The over night bus ride was another local experience! We were the only farangs on the bus. When you got on the bus you were handed a plastic bag for your shoes in order to keep the bus floor clean – positive at least! There were 2 aisles down either side of the bus, not wide enough for two people to pass at the same time. There were top and bottom bunks, about 36 beds in total. The beds were quite comfortable, well anything after a hard seat for 12 hours is better! The only slight turn off was that the sheets smelt of body odour and there were bloodstains as well! Tried not to touch too much!
We were suppose to leave at 5pm and only ended up leaving at 6pm. A few hours into the journey I had to pee so went to the back of the bus to find that the toilet door was locked! I tried to ask the driver if I could use the toilet, but he was not quite sure what I wanted. Not much I could do, so just had to wait until our stop at about 9pm. We had a quick toilet stop and then back onto the bus. Next stop was at 11pm for dinner - no way we were eating in the filthy open-air restaurant, not sure what people were getting to eat, looked awful! Dean and I took turns at each stop to use the toilet. I went first, came back to watch our stuff and I was the only one on the bus as they had all got off to eat. I was locked in the bus on my own in the dark and Dean was stuck outside! Felt like ages but was probably only in there for about 20mins. We were then on the bus with no stops until 6am. A quick toilet stop, one worse than the next! Hygiene and toilets are not the best here in China.
We arrived in Chongqing at about 10:30am. We quickly found a taxi and headed to our hostel. We checked in and tried to work out what we could do in the two days we were here. We were hoping to do a Yangtze River three gorges cruise, unfortunately they were all three day / two nights and over $400, so not quite in our backpacker budget or time frame. We did a Yangtze River night cruise instead - it is an awful brown color not clean at all! The lady from the hostel walked us to the pier where our boat was going to be leaving from, she tried to take a “short cut” rather unsafe as we were on a ledge and would not want to fall over otherwise you would end up in the Yangtze and not sure how good that would be! The cruise was lovely. Skyline all lit up, the Opera House looked very pretty. We were on the top deck of the boat, outside sitting at a table and they served us hot heat in a plastic cup. All the other people on the boat were Chinese, we were the only westerners. They were all eating meat out of plastic suction bags, peanuts, and popcorn always munching away at something. We got some popcorn and soft drinks and enjoyed our two hour cruise on the Yangtze.
The two days we were in Chongqing we walked through the city center. A very run down and much dirtier city than the other places. It was not as pretty in the downtown area. At least the old part of the city was nice. Cute streets and vendors selling all sorts of fresh food and other nick knacks. A nice enough stop and hostel.
The morning of 28 Aug we had an early start and took the two hour brand new express train to Chengdu.