Facts about the train Lhasa to Chengdu I took the train down the other day, turned out to be a good idea. The soft sleepers were about empty and I had 4 beds to myself. Monday was sld out so I got Tuesday. Five of 8 cabins in the car were empty. There are no showers on the train but at the end of the car is 3 sinks with ht water. Some people even washed their hair but the pressure is low. Most toilets are ‘squat’, remember to put paper in the trash can, and flush each time. There is a sign about flushing and a big button next to it. Step back first as you might get some spray on your feet. There is tissue but it may run out at times. Carry some, and hand sanitizer gel. The train ladies do a very goood job of keeping everything clean. There were 2 western toilets , one out of order one locked. Ask the lady to open it if needed. Soft-sleepers have thick beds, 4 to a cabin with locking door. Also have TV, outlets ( 2 prong western and 3 prong Chinese style), hangers, wonderful blanket and pillow, table, hot water thermos, lots of storage under bed and over door, slippers. The metal bowl on the table is for trash, after use empty it in the bins near the bathroom, keep the room’s trashcan from stinking. The hard sleeper has 6 beds, the top one has no head room. Three people will be sitting on each bottom bed. The aisle has a few fold down seats. Snacks- the cart comes around, has juice and water and instant coffee and tea. Hot water is at the end of the car on the wall. Under the cart is instant soup, ask for it as it is only 5 yuan. Small water is 3 yuan. Milk tea 5 yuan. FOOD – dining car has padded bench seats, allows smoking. Food is so-so, my chicken was all bone. The chicken and peanuts cost 23 yuan. There is a cart comes around, has about 3 foods on it and rice for 15 yuan. One lunch I had pork and green peppers, pork and onions, VERY good. Next time different and not so good. To train – cabs cost 40 yuan, 25 minute drive. Big new station, English signs no problem. There are busses for 1 yuan but where? The cars have LED signs at each end giving speed, temp outside, altitude, time to next stop. What else? It was a great 48 hours. Now I am in Chengdu and it is raining, it was supposed to be clear and warm.
posted Thursday April 2007