Travelling on the bullet train from Beijing to Xi'an

Beijing to Xi’an – Day 5

 

After a slow start (nothing to do with last night!) we packed our bags until the cab came at 12.30pm for us to catch the bullet train to Xi’an.

The station was huge; around the size of an airport. It took longer to get to the platform than it did to drive to the station
The taxi took around 40 mins to get to the station from our hotel in the hutong. The station was huge; around the size of an airport! It took longer to get to the platform than it did to drive to the station! We had a cheeky McDonalds for lunch before boarding. The station was split into lounges, then in that lounge it split off again into 3 platform entrances. There was a huge queue to get onto the platform as perhaps over 100 people filed through a few gates to get to the platform. We got on with a comfortable 20 mins to spare.

The journey took around 4 hours, during which we watched a film and a TV programme on the laptop to help pass the time. The train ride was so smooth you didn’t feel like you were travelling at 300 km/h. We passed by many huge cities on the way that all looked pretty much identical. The countryside we went through was entirely farmed; no fallow land or wooded areas at all. There was either strong smog or mist the entire way.

On the bullet train

On the bullet train

The bullet train travelled at up to 300 km/h

The bullet train travelled at up to 300 km/h

There was a strong smog or mist almost the entire way.

There was a strong smog or mist almost the entire way.

 

Xi’an

 

When we arrived there was a queue for the taxis and the obligatory guys trying to get you to pay an extortionate amount to go in their taxi. We got rid of them by knowing how much a taxi should cost to the hotel (the hotel told us what sort of price we could expect to pay, it’s always worth checking with them before you arrive.)

The hotel was in an upmarket complex with Sofitel being the main hotel, surrounded by swanky restaurants and other Western standard hotels.

Our hotel was the cheapest in the complex, so naturally we named it El Cheapo.
Our hotel was the cheapest in the complex, so naturally we named it El Cheapo. We checked in and freshened up in our clean and comfortable room before checking TripAdvisor for nice places to eat. To make life easy, because it was pouring with rain, we decided to try one of the posh restaurants nearby rather than brave leaving the complex.

Having a Bellini at Dolce Vita, Xi'an

Having a Bellini at Dolce Vita, Xi’an

Beautiful plates on the wall at Dolce Vita, Xi'an

Beautiful plates on the wall at Dolce Vita, Xi’an

 

Dolce Vita, a modern Italian restaurant, had amazing staff and very expensive wine. The food was 108-120 rmb per course and the wine was 90! So instead I ordered a cocktail because amazingly it was only 45. For dinner I ordered clams and courgettes linguine and got lamb tortellini in pea cream. Turning out to be the standard for China. No bother anyway, it was very nice. We didn’t have another late night like last night, but rather went back to the hotel room at a reasonable hour to make the most of the next day.