Quick update while we get the chance!
The only place we can camp in China is hiding under the many bridges, out of sight from the Police and Military, but we generally get spotted by the local Camels! we never knew there was camels in China!
All the scooters in Western China are battery powered, engines are forbidden, there’s razor wire and barriers everywhere, around the cities forming walls and along the streets.
Another strange thing that we never knew about, is that as big as China is, there’s only one time zone, known as Beijing time! so for example, say in Kashgar it’s 4pm, but they work on Beijing time which is 2 hours ahead, so it’s also 6pm, only in China this could happen to make things even more complicated than it already is..
Our first impression of China… the first few days we didn’t really like it, due to all the Police and Military check points, at times we have been stopped 5 times in less than one hour, but you start to accept that this is how things are in China, the people are very friendly and constantly want to talk to us, even though we have absolutely no idea what they are saying, yep there’s no English here, they also love to take photos of us. We haven’t seen a single westerner yet, but I’m sure we will in time.
We’ve already mentioned this, but we still can’t comprehend the number of Police and Military, they are literally scattered every 20 metres dressed in full body armor complete with state of the art weapons, then theres the armored tanks, it’s like they are expecting a war to break out, there’s also cctv cameras everywhere, they guard schools, restaurants, shops, hotels…everything, you can’t even get in the fuel stations as they have fixed barriers with razor wire and military guarding the entrance, we’ve not worked that one out yet! everyone has their bags checked and have to show their ID, imagine what it’s like at an airport security check in, well it’s like this everywhere but much more complicated..
We’ve tried to get SIM cards for our mobiles, first we had our passports translated into Chinese, then find out that China has blocked almost everything, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and anything to do with Google, and so on.. I believe this has all got worse recently, so when given the chance we can post on our website through a Chinese channel, this might change the further East we head, or it might even change today..
We are still cycling the Silk Road, currently heading to Xi’an, which is one of the oldest cities in China, and it’s also where we will visit the Terracotta Army and The Great Wall of China, it’s also Public day on the 1st of October till the 7th, which is the 70th anniversary celebrating when China was founded on the 1st October 1949.
So in a nutshell it’s beginning to be a very interesting place, the people are great, plenty of good food, but this place is completely alien to us, so you have to learn fast or China will simply swallow you up! we plan to be in China until Christmas before entering Vietnam, so we are certainly going to learn many things about this interesting Country.
We’ve many photos and videos, but like we say, most things are blocked, and we have to be very careful what we post.