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Xiamen and Gulang Yu

CHINA | Friday, 28 September 2012 | Views [222]

The high speed train was pretty fast, and if there is anything I love in this country is that people get very silent when sitting in comfortable seats. Maybe it's because there is nowhere to sit at all in some squares. Maybe it's because the seats are normally made of cement or wood, shaped in weird forms to make your ass look like a dice. No doubt people feel unsettled and with a huge desire to talk to make the time pass faster.

The good thing is the train from Hangzhou spent only seven hours to arrive in Xiamen, and the experience felt like 30 minutes. Very good seats, fantastic air-conditioning and a extremely tied and clean berth. The hot water for tea (common pretty much everywhere) was close by my place and the toilet didn't have any " surprise" on the way. (I will try to write something about toilets in China soon. Maybe this afternoon, after beach).

With around three million people living in Xiamen, the impression I have is that it is a tiny city. After seven million people in Hangzhou, 20 million in Shanghai, eight million in Xian and 19 million in Beijing, three million is almost misery. Ok, its three times the whole Timor-Leste in a only town, but it doesn't feel like. The city in the night is ok, and has a gorgeous view too. It's slightly hotter than anywhere else we've been in the mainlandbut the constant breeze give us some relief.

Yesterday we decided to go to the supermarket to buy supply. The place where we are, Koala bed and breakfast, has a beautiful full equipped kitchen, with oven and electric stove so modern I almost can't handle. On the way to the supermarket we decided to have a look at the Gulang Yu, a tiny island 5 minutes far from here, by boat. There is no traffic in there. No cars, no bicycles, no motorbikes. Just people walking. In my mind, a place like this would have that much development like fancy buildings and paved roads. Turns out my mind is wrong, and the place is fully packed with people. There are some electric cars (like golf cars) to transport tired legs up and down the hills, although most of them have to walk to get around.

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We had no appropriate shoes to walk far, and the boat to Gulang Yu WAS far. It happened because on the way to the pier I freaked out thinking we had past the port and we jumped in the wrong place. Something like an hour to get to the harbor, plus few hours in the island and a couple of other hours in the supermarket in our way back. 

I woke up today with miserable legs and a lazy mood. I honestly don't want to go anywhere further that the beach that stretch out in front of the compound where we are. I may come back later to describe the toilets and to talk a little bit more about Gulang Yu.

Tags: beach, china, gulang yu, train, xiamen

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