29/04/2010 - 04/05/2010 30 °C
We arrived Thursday eve in Wuhan, had dinner at the hostel which seems to be really busy so is instantly better than the past two!
Friday we got up, had brekkie then spent the morning researching the best way to get to Hong Kong, our next destination. However things didn't work out too well. It turns out China also has the May bank holl so EVERYONE is off and celebrates by booking up all the train tickets so RoJo can't get a sleeper train til the 6th of May!!! Yes, I was gobsmacked too- 6 whole days of discovering Wuhan before getting the train to HK!!! Agh. Did I mention our first china visa expires on the 7th???!
One 3 hr walk around Wuhan later n we were both feeling back on track, knowing that if the worst came to the worst we could always fly to HK. So we had explored a bit too. We'd walked down to the river (smoggy so not too pretty) where there was a small park which we had walked through in ten mins. We walked along the river front and the turned up a side street that had stalls spread out along it. Sauntering along at a leisurely pace (as u do when ure not at work -hee hee) we came across a guy who melted toffee and made lots of different animals on a stick (they like to put lots of things on sticks here!). We saw a man melting glass on a Bunsen burner and making a vase. He'd made loads of other ornaments too- v. Pretty.
Now, back in Xi'an, Chris who worked at the hostel had given us Chinese names since ours cannot be directly translated- mine is "chao mie" (it's a pretty flower) and jons is "li Lin" (forest). We got the symbols cut into green stone, painted with gold n so we now wrist braclets. A couple of Chinese people spotted them n loved that we had Chinese names!! :D
Walking further up the street we discovered a street full of food stalls. Well u can imagine my dismay at having to sample some of the delights! Spicy chicken wings on sticks, veg spring rolls, dumplings, flat pancake thing with pork in the middle... All washed down with a refreshing orange juice n ice (it was a hot hot day).
Saturday we re checked the ticket situation and lo and behold, we got two tickets to Shenzen (where u cross the boarder to HK); hard sleeper for the 4th... So we snapped them up. Train leaves at 5.40 so have to occupy ourselves til then...luckily here are lots of nice things to do in Wuhan!
Sunday, we went to the park- East Lake- had lunch there (homemade sarnies) n read our books under the trees watching the lake, people padding round in mini boats etc... Even ppl fishing. it was about 29degs! But lots of pollen from the trees so hay-fever tablets quickly came out.
Monday we went to the Yellow Crane Tower (5 levels) where we were approached by a Chinese girl (called Penny) who wanted to practice her English so we got a free tour! Then we went to re test the food again just in case we missed something the first time round! Yummy yum yum!!
Tuesday eve we went to a restaurant for dinner where we met the nicest lady ever; luckily she was our waitress and could speak enough English for us to order "a fish dish and a pork dish with no chilli"! When it came out it was pork n mushroom and the other dish, fish n Ginger in a soy sauce (with bones) - amazing!! We had Chinese tea too which tasted superb. I'd been wanting to get some tea so we asked what kind it was that we were drinking n asked our waitress to write it down for us. I asked where could we buy it and the next minute, she'd left the restaurant to check if the shop they get it from had some in stock. She returned with 2 bags of tea for me (35 yuan = £3.50!) so bargain!! How sweet. Just tested it now n it's lovely! Jon just spilt his on the floor! Typical. Eh!?
Wednesday, our final day in Wuhan reminds us both of home - its raining, really raining, with rain n everything! Hasn't stopped yet but we have 2 more hrs til we get our (15 hr) train to Shenzen, Hongkong the next destination!
Quite excited about going there but not sure what to expect- questions
springing to mind:
1) Will it be similar or vastly different to china?
2) Will the toilets be nice for one in this journey?!
3) Will we still try n use yuan instead of the HK$?
4) is my 'tea' really tea and will it get through the boarder?!
5) do they haggle in HK??????!
And finally hoping the HK skyline is all it's said to be...