Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  ,
Sunday, October 16, 2005

A very early start at 5:30 ready to leave at 6 for the hydrofoil terminal. No taxi's outside the train station (amazingly!) so we walked down the street for a few 100 metres before managing to locate one. Showed him the ticket and told him what the girl last night had said but he still ended up taking us to where we booked the tickets yesterday.

Sat around confused at the ferry terminal for a very boring hour before being herded onto a bus at 7am. Didn't even know we had to get a bus! An hour later, and just passed the dam we arrived at the hydrofoil terminal. To get onto the boat we had to take a stupid lift that cost 1 yuan when I would quite happily have walked. The boat ride was great and pretty damn fast. It was really smooth and the scenery of the 3 gorges was fantastic.

After 5 hours we were told to get off. Having been told it was an 11 hour journey we were more than a little confused. Turns out we had to transfer onto another bus for the remaining 5 hours! The LP neglected to mention that!

Wasn't really looking forward to Chongqing much. It looks pretty tiny in the book but indicates that 32 million people live there (Recently learnt in a TV show that it's the size of Belgium!)! The area we were dumped also didn't help raise my expectations. Miles away from the city and in a lovely industrial area.

We managed to find the most useless taxi driver in all of China! We told him where we wanted to go, showed him in the book and even showed him the Chinese characters and he still didn't have a clue! Surely there are loads of tourists that show up and point to the same place as it is the only one in town with dorm beds!

Amazingly he finally found the place and we were able to secure 3 of the 6 beds they had. Chongqing is actually quite nice, well at least in the area we were staying. It was clean and all the neon reminded me of Shibuya in Tokyo. I instantly liked the place.

Chongqing is known for its very hot hotpot so we thought we should give it a whirl. The place we went was crap. It wasn't hot and it taste pretty bad. To wash it down we went to a small bar around the corner. It had the most staff I have ever seen in any establishment!

There must have been 50+ staff including a couple at the bar pretending to mix cocktails and dropping bottles every time. There are so many people in China that they have to invent jobs for everyone. It's not uncommon to see 4 people standing behind a counter in a corner shop, women sweeping the motorway with brooms and people checking tickets everywhere in each attraction. It's really quite funny.

We ended up drinking vodka with the owner and keyboard player after a few beers before heading back to the hotel. Wolt was feeling tired so went to bed whilst Dave and I decided to hunt out a net cafe. I was pretty drunk and didn't end up getting much done before finally heading back at 2am.
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