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Ya'an..It's Great To Be Back Amongs Chinese Girls

Hey Hey and a big G'day to you all,

Sadly it was time to leave beautiful Kangding today. After walking to the bus station we boarded the 10:30 bus. Once we left the bus station we looked at each other and said, 'I could have stayed there longer'. Sometimes when you go from town to town like we did through the mountains it takes actual thought to stop this. We most probably should have stayed. I for one wish I did but by the time I really allowed myself to 'feel' where I wanted to be it was too late.

Anyhow, we left at 10:30, just got out of the city before we were caught in a huge line of traffic. We found out that they were blowing up the side of the mountain as the huge rocks and bolders were becoming too dangerous during the wet season. After an hour or more of watching stupid and impatient Chinese drivers drive the wrong way down the other laneway and then have to do their best to either do a 103 point turn to turn back or find someone who would let them in, we actually began moving again.

We arrived at Ya'an around 4:30pm.

ACCOMMODATION: We didn't have to go far to find great cheap accommodation as it actually found us. We walked out of the bus station, was like usual were surrounded by 'You Stay You Stay' people and surprisingly the room and rate we were after was about ten steps away. There is a hotel that runs the length of the bus station drive way that is very clean has doubles with bathroom for only 80 Yuan a night. The staff were great and always full of smiles and very helpful.

After a shower and a change of clothes we headed out into what we were to find to be 'China's Greatest English Town' streets. It's a mouthful but when I compare Ya'an to Dali, Lijiang and Yangshuo, they really only have English in the Back Packer areas. Ya'an is a city that really does have English EVERYWHERE, including the Speaker Info for the bus departures and arrivals at the bus stations...yes, I did say Stations...x 2! Take that Yangshuo whom actually has the most pathetic bus station in Chinas Back Packing towns.

If anyone from the Yangshuo City Council ever reads this....

Mate, your bus station is a shocker. Your town is one of the most expensive tourist towns in China and you have the most pathetic and run down bus station! Come to Ya'an and see what a real 'tourist' bus station should be like. It has an electronic information board in both English and Chinese. The bus information is in English and Chinese, there is a helpful English speaking (they do their best anyhow) information desk and to put it simply...it is almost sparkling CLEAN!

Why am I saying all this...because we were the only foreigners there! The entire time we were in Ya'an we never ran into another foreigner. Yangshuo has thousands upon thousands each year. Yangshuo bleeds their wallets dry and the city won't spend money on a decent bus station to welcome and say good bye to the overseas tourists! Each time I arrive and leave Yangshuo this goes through my head. I arrive at a shitty bus station and I leave from the same shitty bus station.

Don't get me wrong, I'm used to dirty run down Chinese bus stations and I am comfortable with kids squatting on the floor next to me and the man on the other side clearing his throat for twenty minutes before spitting it on the ground next to me but I just can't comprehend why Yangshuo has such a run down bus station for such a beautiful and well visited town. It really makes no sense that Ya'an has such a beautiful Tourist Bus Station with English everywhere when I'd say only a tiny amount of foreigners visit there each year compared to Yangshuo.

Ita Maka No Sensa...

Ok, where was I before I got a little snappy?

Oh yes, the Ya'an streets. There is English everywhere in Ya'an. It made no sense then and it makes no sense now (I'm writing this in September - beginning this paragraph anyhow). It's a very easy little city to figure out as it is split into two by a river. We thought the best thing to do was to make our way towards the river and begin there. When we arrived we were greeting by such a beautiful sight. There is a very stunning bridge connecting both sides of the river. The bridge has eateries, tourist shops, cafés and the entire time you are safe from the Chinese traffic as they have their own side. The buildings are your typical 'old Chinese' style. It all makes for a beautiful sight as the sun goes down and the bridge lights up.

Very nice indeed, I was impressed!

We made our way across the river and found a little family eatery just across the other side. They were helpful and friendly. I wish I could remember the name of the place but it's too long ago now and I didn't write it down. It's to your left as you come off the bridge. Across from it (on the river side) are statues of musicians from memory. Great food anyhow!

We spent the rest of the night aimlessly walking around the city before doing our best to find an internet bar. Several birthdays had passed and others were approaching, it was time to spend a few hours on Yahoo's Ecard site. We walked and walked and finally when a girl in her mid twenties approached us and asked 'in English' if we needed help, we said yes. She took us around the corner to a small, smokey and very hot internet bar. After many hours we left coughing up our lungs into the dark Ya'an streets and made our way home.

I'd love to be able to give directions to the Net Bar but that's the problem with writing about your adventures many months later along with giving away your map. All I know is it was on the other side of the river.

Beers N Noodles to ya...shane * finished writing entry on 4th October. Im a slakker!*

Ya'an Town Walk

Ya'an Town Walk


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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