|Depart: Xiahe, Gansu Province, China
Arrive: Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China
Overnight: Lanzhou Hotel
- We left Xiahe, at an altitude of 3,000m, and headed back down towards Lanzhou, Gansu province's capital. We had 3 big drive days ahead of us to get to our final destination for this leg, Xi'an, home of the teracotta warriors.
- After a reasonably uneventful drive, we arrived in Lanzhou in the late afternoon. Woah! Although we had been in China for 3 weeks - we were not prepared for this! The place was huge, with shopping malls abound and wait for it.....several branches of KFC! Now, most of you know that I'm rather partial to Chinese food, but I was hankering after a little variety after 3 weeks of mostly Western Chinese food, not the Southern Chinese food that most of us are used to in London. Whilst we were driving to the hotel, I made a mental note on how to get to the KFC.
- Lanzhou, of course, was Paul Gascgoine's home for a while. He hated it here though, claiming that it was in the middle of nowhere and that it was a pollution capital. I thought it was actually quite a pleasant and modern place. I didn't notice any more pollution then what I'd seen in London or any other western city. I guess he just finds Newcastle more exciting!
- Following our check in to a rather swanky hotel, Jen and I took to the streets. After only 5 minutes, we bumped into a friendly Malaysian guy - Michael Leong. He heard us speaking English and struck up a conversation. He was in Lanzhou for his upcoming wedding to a local girl who he met in Kuala Lumpur where she was studying English. He directed us to the nearest KFC where I gorged myself on some hotwings - hmmm tasty.
- The KFC was next to the main square where there was some kind of dance class going on in one corner. Elsewhere, there were huge plastic barrel cactii and little parks with gym equipment.
- We then headed down towards the main river, looking for what were supposed to be a plethora of drinking places. We didn't find any nice ones and ended up having a beer in a square outside a shopping mall while be treated to some kind of martial arts show before heading back to the hotel and crashing out.