So, we have finished our train journey to Beijing and are now in Hong Kong Airport, en route to Delhi.
We really enjoyed the train – as mentioned in the last post, we were very lucky to be sharing a compartment with a nice couple. The landscape through the Gobi was impressive, but quite monotonous. Sandy scrub land as far as the eye could see, not quite the Sahara-style sand desert we had imagined.
We reached the Chinese border late at night, where we spent several hours undergoing rigorous (repetitive!) immigration checks. Also, as the train track gauge is different in China and Mongolia, we another few hours in a station building whilst the train carriages were separated, raised, and the wheels of the train (the ‘bogeys’) were adjusted to the Chinese track dimensions by a clever machine.
We woke up the next morning to ugly industrial towns, which soon improved to a pretty stunning gorge, before arriving in Beijing. This was a bit of a shock after Mongolia – so many people!!
Due to our poor planning skills we spent a large part of the afternoon wandering Beijing trying to find our hotel, which we had failed to print out a map for. Eventually we located the hotel, had a couple of hours downtime, and found a brilliant Chinese restaurant down a back street, where we accidentally ordered far too much (delicious) food.
The next morning we left Beijing, and are now in Hong Kong for a few hours before travelling on to Delhi. Beijing airport was a pain; Hong Kong has been bliss by comparison!
Very excited now about arriving in India, and looking forward to stopping the constant flights / trains / transfers for a while!