CHINA – Now we are real aliens

It’s 8.40 am and I am awake to the sounds of techno and toilets being flushed.

Jingkong, Yunnan, China

Now we are real aliens.

Yesterday we crossed the border from Laos into China.

We bussed our way out of Luang Nam Tha pretty early (i think about 8am) and arrived in the Laos border town Boten about an hour or less later. Being the cheapskates we are we said no to the tuktuk guys who wanted to take us to the other side (Mohan) – instead ‘trekked’ the 1 km over.

Construction was going on as we got closer to Mohan and the smells from it reminded me of when I went to Beijing in 1999. Glue, welding, paint and probably more cool chemicals – The Smell of Progress. Quite a contrast to what we’d seen in Laos. Erin, Lachlan and I felt like we were in Disneyland but without all the shitty music. Lot’s of bright colours and new stuff.

Passport control was excellent and we through in less than a minute. The guys spoke English well and were curious about what the Australian emblem in our passport was all about – luckily Erin was up to speed with that and filled them in.

Yes we are real aliens. The language swapped over straight away from something i could slightly understand (very similar to Thai) to Putonghua. The little I had learnt back in Hong Kong 2 year ago had pretty much vanished to some remote place in my brain and was slowly trickling back out. And we seem to be getting a lot of attention on the street.

From Mohan we got a van to Mengla and then another van to Jinghong. It all went pretty easily – a lot to do with the amazing countryside, villages and the super kickass highway that tunnels it’s way through it all.

Jinghong was not what we expected. This city is massive and has a buzz to it. Lots of lights, shops and green trees. People so far don’t seem to be cracking the kind of smiles i was used to in Thailand but I am working on them. We scored 2 rooms for ¥40 – includes rooftop views of the buildings next to it. Tsingtao beer is ¥6. Lots of photo opportunities here for sure

Public toilets are just how i remembered them. Yikes!

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