, so I guess it was time to leave. We took a (expensive) hard sleeper train to Zhanjiang. In the morning we arrived at Zhanjiang Xi, a small train station in the middle of nowhere, from where we took a bus to Zhanjiang city. Here we met the Danish girls Mette and Dorothéa. After successfully buying hard sleeper tickets for the overnight train to Kunming we ate dumpling soup for breakfast. Time passed quickly while chatting and then we took the train to Kunming. It was a cheap train, which also meant it was dirtier and people where smoking in the carriage: bah!

The next morning we arrived in Kunming and the four of us took a taxi to a hostel. I have been in Kunming before (5 years ago), so there's not much new to see for me. Together with Max I went one day to the Bamboo Temple, which was quite nice.

I applied here for my Myanmar visa, which I got this morning. I also booked a (expensive) overland trip from the Chinese border town of Ruili to Lashio in Myanmar, which can only be done in a tour group and only in this direction. And my tour group consists of only one person: me. I will enter Myanmar on Thursday and from what I've heard there is either no internet available in Myanmar or it is either very slow and/or expensive, so I don't know if I will be able to sent any e-mails or make new updates on this travelogue. I already booked a flight from Yangon to Bangkok on the 21st of February, so from this day on I will be able again to use the internet for sure.

I am quite excited to go to Myanmar, which will mean new adventures in a beautiful country: you'll read about it soon after I'll arrive in Thailand.

For now, take care everybody and see/hear/write you later!


PS: Quite a few websites in China are blocked, for example Wikipedia and the BBC, but also Hyves for some reason. So people who have sent me messages via Hyves: I will answer them once I am in Thailand..... 
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