Our Long Drive Home. First Contact. UK to Australia

Mike and Jess continue their way through China, making their way from Wuhan to Nanning via overnight sleeper buses of varying cleanliness, battle hungry cats with chopsticks, and enter Dr Dolittle’s waiting room.

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It was Sunday morning and our time had come to say goodbye to our beloved new friend, Beijing. For the few days we were there, we really fell in love with the place, not to mention there was an awesome dumpling place right opposite our hostel.

Now it goes without saying that China is a fantastic, beautiful and captivating country, but we are on a mission to get to Australia. So we made the decision to get down to Vietnam ASAP, where we would surely enjoy some jungle adventures. We will come back and explore China more thoroughly another time. So our next destination was a little spot called Wuhan. Well, I say ‘little’, since relative to other Chinese cities it is on the diminutive side. But Wuhan is still home to over 4.5 million people, which makes it about the same size as Sydney.

In order to get down south, it was back on the overnight sleeper bus. However, this particular journey was possibly my worst sleeper bus experience, which was littered with dirt (and blood) stained sheets, men coughing up their guts and various passengers spitting into buckets dotted around us. Not ideal for 15 long hours on a bus. The instant we landed in Wuhan, we grabbed our things and pretty much army rolled our way out.

Oddly, the address for our guesthouse took us to a shopping mall, which was highly confusing and slightly unnerving. The taxi driver seemed less concerned, since he dropped us off, took his money and pointed to an elevator down a side alley. We pressed the button, made our way up, the elevator doors opened, and it was like we had been transported to another world. There was a maze of pathways decorated with vintage chairs, plants and artifacts greeting us, not to mention the birds singing away in hanging baskets, goldfish in plant pots and chickens and rabbits in pens. It was rather like getting a magic elevator to Dr Dolittle’s office.

Our room for the night was by far the best room we have stayed in this whole trip. Wooden panel flooring, weathered brick walls, and so many vintage ornaments and quirky appliances, like the ceramic china electric teapot. The following morning we headed for breakfast in the hostel’s own café, which included fending off a mischievous cat with our newly mastered chopstick skills!

As we had some time to kill before our bus to Nanning (close to the Vietnamese border), we decided to take a look at the Wuhan’s Yellow Crane Tower. Nestled in amongst the trees on a hill, this frankly beautiful tower is easily one of the best features of the Wuhan skyline. First built in 223AD and is considered one of the four Great Towers of China.

Onto our second sleeper bus in two days, and by this point we were feeling like pros by this point. Nanning as it turns out though isn’t the most beautiful city, nor is it the ugliest. It just feels like any other city we’ve visited. So instead of sightseeing, we were granted some time to reflect on our time in China. We have seen some wonderful things, but there is just so much more we have missed out on.

However, we will definitely be back to hug a panda, see the South China sea, and take in more of the outstanding Southern Chinese cooking. Tomorrow we get a bus to Hanoi in Vietnam, and we’re very much looking forward to the South East Asian leg of this mad adventure.

– Find out how you can contribute to this charitable journey by clicking HERE, and find out where Mike and Jess are today by clicking HERE

Categories: Fast Fleet


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