Yesterday we had a really chilled day walking in the park outside the city walls. We had planned to go out in the evening because it was Friday night but ended up sitting in our hostel until 12pm: playing pool with other hostel goers and talking with some girls who were from Dagenham (a place very close to where we live in London!). It was really strange because we’ve barely met anyone European let alone English on our trip and we meet some girls from the town next to ours!
Train to Luoyang
We bought our train tickets yesterday morning for a train leaving for Luoyang at 10am. Because the journey would take us around 5 hours we made sure that we were fully prepared with our snacks ( fruit, spring onion crackers, chilli peanuts AND PEANUT BUTTER BISCUITS- which we found yesterday in Wallmart (I’ve actually missed peanut butter…), water and entertainment (catching up with our journals).
The train journey went really quickly! After exiting Luoyang train station we walked directly opposite to the bus station and bought our ticket for our next destination – Denfeng on Tuesday – and were pooed on by a giant bird whilst in the queue! It literally managed to hit both mine and Leah’s front and back rucksacks – meaning that it must’ve hit our hair also….
We got on a bus to our hostel but missed our stop and didn’t realise until we were a few stops passed so got a bus back in the opposite direction. Once we checked in we went to our room and there was a girl already in our dorm. She was from Wuhan but is currently working in a hotel in Denfeng! She said that she’d give us a good discount on a room as well as free coffee but after checking out her hotel on booking.com we realised that it was well out of our price range…
Dinner in the old town
We were pretty disappointed with the old town in Luoyang…
The Main Street was about 300m long with lanterns and food stalls with seating outside. The atmosphere was really good but the street took about 10 minutes to walk (including stopping to look at the food stalls). The surrounding streets consisted of clothes shops, some arts and crafts shops as swell as a few small restaurants. Compared to the other old towns we’ve visited it really wasn’t great.
We made the best of the situation and bought dinner from one of the food stalls with outside seating attached. The food stall had noodles and lots of vegetables on plates so we assumed that you picked what vegetables you wanted fried with noodles. We didn’t realise that each vegetable would be a complete dish so by picking mushrooms we would be ordering a whole plate of mushrooms… I went first and ordered 6 things, lots of vegetables as well as a few cubes of tofu…
Luckily Leah went second and somehow managed to cancel my order in place of hers so we ended up with 4 dishes to share – which was actually plenty! We could’ve ended up with 10 whole plates of vegetables (too much for even Leah and I to eat!)
After dinner we walked around the streets a little and bought some homemade ice lollies (mine was berry flavoured and Leahs was Apple – they literally tasted like pureed and frozen fruit. Tasty!)
Back at the hostel – Uno and karaoke
Seeing as it was Saturday night we didn’t want to go straight to our rooms after dinner so opted for the hostel bar instead.
As soon as we sat down a girl from reception came over with a Chinese guy and said that he wanted to invite us over to his table for a beer with his friends. We thought it would be funny so said yes… And it was actually a hilarious evening!
There was a guy playing the guitar when we sat down and the whole thing at first was awkwardly intimate. The girl from reception sat with us to translate our whole conversation so it was taking a lot longer than it would in the same language. The guy from the beginning kept staring at Leah and myself saying that he loved us and we were just laughing in response saying to the girl that we must’ve misheard him… He kept repeating it…
After a while he asked if he could sing us a song… We said yes of course! He asked the guy playing the guitars to accompany him and sang us song after song for about 20minutes – we were clapping after every song assuming that he was finished. He was actually pretty good but he made it really awkward by choosing love songs and trying to make eye contact with us both…
After a while we had to stop him and asked everyone if they wanted to play uno instead – we’d noticed the pack of cards earlier. We called over two other girls sitting close by and after leah explained the rules to everyone we began with 7 players. After a while everyone was really getting into it, enjoying it when they were able to make each other pick up 2 or 4 cards at a time.
We must’ve looked like we were having lots of fun because a few other people started to gather around us and more people joined in each round of the game. People were even doing forfeits if they lost! The most popular was singing a song for everyone – something everyone but myself and leah seemed to be looking forward to!
By 10.30pm Leah and myself were both in the bottom three of the Uno game (we didn’t lose) so decided to quit why we were ahead and go to bed before we lost and had to offend everyone’s ears with our singing…