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China Zhengzhou Xian Bullet Train

23 April 2018

How to make a short train ride really long

After what seemed like an all day journey to take a 2 hour train ride, I have arrived at my hotel in Xian.
I will talk more about Xian when I have seen some of Xian.

I already alluded to why it would take so long to get here, lack of availability of high speed train tickets meant I had to leave Zhengzhou from the western station not the central station. Also not the eastern station I arrived at 3 days ago which was connected via the subway system. Instead I took an earlier high speed train to the western station where I waited for 2.5 hours. I expected this to be a huge modern station, well it was modern, but tiny, not even a shop! Just a single platform. I have no idea why it exists, theres not really anything nearby, just farms.

Once I finished waiting for 2.5 hours the ride was quite fun, a group of men played a very loud card game and got super animated. At first I thought they all knew each other, but this is the great thing about China, they didnt. Some of the players got off at intermediate stations, and then other people got on or walked up from other carriages and joined the game.
A guy sitting next to me waited for a while before someone left and he then joined in, the card table was set up by re arranging 2 blocks of 3 seats into club seating, and sticking a bucket on the ground with a suitcase on top, room for 6 players.
They played at the end of the carriage where you can store bags behind the seats, but that area now became standing room for spectators.

If you tried to join someones card game on a train in Australia, you would be arrested at the next station.

Once I arrived at Xian north ultra modern high speed station, I had to do two more tasks before heading to my hotel, both were time consuming. First I had to buy another train ticket for tomorrows adventure, which will be long and challenging, and then I had to buy a ticket for the subway into town. Both of these required line policing where I grab people trying to push in and tell them they have no culture. The final challenge, expereinced by me and many Chinese people, was getting the subway ticket machines to correctly suck in a bank note. Everyone was frustrated by how poorly this was working on all the machines, fix this Xian!

Because of this travel boredom, record low number of photos today!

China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - Here is ZZ central station, I thought it would be really old inside, it was quite modern, it had a KFC but no Starbucks or Mcdonalds. Very busy even t

Here is ZZ central station, I thought it would be really old inside, it was quite modern, it had a KFC but no Starbucks or Mcdonalds. Very busy even though this was around 7:30AM - things dont generally happen early in China.


China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - My 10 minute journey deposited me at the western station, here it is. I walked away from it hoping to find something to amuse myself with, I found not

My 10 minute journey deposited me at the western station, here it is. I walked away from it hoping to find something to amuse myself with, I found nothing. I could not wander far as I was dragging my suitcase.


China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - This is the entirety of the inside of the station, now you might think this looks large, but for a Chinese high speed rail station its tiny. Some of t

This is the entirety of the inside of the station, now you might think this looks large, but for a Chinese high speed rail station its tiny. Some of these station serve over a million people each day. This one strangely does not even have a single shop, and no vending machine, nowhere to buy water!


China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - Most trains went straight through without stopping, when mine came only a few of us thirsty individuals clamoured up the stairs with our bags to board

Most trains went straight through without stopping, when mine came only a few of us thirsty individuals clamoured up the stairs with our bags to board the train. There were no escalators or lifts, and at least 50 stairs up to the platform.


China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - Here is Xian, the bell tower to be precise, wheres the bell? This is just a taste of Xian, more on this later. The city seems futuristic, tourist frie

Here is Xian, the bell tower to be precise, wheres the bell? This is just a taste of Xian, more on this later. The city seems futuristic, tourist friendly, up market. All because of some clay statues.


China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - This is the view out of my hotel this time, I guess those are the shared gardens for the apartments surrounding them, with skylights into the car park

This is the view out of my hotel this time, I guess those are the shared gardens for the apartments surrounding them, with skylights into the car park below.


China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - My room is a bit smaller, but very western, very modern. It has a strange entrance and waiting lobby for the separate Shower and Toilet, its all like

My room is a bit smaller, but very western, very modern. It has a strange entrance and waiting lobby for the separate Shower and Toilet, its all like a Japanese hotel, but probably twice as big.
One unusual thing, it has a well stocked FREE minibar. Yes free. Theres no alcohol but there are chips, chocolates, soft drinks. I remember one time in Nanjing the minibar was free too.


China-Zhengzhou-Xian-Bullet Train - Since I had not eaten, it was time to select a bakery, only 5 to choose from 100 metres from the door of my hotel. I chose one claiming to be Taiwanes

Since I had not eaten, it was time to select a bakery, only 5 to choose from 100 metres from the door of my hotel. I chose one claiming to be Taiwanese, and got a sushi roll sandwich and a huge cake. Both amazingly delicious. I want more of the cake, it had crunchy stuff in it, candied cockroaches perhaps.


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