martes, 21 de octubre de 2014

Resumen del viaje a China (Febrero 2001) - En Inglés

A continuación copio el mail que mandé a mis amigos a la vuelta del viaje que hice yo solo a China en 2001. Fue un viaje durillo, muy interesante e irrepetible. Creo que ha sido mi viaje más exigente: muchísimos problemas con el idioma, cultura muy diferente e incomprensible para mi en muchos casos. Varios días malos y algunos buenos. Todos interesantísimos.
Baste decir que para llegar a los lugares tuve que recurrir a mapa y brújula, pues la gente no me entendía (ni inglés ni español por supuesto) y los nombres de las calles sólo estaban escritos en Chino. Años antes tuve algunos problemas en Moscú y otros países del Este de Europa, pero nada que ver con China. Suerte que me gusta la comida China, sé de gente que no hubiese soportado comer chino absolutamente todos los días, algunos sin saber muy bien que comía...

China, February 2001
Hello my friends!
I have expended the past month of February travelling in the South of China. I had quit my previous job at Animate at the end of January and was starting with Gridsystems in March. I needed emotions and something completely new. China was a good challenge and I found a cheap return flight to Hong Kong via Milan with Alitalia. As usual in me went to China without much idea about were I was going or things I wanted to visit but with a Lonely Planet guide, excellent, that was vital to be able to move in a country where you cannot communicate easily with the locals. Good thing the guide had the names of the places written in Chinese scripts as well!
The first four days I was in Hong Kong where I had to apply for my Chinese visa. There I had fun going out at night, shopping! and preparing myself for real China.
From there I took a boat to Macao where I spent half a day and then entered in China at night arriving to Guangzhou (Canton) by bus. Communication problems started immediately. No more signs in Portuguese or English, just Chinese. I had to start using (a lot) the Chinese phrasebook I bought in the YH in Hong Kong and a notebook to write them things. Buying my first train ticket the morning after was an adventure, someone even tried to cheat me. But I managed and took a night train to Guillin, where they have a very special landscape with strange mountains. See the first picture, it’s just outside the city. 

                                                          Guillin (Guanxi)

I didn’t like the people in that area, always trying to take advantage of you and spitting all the time (even inside the train!). They just want money, money, money and they almost never let you alone. I got angry several times but also meet nice people like the dancers in a pub that took me to the stage several times and later invited me for a 100% Chinese dinner. We had very long (and slow) conversations with the phrase book and the notebook! But best was the excursion I did to the town of Yangshuo (one of the places I liked the most) and the boat I took in the Li Jiang River (second picture). 

                                                      Yangshuo (Guanxi)
From there I took another 30 hour-train (good thing I had an excellent book about China to read: Wild Swans) to the province of Yunan -south west of China, with spring weather- where I was going to spend most of my time. From Kunming, the capital, I took a bus to Dali where I walked up a mountain, have nice diners in Internet cafes and meet Steph and Gila, my two roommates at the dormitory.
The next stop was Lijiang, where Steph and me booked for the Tiger Leap Gorge excursion (3rd picture) that we made with 4 more people. The excursion took us two days, sleeping in a GuestHouse in the middle. Landscape was great with those huge mountains around the tiny river.

                                                        Tiger Leap Gorge excursion

Back in town had quiet day before taking another dangerous bus to Zhongzanlin (4th and 5th picture) where the interesting place was a Tibetan monastery where we enjoyed an afternoon. In that town we split and I returned alone to Kunming to continue after an exhausting 30 hours bus to the south of the province: tropical Xishuangbanna.

                                                      Zhongzanlin monastery


Taking Jinghong as a base those 3 days I went to several towns around there, walked (a lot!!) and ride a bicycle. I enjoyed the nice whether, green landscape, incredible food and friendly (at least!!) people. See the last picture in Ganlanba.


I had to take planes and trains to be able to arrive to Hong Kong on time for my return flight to Spain.
See you,

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