China’s Adorable Treasures

We arrived in the city of Chengdu before dawn, after a 17-hour train ride from Xi’an. It was so early that we couldn’t check into our hotel or even get our morning fix of pork dumplings. Of course, there was no point in rushing, as the morning’s destination wouldn’t open for another few hours. And so we sat in the lobby, stunned, taking advantage of the wifi, the chance to use a toilet that wasn’t moving, and air that wasn’t filled with second-hand smoke.

Welcome to Beijing!

I’ve arrived safely but exhausted in Beijing—I’m simply not cut out for overnight flights. I managed to get a taxi to my hotel and was only very slightly confused out of my change. Of course with the early arrival, I had to wait several hours before I could check in—so I hit the streets of Beijing in a bit of a daze, but thoroughly enjoying the crisp autumn air after steamy Thailand.