The dreaded day has arrived. Time to start my way towards Hong Kong for a new tourist visa. Thankfully, internal overland travel in China is extremely efficient, and there were about 12 different bus times to choose from for the 7 hour, 500km journey to Lanzhou. The ticket was 97RMB (10 Euro).
The trip was relatively uneventful. Arrived at Lanzhou central at 5:30pm, and headed straight for the train station. I was hoping to get on a train tonight, but no luck. There were no hard sleeper tickets left, so I had to go with the 11pm train tomorrow night. I booked the ticket and paid the 475RMB (47 Euro) for the 30 hour, 2,000km plus long train ride. Once again I steered clear of the hard seat option (once was enough). I also opted out of the soft sleeper option, as there is little difference in the actual matress softness between the hard and soft sleeper classes. The only difference is that you’re sharing the compartment with six people in the hard sleeper option compared with four in the soft sleeper option.
So here I am in the compact but bustling metropolis of Lanzhou. I’ll stay here tonight, and on the train tomorrow.