Day Fourteen – Arrival in Yantai

Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:0km
Money used / 予算使用:180RMB

Today began the mission to get me and my bike to Beijing. I had considered biking the distance, however the extra ten or more days that it would have taken me would have put too much pressure on me later on in the schedule. Therefore I opted for the 15 hour train journey. I must say that at the time that I bought my ticket, I was under the impression that it was only 8 hours. I was only to find out that it was 15 hours after being told so by my bench mate on the train.

Now, to back track a little, today was also the day I met Mr. Lin, an English teacher from Inner Mongolia. This rather effeminate fellow who would later become my saviour and mentor on many aspects of travel and life in China struck up conversation while I was sitting on the train station steps with 5 hours still to go until my train to Bejing left.

After booking my 10:45pm train ticket at 9am this morning and spending most of the day just trying to kill time in an otherwise boring town (or so I thought), Mr. Lim’s knowledge of the town came as a pleasant break in the monotonous waiting. Not only does Yantai have some deep history going back to WWII, but it also has a fantastic beach. Masses of people, but that would not stop Mr. Lim and I paying the horrendously expensive price of 7RMB each for a locker to put our clothes in, and going for a dip in our undies along with the other thousands of undied Chinese people.

Oh yeah, and did I metion that this trip to Yantai was the first time that Mr. Lim had ever seen the sea? I guess you get that when living over 40 hours by train away.

As for getting my bike to Beijing, I was not able to take this with me on the train, so it had to be sent separately by freight train. I just hope it all arrives in one piece. Looking at the way these Chinese treat everything, it kind of gives me nervous sweats handing my bike over to the freight people.

By the way, for anyone who wants to get their bike from Korea to China by ferry, in the case of Incheon to Yantai, it is pretty smooth going except for the bus ride neccessary to get from the terminal to the ferry at the Korea side and the ferry to the terminal at the Yantai side. There was no convincing the officials to let me ride the bike to the terminal or to the ferry.

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