Monday, 27 May 2013

from Kunming to border China/Laos

As we had to wait for our visa extension we had time to call the past. When we first crossed the border in November last year, it was so impressing. What a huge country ! Big streets, buildings and promotion.

And our second time in China, especially in Kashgar, this is only a small „village“. In Chengdu we noticed dozens of living advertiser in inflatable costumes, who jamed the streets. Never-ending construction sites, where workers crossed big gorges by small chain bridges; no safety measures at all. Well, people here are more „consumable material“.
Then between the skyscrapers multi-lane streets over three levels.

But there exist awsome places in China. Unfortunetly they are „scenic points“ and tourists come in swarms by busses. Then they get an entertainment-program like in Disneyworld. Dancing performances, quad-biking, paragliding.souvenir shops. You will not find old restored houses. During the cultural revolution many building were destroyed. And this is still the current policy.

The best time for us was traveling as backpackers. By bus or train to the scenic points and no view to the monster constructions sites, bad roads and the very poor people on the countrysite.

China is not any more the country of the cyclists. A booming economy with an increasing gap between poor and rich. If you are rich you must have a SUV´s or , if not so rich, even a scooter. Making money is the religion, every day.

By the way :  currently the Chinese prime minister Li is in Germany. with his delegation he is on "shopping tour" to buy German companies with their know how. will become funny, if next week Mercedes Benz and Siemens belongs to a Chinese company ;-)

But we were highly surprised about the extreme friendly people ! Soldiers, policemen, trucker, in the cities... no reason to complain ! And most of them have a funny kind of humor.

And the food: most of the time very yummy. but no chicken feet ;-)

But it is enough for us. We want to go as fast as possible to Laos. In Kunming we met Albi from Switzerland and Koldo and Ainhan from Basque. Albi is a long-time globetrotter and Koldo and Ainhan are cyclists. They told us about the roads to the south and we decided to take the bus by a night ride to Jinghong, which is still in China. The buses are not good for tall people . I am only 186 cm, but I am too tall for all the public transport in Central Asia or China. Most of the time it is a torture for me.

The last 200 km we were back on the bikes again. due to the increasing temperatures and humidity it is important that our bodies should be trained.

Well in Jinghong, we met Albi again ! He is such a sympathic person with a huge experience about traveling.

Jinghong is much more beautiful than Kunming, but these bloody scenic spots exist, too . We avoided to visit any of them. 15 Eur per each person for artificial bullsh... is wasting money.

within 3 days we cycled from Jinghong to Mengla. We had a campsite in a caoutchouc plantation and in the early morning, the farmer came to cut the trees. Very impressing !
Then we cycled on a new road, along many banana plantations, through an insane number of tunnels, to Mo Han, the last village in China. I fullfilled my 7000 km on the bike.

On May 13th, we crossed in Boten the border to Laos, our 14th country. Well, we are really excited :-)

we did not taste it :-)

painful massage....  Autsch !

Koldo and Ainhain, now good friends !

German Vollkornbrot , so yummy !

Koldo and Ainhan with much less luggage ;-)

highways in the cities

slepper bus, but the bed too short for me .


chicken feet , never tasted it !


Temple in Jinghong, like Disney World

Albi from Basel, so great to know him !

rice terraces

stone forest

rest in the heat .

market at the highway


camping in the caoutchouc plantation

rare trees, because there are now only mono cultures

so exhausting to cycle through twenty tunnels

brakes of the trucks are water-cooled !

Fong, we met him in Kunming . now on the road again !

no trip for sissies ;-)

we waited for the German "TÜV", testing the bridge ;-)

Günter, our mascot, always happy :-)

"Disney-World" in China

permanent surveillance


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