Thursday, 23 July 2015


Yes, I have made it into China. All my efforts now are to reach my starting point, but that is easier said than done.
I am now in Lanzhou, pretty much in the NW/centre of the country. It has been some sort of a slog getting here, also involving a 34 hr bumby bus ride, and 41 hrs on a hard seat in a very crowded train (many passengers have only standing tickets).
I broke the journey between bus and train in Kunming, at the nice Cloudland hostel where I have been before. There I had some good company (Dutch travellers Michelle and Lucas, as well as French Nicolas - who found it very amusing that I had gotten lost for 8 hours in the middle of the night from outlying bus station to city hostel). This is the summer holiday season, so all means of transport is booked up. I have cycled a few days NW from Lanzhou up the silk route last year (my 2nd effort to cross China from S to W).
My bike and all my baggage was checked in to the cargo dept, and only arrived 24 hrs after me (no bike, clean clothes, toiletries, guide book, etc. for a day). Not the end of the world. I have decided to take transport all the way West to the Pakistan border (or as close as possible), and then cycle back East here to Lanzhou.
But, there are always surprises on the road, and all transport is booked up for the next week (due to the summer holidays). I have managed to secure an onward train ticket, so now I have a few days to just put my feet up. Then there will be a lot of pedalling going on, because my visa time is running out.
At the hostel where I am staying here in Lanzhou there are no foreigners, mostly Eastern Chinese students on holiday (luckily some of them speak a little English). Lanzhou is a big city on the Yellow River, but there is just about no English spoken as it is not a tourist destination, but mainly a junction on the Silk Route between the West and Eastern China. I will take some pics around this area, so check this site again in the next couple of days.
Distances cycled are mostly between hostels, bus staions, and train stations, so I will add that to the next post when I have done some real cycling. Oh yes, I can now access my blog and e-mail because I have aquired a VPN app, which re-routes my internet connection to avoid the Chinese block on certain websites.

Friday, 10 July 2015


Here I am, once again in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Similar to last year it was a charge North from Bangkok, and I crossed the border a day or 2 before my Thai visa expired. It was so much of the "same old route" that I only realised afterwards I did not take any pics. At least this time (unlike last year) I did not have my computer, or anything else, stolen along the way. Also, to save some time and effort, I jumped the gun and took the train to Ayuttaya.
There doesn't seem to be much new to photograph in this city, but I've stuck on some pics anyway. At least I have obtained my China visa here again, and will be heading in that direction shortly. I will probably not be able to update my blog from there (as in the past), but there are ways and means and hopefully I can get access to that.
Distances cycled since Bangkok have been:- Ayuttaya (+ train) 12 km; Pakchong 109 km; Nakhon Rachasima 121 km; Temple Camp 124 km; Kong Kaen 120 km; Truck Stop 65 km; Nonh Khai 59 km; and Vientiane 28 km. Total distance is 129 472 km.