Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year or how to get from Vietnam to China

When we were going to China, Malaysia, and Vietnam before the Chinese New Year 2014, many people tried to urge us against doing so. The problem is that the time before and during the New Year is characterized with lots of migrations: everyone goes to visit his or her relatives and friends just like we do before the New Year and Christmas. That is why the borders, the roads, and the transport are overloaded and this is not the best time for travelling. But we did not have another choice, and travelled anyway.

How to get from Vietnam to China.

Just a day before the Chinese New Year we had to go from Hanoi to Guangzhou through Nanning. The locals claimed that we would not be able to buy the tickets on the spot, and it was not possible to buy them in advance. Nevertheless, we bought the tickets for the bus Hanoi – Nanning easily (departs at 7.30 am) and crossed the border between Vietnam and China. The border itself was crossed by the special golf cars organized by the bus company, and then we got back to the bus. In case you have extra luggage you will have to pay 10000 dongs for it.
to get from Vietnam to China

In the bus, we made friends with the Chinese, and they checked if there were the tickets for the train Nanning – Guangzhou available on the internet for us. The tickets were available, but the new friends kept repeating that they would be probably sold out by the time we arrive. All we could do was hope. Nanning turned out to be the city with energetic traffic on the noiseless electric bikes and the railway station with volunteers speaking English.

to get from Vietnam to China

After some time spent in the queue to the ticket office, we figured out that they did not accept the cards (and the cash machine at the railway station did not work). In the meantime, the tickets to the second-level births were sold out. We had to buy the tickets for the third-level births. Later we realized, this was the right decision, and we had been wrong in not buying them for Nha Trang – Danang train : they offer a lot of privacy unlike the lower ones. The beds are made by the conductors, and there is some food provided. We had a great sleep despite coughing and crying children in our compartment.
Vietnamise coach

The morning Guangzhou was in a pre-New Year bustle.
Guangzhou

Guangzhou

Chinese New Year.

All the shops closed after the lunchtime, and we could not buy anything we wanted to buy before leaving. We tried to use the time in the guesthouse replying to emails, and it took a while to use proxy servers to access the blocked website of an American university we needed to access. In the meantime, the owners of the guesthouse started to lay the table, inviting us and other travelers to try the local rum, Russian style sausages from Harbin, and traditional Chinese food.
While all the shops and kiosks in Guangzhou were closed, the flower market had crowds of people. The Chinese buy flowers to make a wish for the New Year. The flower market brings people together just like New Year concerts or markets in other parts of the world. In the evening, we found the owners of our hostel watching New Year TV programs and eating salads – we all are the same 
Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

The next morning, we saw people presenting red envelopes of happiness to each other. Meanwhile, we were going to the airport. Our month long trip around China, Malaysia, and Vietnam came to its end.
Pikachu