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Newer Page 248 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
China Beijing Food Architecture

18 April 2018

An uncomplicated exchange

Collecting train tickets from Beijing station

I will be taking 6 high speed rail journeys while in China. Tickets sell out, and you can only book one month in advance. To do this from overseas you need to use a travel agent, a Chinese website, what could go wrong? The tickets themselves are quite cheap, but if for whatever reason the website was just pretending to order tickets for me and taking my money, there would be no trains left to book once I found out I was being scammed.
When you buy tickets, ahead of the 30 day window, they take your money, and presumably someone exactly 30 days before each journey you have booked logs into a website and orders your tickets.
For nearly every one of my 6 journeys I missed getting a booking on the train of my choice, alternatives were suggested, and then I would log into their online chat and type nonsense to 'Cherry' who would adjust my booking based on availability.
You also have to send them a scan of your passport for this service, send it to a Chinese government owned travel agent, they would never use my passport for any other purpose surely? I guess they already had it when I sent it to them to get a Chinese visa glued into it.

Anyway, tonight was the night I went to the train station with a piece of paper with 6 numbers on it and my passport and hoped this whole thing would get me 6 tickets. It did, and there were no problems at all, it took all of 30 seconds once I made it to the front of the chaotic line.

China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - This is a modern Beijing apartment building. It looks like London or Paris, only they are not limited to exactly 5 levels.

This is a modern Beijing apartment building. It looks like London or Paris, only they are not limited to exactly 5 levels.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - The formal ballroom dancers have arrived. I cut in and took the next dance, it was my lucky day, the foxtrot. I excel at the foxtrot.

The formal ballroom dancers have arrived. I cut in and took the next dance, it was my lucky day, the foxtrot. I excel at the foxtrot.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - Here is a humble office building, glowing in the afternoon haze.

Here is a humble office building, glowing in the afternoon haze.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - And here it is. Beijing station. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. This is the central Beijing station, the only old stat

And here it is. Beijing station. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
This is the central Beijing station, the only old station without a high speed service. Only the slow trains to places I am not allowed to go to come here (Russia, Mongolia, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Tibet etc). Kim Jung-un's train came here with him on it the other week.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - I came to Beijing station to make my ticket exchange. The line experience in a Chinese train station is about as you would expect. I told a few line c

I came to Beijing station to make my ticket exchange. The line experience in a Chinese train station is about as you would expect. I told a few line cutters that they were a disgrace to their country and culture, as I grabbed them and pushed them back behind me.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - Sea of thieves. Not joking really, there is a huge police presence at this station. I made it out fine! The pedestrian bridges over the highway are fu

Sea of thieves. Not joking really, there is a huge police presence at this station. I made it out fine! The pedestrian bridges over the highway are full of beggars and people playing that game with 3 cards where you have to guess which one is the ace or whatever. You can also buy lasers to shine at aircraft from some random Russian dude who asks you if you perhaps also want a Kalashinikov?


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - I fled the scary station and headed into Beijings gay district. I assume thats what the rainbow means?

I fled the scary station and headed into Beijings gay district. I assume thats what the rainbow means?


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - This took me to the modern SoHo area. These are mostly little restaurants. Its a very nice place.

This took me to the modern SoHo area. These are mostly little restaurants. Its a very nice place.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - A bit more of SoHo, its an integrated commercial, retail, residential community with no cars.

A bit more of SoHo, its an integrated commercial, retail, residential community with no cars.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - I selected a small place for my $4 dinner, and here is the beef! It was pretty good too, excellent quality noodles.

I selected a small place for my $4 dinner, and here is the beef! It was pretty good too, excellent quality noodles.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - It was late by now, but I walked along the main road past all the huge modern malls. I still have never properly been to this part of Beijing and it l

It was late by now, but I walked along the main road past all the huge modern malls. I still have never properly been to this part of Beijing and it looks like I will run out of time on this visit too!


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - But I did get to the pants building. A great feature of my camera is the screen folds out, which I never use for its intended purpose, instead it work

But I did get to the pants building. A great feature of my camera is the screen folds out, which I never use for its intended purpose, instead it works as a make shift tripod for long exposures.


China-Beijing-Food-Architecture - Last photo for tonight, a tall modern building. Came out quite well for hand held. Unlike the pants building, this one was very brightly lit.

Last photo for tonight, a tall modern building. Came out quite well for hand held. Unlike the pants building, this one was very brightly lit.


NewerPage 248 of 968OlderFull Trip Report