Asia

How to go from Beijing to Datong and go crazy looking for a hotel

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There are days when things do not go as planned and you almost have to fight the elements. In this article we tell you our fourth day of Trip to china, when we went from Beijing to Datong and almost became majaras looking for the hotel we had booked for the night.

It is not easy to stop a taxi in China let alone get you where you want. It was half past six in the morning, in a torrential rain, loaded with two large suitcases and we were heading towards the Beijing bus station.

Chinese service area

Standing in the middle of that decaying shopping street, watching taxis pass one after another, it was when I remembered that the taxis stop lowering the arm from top to bottom with the palm of the open hand (thanks, Beijing Express!). And that we had been in China for four days. After making the gesture, we managed to stop a taxi, we entered and, with the help of the iPad, we showed the taxi driver the address of the bus station written in Chinese We wanted to go to.

At 7.15 we were already at the station trying to buy two bus tickets for the next one to go to Datong. The one at 7.30 and the one at 8 were already full but, luckily, we got a place at the one at 8.20h. You can also go to Datong by train, but turn around and take more than seven hours. If a traffic jam is not caught in Beijing, the bus arrives in Datong in 4 hours, but that was just the theory.

At the bus station it was not very well indicated on which door you had to board. Even so, we liked to see that, in general, the Chinese are very friendly, they show you the way and accompany you if necessary. So, we found the door, we sat in the seats in front and waited until one of the reviewers came looking for us to announce that our bus had arrived.

Datong, China

The bus was not bad, it had leather seats and air conditioning, but it was a bit dirty and dilapidated. The thing began to twist when we saw that it was half past eight and we had not yet left. Someone was missing and did not arrive. In the end, we started up twenty minutes late, but ten minutes later we stopped in the middle of the street until a car appeared with two people inside who got on the bus and finally we really started. What is a saying, since there was such traffic jam in Beijing It took us more than an hour and a half to leave the city. Despite this, the bus ride was quite comfortable and, in addition, we were stopping every hour and a half in service areas with fairly clean bathrooms and supermarkets to buy some soda.

Finally we arrived in Datong at two in the afternoon. There we had a room reserved in the Datong Youth Hostel. I thought it would not be necessary to have a map to know the way to get there, but I hoped that it would be enough to have the address for a taxi driver to take us. But the Chinese taxi drivers are very his and none wanted to take us to the hostel because they said he was too close and that they would not lose the possibility of making a long run for seven miserable yuan. This taxi ride in China has its technique, not only know how to stop them, but getting them to take you once you have stopped one is also an arduous task.

As everyone said the hostel was close, we tried to get directions on how to get there. First we asked a policeman who was entertaining playing with his phone and it seems that it bothered him that we interrupted him. Then we asked a small travel agency that it seemed like weeks ago they were selling nothing. One of the girls, with laughter and shame, drew us a map. On that map, the hostel It was one block to the right, two blocks to the left and again one block to the left of it. Seen from the perspective of the map, it seemed very easy, so we began to walk dragging our bags.

What we did not expect is that apples end up being sections of kilometer communist avenue (and I don't exaggerate). At each intersection we asked if we were on the right track to not walk more than the bill, and that is to walk, we walked a lot that day, until we finally reached the Huansi Daijie street. He lodging house I was at number two on that street, but the buildings had no street number indicated. We went Huansi Daijie up and Huansi Daijie down (the street was not exactly short), and there was no hostel, no hotel, no hostel or anything.

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