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Newer Page 672 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
China Wuxi Daytrip Train

29 August 2012

Wuxi, the dusty city

I must really love the train ticket office. For the 3rd time in two days I went to Shanghai station to line up for a ticket. This time I was heading to Wuxi, which means 'without tin'. The city is about 200km inland from Shanghai, which is no problem when theres bullet trains.
According to wikipedia and wikitravel and wikiwhatnow the city is in the top 10 domestic tourist destinations. However the text that states this fact is very poorly written and has no source. Time to find out the truth. I know one thing for sure, there better not be any tin.

China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - There was of course a neat line of people waiting for the boarding of the train, until boarding was called. Then chaos ensued, complete with whistle b

There was of course a neat line of people waiting for the boarding of the train, until boarding was called. Then chaos ensued, complete with whistle blowing officials being ignored.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Here I am hanging out at the bar, chatting up the waitress. My pickup line was 'I dont like beer, give me tea', spoken in half assed mandarin of cours

Here I am hanging out at the bar, chatting up the waitress. My pickup line was 'I dont like beer, give me tea', spoken in half assed mandarin of course. This was required because as I approached the bar she immediately took a Heineken from the fridge. Thats racist.
I found myself at the bar because I was seated in the middle of a group of 3. In the aisle was presumably a sumo wrestler on holidays from Kyoto, and in the window a mother with her two children on her lap, one of them looked about 12 years old. The younger of her kids then threw a 2 litre bottle of water on the ground and a river started running down the aisle. Thats when I headed to the bar.

Look closely at the picture, I had to get down low to get in the photo. The guy behind me has no idea what I am doing. He has no right to judge me though, hes carrying a man bag!


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - The scene when exiting the station. Hmmm. I have no idea which way to go. I can see that the other side of the station has lots of big buildings and n

The scene when exiting the station. Hmmm. I have no idea which way to go. I can see that the other side of the station has lots of big buildings and nice looking areas. This is a common trick at Chinese train stations, they always force you to exit on the shitty side and make it exceptionally difficult to get back under the tracks.
The reason for this as best I can tell is to make you pay for a coach tour, hundreds of such tours are leaving from under the train station, complete with people on loud speakers racing around touting for suckers.

I refuse to be defeated, and walk through the highway tunnel. This is an exact mirror of my trip to Suzhou on my last visit to China.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Once on the right side of the tracks, literally, things look a lot nicer. The down town area is sort of finished, but many shops are still vacant. Wux

Once on the right side of the tracks, literally, things look a lot nicer. The down town area is sort of finished, but many shops are still vacant.
Wuxi is very much a city undergoing a rapid transformation. Everything is covered in construction dust.
By the end of the day I had turned a strange shade of grey, possibly one of the 50.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Here you can pay to catch gold fish with a mini fishing rod. I am not sure what happens if you catch one as no one did. Read on for another chapter in

Here you can pay to catch gold fish with a mini fishing rod. I am not sure what happens if you catch one as no one did. Read on for another chapter in Wuxi fishing.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - The place is known for its canals. There are indeed many canals. Many have bridges over them. I followed these for many miles. If you like canals you

The place is known for its canals. There are indeed many canals. Many have bridges over them. I followed these for many miles. If you like canals you will like Wuxi.
I dont advise following this canal, its a big circle that goes nowhere. It was also hot as hell.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - China, leading the way. Even B grade cities have free bikes to rent, using solar power for you to register on the touch screens to borrow one. By the

China, leading the way. Even B grade cities have free bikes to rent, using solar power for you to register on the touch screens to borrow one.
By the way, Wuxi has a population of 6 million. Its considered a small city comparitively for this region.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Eventually the canal lead to here. I think parts of it were original, but much of it is fake. It is of course a tourist shopping mall, specially built

Eventually the canal lead to here. I think parts of it were original, but much of it is fake. It is of course a tourist shopping mall, specially built for coaches to park at and have Chinese people spend up big on inflatable novelty hammers.
There was no food except deep fried snacks. I remained hungry.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Theres a large grid of streets all selling the same stuff. Underground theres a market selling fake handbags etc. I dont think I am the target demogra

Theres a large grid of streets all selling the same stuff. Underground theres a market selling fake handbags etc. I dont think I am the target demographic for this area.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - I found a way to get up to the top. I dont think I was supposed to as the cleaners and old men without shirts laying on the ground sleeping up there s

I found a way to get up to the top. I dont think I was supposed to as the cleaners and old men without shirts laying on the ground sleeping up there seemed genuinely shocked when I arrived on the scene.
This doesnt phase me though, I have time to pose and look cool. Those are my new shorts, I like them so much I bought another pair in grey. I already spent $20 on myself. I blame Qantas for this, if they had not lost my bag theres no way I would have bought myself clothes.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Some of the many many cranes. If you like cranes you will love Wuxi. The new part of the city has massive empty malls filled with Gucci and similar st

Some of the many many cranes. If you like cranes you will love Wuxi. The new part of the city has massive empty malls filled with Gucci and similar stores. But no people, they also hide the bathrooms.
I started just going through exit doors looking for one, a security guy yelled at me, but I have learnt to just ignore that. Eventually I found a bathroom, a good thing as I had drunk over 6 litres of fluid since arriving!


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Time for another adventure in fishing. Only look closely, they are feeding them with baby bottles on the end of the poles. My theory is, if you are sm

Time for another adventure in fishing. Only look closely, they are feeding them with baby bottles on the end of the poles.
My theory is, if you are smart enough as a fish to survive being caught by kids in the paddling pool, as per the photo above, you graduate to the rock pool and live a life of luxury being hand fed by tourists.
Society rewards only winners, in human and fish. Which are you?


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Go back a couple of streets and you find the edge of new, and the beginning of old. This looks like Beirut. I never actually went to Beirut but its my

Go back a couple of streets and you find the edge of new, and the beginning of old. This looks like Beirut. I never actually went to Beirut but its my stereotype for bombed city.
Theres no one actually living in these places, presumably they came home one day to find all their stuff packed in a crate and a note explaining which bus to catch to their new home.


China-Wuxi-Daytrip-Train - Final Wuxi picture, the train station. It was an exhausting day. My back is killing me, I am officially old. Im starting to worry that I am shrinking

Final Wuxi picture, the train station. It was an exhausting day. My back is killing me, I am officially old. Im starting to worry that I am shrinking and will soon be a hunchback.
The train ride back was a lot less chaotic, but then once you get off at Shanghai station the exit is as far away from the metro as possible and the tunnel to get to line 1 is closed. So I had to walk another mile or so to get to the metro, with half a dozen guys on scooters following me offering a lift, busy explaining to me that the walk to the metro is far.

I probably wont walk too far tonight so dont expect too many photos, right now I am enjoying some orange rehydration salts I bought with me from Australia.


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