Monday, April 25, 2011

Overnight in Sanjiang

Day 7 (29th March 2011)

I did not take breakfast this morning. I was not willing to spend my money at Chengyang.

After checking out, I asked the caretakers how I would be able to get to Sanjiang. They told me to wait on the main road for "mian bao che" (literally, vehicle for transporting bread - how do they look like?) or buses.

While waiting for the public transportation on the main road, a tuk-tuk came across from the other side of the modern bridge. I asked the driver whether he was going to town, and he replied that he would be going later but not then. He was saying there were many vehicles passing through which would be going to Sanjiang. Just as we were talking, a loud horn was heard at a blind corner of the road (this is a practise around this region, including Dazhai, to warn vehicles coming from the opposite direction at blind corners of on-coming traffic). He said that would be the bus and when he physically saw the bus coming around the corner, he confirmed that it was going to Sanjiang. I quickly waved it down. The fare was RMB6, not RMB7 as mentioned by the caretakers.

The bus arrived at He Xi Bus Station, which was situated at a road junction. I would be staying close to this station since the buses going to Zhaoxing would depart from here. There would normally be two buses going to Zhaoxing in a day, one early in the morning and the next before noon. I intended to take the early morning bus so that I would reach Zhaoxing in the early afternoon.

Since I was still early, I took the opportunity to inquire about the bus to Zhaoxing. The reply was rude and the ticketing clerk said for that day, there was no more bus. There might be a bus early the next morning at 6:30 a.m. and another at 11:30 a.m. The fare was RMB32 and I intended to purchase the bus ticket there and then but was told by her to buy it the next day.

I saw only one hostel here, Bai Huo Hotel, which was across the road from He Xi Bus Station. I did not check out this hostel immediately since the five-foot way was being paved, making entry to the hostel troublesome. So, I decided to look for another hostel close by. I checked the four streets in the four directions and did not see any other hostels nearby. Sanjiang Hotel is situated across the bridge and too far away. In the end, I checked this hostel out and the rate was RMB68, with hot bath. It was clean and so I decided to take it.

(Download this 3843 x 2586 px map of Sanjiang for your reference. It is only 844 kb in size)
Sanjiang is a city under very fast development. There was construction work everywhere you look. The town was dusty and there were tuk-tuk everywhere, more than any other cities on this trip of mine.

There was nothing on offer in terms of tourism, except for a Dong Drum Tower. Taking out my GPS-enabled Blackberry, I walked over the bridge to look for it, but it was hidden from my view. I walked too far away and could not locate it by sight. By this time, my feet were already aching badly, after many days of walking. I decided to return to the hostel and later took a tuk-tuk to see it. The lady tuk-tuk driver charged RMB3, when it should have been RMB2.

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