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Newer Page 623 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
China Chengdu Chongqing Bullet Train

27 March 2013

The waiting train

In my previous visits to China, you just turned up to a train station in Shanghai, and bought a ticket for a train that was departing in the next hour. Generally the next couple are full but so long as its not a weekend or holiday you are fine. Especially if you arent travelling in commuting hours.
Then last night I read about someone who couldnt get a ticket from Chengdu to Chongqing for 5 days! This left me concerned. More concerning was that he then went to the place where people without a national ID card go to arrange transport by private car. And that his driver changed number plates 3 times during the journey.
As exciting as that sounded, I didnt like my chance of negotiating a ride with my limited language skills, so off to the station I went, bright and early.
The usual dramas in the line ensued, but when I got to the front I was able to secure a ticket, on a train departing in 3 hours time. The good news is that a 2 hour bullet train ride still costs $10.
Now to do some people observing, the most unusual were some very rural people, carrying home made baskets on sticks, in the traditional grey or dark blue pyjamas, husband and wife about 3 feet tall.
They did not understand the x-ray machine at security, escalators, and the yelling and screaming they levelled at each other was concerning!
It was concerning to the authorities too, who were busy trying to help them, but they werent speaking Chinese.
I saw them a few more times in the station, still screaming at each other at the top of their lungs, maybe thats just how they communicate!
They seemed a real novelty to everyone, not just me, young people were trying to help them, writing stuff down, which they couldnt seem to read. Eventually they at least seemed to get on a train, a T train which is to say a slow old train that goes to some place far far away. I cant imagine sitting next to them for days!

The train ride itself was memorable, such great scenery, so many tunnels. I took enough pictures so lets go.

China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - The new Chengdu East station. Much like all the other new stations. It is modern and efficient. They are a bit too the same though, even on the inside

The new Chengdu East station. Much like all the other new stations. It is modern and efficient. They are a bit too the same though, even on the inside the same fast food options, the same supermarket that doesnt sell any food to eat now, just freeze dried package goods to take home.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - The inside of the station, a sea of grey.

The inside of the station, a sea of grey.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - The journey traversed countless valleys, you go from being on top of a viaduct then into a tunnel, every few seconds.

The journey traversed countless valleys, you go from being on top of a viaduct then into a tunnel, every few seconds.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - Occasionally you get to a satellite city being built to utilise the location of the new rail line. If you look closely on the left here you can see a

Occasionally you get to a satellite city being built to utilise the location of the new rail line. If you look closely on the left here you can see a fun park.
No doubt built to entice families to move here.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - Terraced farming started to appear in places. Not sure what they were growing.

Terraced farming started to appear in places. Not sure what they were growing.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - But of course the pace of progress is rapid, even out in the countryside theres massive infrastructure.

But of course the pace of progress is rapid, even out in the countryside theres massive infrastructure.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - In the 2 hours you cross probably 6 vast rivers such as this. I poorly timed the photo, it looked much more impressive if I took it 3 seconds earlier.

In the 2 hours you cross probably 6 vast rivers such as this. I poorly timed the photo, it looked much more impressive if I took it 3 seconds earlier.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - Nearing Chongqing, it gets smoggy, and you can see ridiculous amounts of construction.

Nearing Chongqing, it gets smoggy, and you can see ridiculous amounts of construction.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - And another big river, this one being mined for something.

And another big river, this one being mined for something.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - Once off the train, the scene is chaotic. I am in no hurry so hang back for 5 minutes whilst the crowd clears. Chongqing North station connects direct

Once off the train, the scene is chaotic. I am in no hurry so hang back for 5 minutes whilst the crowd clears. Chongqing North station connects directly to their metro which is a mix of elevated monorail and subway. This system connects basically to the door of my hotel


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - Outside the door to my hotel is this strange scene. A demolition site, being used as a carpark, with 3 temples, at least one of them being the real de

Outside the door to my hotel is this strange scene. A demolition site, being used as a carpark, with 3 temples, at least one of them being the real deal.


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - My hotel is very impressive, I will talk more about it later, its an executive apartment and cheap, but has the greatest view ever. The street below w

My hotel is very impressive, I will talk more about it later, its an executive apartment and cheap, but has the greatest view ever. The street below with the people is the main pedestrian area of the city, Jin Fang Bei


China-Chengdu-Chongqing-Bullet Train - And out my other window I get a view of one of the rivers that encircles the city centre.

And out my other window I get a view of one of the rivers that encircles the city centre.


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