Yep that’s right. On “hard seat” class no less.
God save our souls.
After a five day road trip through the highlands of Tibet, and another two days spent in Lhasa, we’ll be leaving Tibet tomorrow morning to catch a 24-hour train ride to Xining, in the Qinghai province of China.
I’m really fearing the ride to be honest. I initially thought that the ride would be a long 30 hours, but even if it’s actually “only” 24 hours, I can imagine that it is going to be a painful ride: Sitting-down-for-24-hours-and-not-being-able-to-lie-down-to-sleep painful.
The only time I’ve taken such a long train ride was two years ago when my dad, sis and I took a 17-hour train ride into Kiruna (North of Sweden, somewhere in the artic circle). I remember it being rather torturous, and back then, we had a sleeper berth, and tomorrow, it’s going to a seat, a “hard seat” (whatever hard means really.)
Earlier today, while shopping for food for the ride since we figured that the food sold on the train is probably going to be really expensive, it almost felt as if we were stocking up for war:
Cup noodles for 2 meals? Check
Bread for breafkast? Check
Drinks (water and other drinks) to last the ride? Check
Other snacks in case we’re bored/hungry/itchy mouth? Check
Of course the main consolation is that I’m saving 50USD by taking the seat, which will probably cover my accomodation in Xining. Also, the scenery from the oxygen-pumped train (yep that’s right) as it goes through the Tibetian plateau is supposed to be AMAZING. Besides, being in a railway that has been deemed as an astronomical engineering feat would probably be an experience in itself. And at the risk of schadenfreude, our two friends, ZB and Lek, who travelled in Nepal and Tibet with us, are taking a 42-hour train ride to Chengdu on a “hard seat” the following day. Good luck to them man. Good luck to us, especially our bums.
Will let you know if I survive the ride.