After spending 4 nights and 3 days on the President No. 1 Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang we caught a train to Sanjiang. We actually got pretty lucky arriving at the station when we did. There was only one train headed that direction and it was leaving in 10 minutes. This sort of thing happened to us alot along the trip. It made me think of The Amazing Race and how everything just seemed to work out perfectly whenever we needed it to.
Anyway, we bought tickets on a Hard Sleeper, it was cheaper and the time before when we did this from Luoyang to Xian it seemed ok. Big mistake that was.
Probably the hottest and most uncomfortable i've ever been. But being the great traveler i am it didn't affect me too much, i fell asleep in about 10 minutes. My brother on the other hand spent the entire 10 hour ride fanning himself off. He later said i looked like i was dead. He didn't know how it was possible anyone could sleep on that train.
So after the great train ride we arrive in a little station outside of Sanjiang around 2 in the morning.
I think we were the only 2 people to get off here. Right away a lady comes running up to us and asked if we needed a place to sleep.
She takes us through what seemed like a garage turned into a kitchen. Then up some stairs to an empty room with three cot looking beds with a bamboo bed spread. The walls and floors were cement, but it seemed like it would do for the night.
There was a mechanical fan and the lady lit some incense in the room for us, i guess to keep bugs away or to make it smell good? i don't know.
We woke up pretty early in the morning, i think around 8 AM, what seemed late since everyone else seems to wake up around 4 AM.
We came to this area to see the bridges of Sanjiang. They're pretty extravagant and made with no nails, so I figured they'd be worth a look-see. Having no clue if we were actually in Sanjiang or where the bridges could be we decided to walk down to the main street and hike around. Again, having no clue where they were we decided to just pick a direction.
After about 45 minutes of walking around with 60+ pound backpacks in 100+ degree heat we decided we were probably walking the wrong way and should look for a taxi and just find a bus or tain to our next destination and forget the stupid bridges.
This area is where alot of the minority groups live, i'm not sure which one it was, but they didn't seem like they had seen many foreigners before. We sat down in the waiting room after being told that the ticket office would open at 2pm, it was 12pm at this point. A group of about 5 or 6 ladies just turned and stared at us as we took our packs off covered in sweat and sat down. and not pretend stare or glances like you make when you see something interesting.
Some guy ripped us off, 100 RMB to take us to the bridges and back to the train station. It was an interesting ride, like all taxis in china. There was lots of scenery along the way and lots of honking and swerving, you know, the usual chinese taxi ride.
So we get to the bridge after about 20 minutes. It cost 30 RMB to walk across to the other side to some little village. We got some pictures and looked around for about an hour.
So we get to the bus station and jump on a bus to Longsheng, which happened to be leaving about 15 minutes after we arrived. Again, good timing on our part. It was a pretty short ride, a couple hours maybe. So now we'd seen Sanjiang and it's bridges, or bridge. There may have been more. I don't know. It was overall an interesting day.