The Unexpected Day 2 of Shanghai + Nanning

Trip Start Mar 16, 2010
Trip End Mar 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Marriott Nanning

Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Friday, March 19, 2010

Yesterday night I asked the guy at the front desk what time I should leave for my plane.  He told me 6AM (for a 7:30 flight).  I was down at the desk at 6 and no one was there!  I was calling hello and knocking on all the doors but no one was coming.  I would have just left, but there was a 100RMB deposit on my key!  I finally realized that the guy was sleeping on a chair in the lobby, so I woke him up.  Then the cab driver came in and wouldn't leave until he knew what terminal we were in.  I called the airline but everything was in Chinese.  I tried to get the driver to talk, but he wouldn't.  We finally found out it was Terminal 2, but by the time I got to the airport and got up to a check in desk, it was too late.  They closed the flight for check in (closed at 6:45)!  Luckily, I was able to get on a 3PM flight for no charge.

  Since I had time to spare, I decided to go to the Jade Buddha Temple, which I wanted to go to, but didn't have time for yesterday.  I hopped on the Metro line at the airport and took it to the stop that I thought was the temple.  It ended up being at least 2 miles away from the Buddha Temple!  I was wandering in the general direction, and it took me about an hour to find it.  The area I was walking in was pretty cool though.  There were lots of trees, and it kind of looked like a prettier/cleaner India.  I also walked past a TON of Westerners.  There must be a university around there.  

The temple was exactly what it sounds like - a Buddhist temple.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I think once you see a few Buddhist temples, you aren't going to be surprised by another.  I think I'm being a little negative about it because I was carrying all my luggage around to get there, and my back is sore now!  I'm sure it was more exciting than the airport would have been, but it really wasn't anything special.

I got back to the airport with 'only' 5 hours left until boarding.  Then it was off to Nanning!  When I got in there were taxi drivers trying to get me to pay 120RMB to get to my hotel, but I held out until I found one that would run the meter.  My ride ended up being 85RMB instead.  Nanning was strange.  From the airport to the first toll it was all gorgeous, uninhabited mountains and trees.  From the first toll to the second toll my stomach actually tied itself into knots.  I couldn't grasp why at first, but I realized that it looked almost exactly like Mysore India.  I think my stomach was begging me, "Please not again!!!"  Haha.  But after we got past the second toll things started looking like the modern Chinese cities that I'm used to.  While we were driving I looked out the window and saw this beautiful building that had neon lights dancing across it.  I suddenly realized that the tower on the right-hand side was the Marriott and I got really excited.  It was an amazing hotel room that we got for about $82.  The hotel was right by a Walmart, which Alex was excited about, and we ended up going there 3 times over the weekend to pick up things for him to bring back to Qinzhou.  But really, we didn't find much to do in Nanning, but it was a good kickoff point for our trip to Bama the next day.
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