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Thursday, Train from Datong to Pingyao

Pingyao, China
Thursday, July 5, 2018
Up at 5 am, had coffee and packed up.

Left the 22nd floor hostel at 7 am and caught the #15 bus right across the street to the train station. It wasn't quite rush hour yet so the bus wasn't packed. The train station was the last stop for this bus so everybody got off.

Had another coffee just because I spotted a Macs right outside the train station.

The train left right on time and was completely full as usual.  This one made more stops and had harder seats but it still wasn't too bad. Not much scenery though just lots of farmland.  My seatmate was a scrawny kid so I had plenty of room.

Got to Pingyao and walked from the train station to the exact location of the hotel on the map but I couldn't find it. There were a few little alleyways and all of the signs were in Chinese. I gave up pretty fast and went into a different place that turned out to be cheaper with all of the same amenities (in-suite bathroom, WiFi, etc) so I stayed there.

I paid for four nights which took all of my cash so I had to find an ATM. The first one rejected my card so I was a little panicky about not having any cash. I went into a high end hotel where they spoke English to ask them about another ATM. They sent me to a bank right outside of the city walls which worked. I'm trying to figure out how to use Alipay or WeChat to pay for everything since that's what the locals do. I also still need a Chinese SIM card.

Had Lunch/Dinner at a place near the bank and they recommended Beef Kao Lao Lao which looks like some kind of specialty here. It is basically big noodles sitting upright with stuff on top.

There where a lot of Chinese tourists in Pingyao and a few Western backpackers. It looks like a nice little scenic place to relax for a few days. Also, it's not as gray as all of the photos that I saw. Today is pretty bright and clear.

In the evening I walked to the other end of the Old Town and watched the kite flyers with huge kites right outside of the city walls. Then sat outside and had a beer at a place on the main Old Town street. Several Chinese tourists stopped to take pictures of me and one lady had her kids stand next to me for a photo. I also had her take one of us for me with my camera.

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