In Europe a very important part of planning one’s vacation are the bridge days. Especially in May there are plenty of those. Even if not leaving home or traveling far, one likes to take one day of in order to have a long weekend with one’s loved ones. However in China there is no such thing as bridge days. The Chinese just move the weekend in order to close the gap between the days off. It thus happened this year that the weekend just before May 1st was moved to Sunday and Monday and people had a six day workweek leading up to the holiday. We decided to make use of the holiday by discovering a small village in the mountains West of 北京 (bei jing). An adventure!
I spent the last stretch of my trip on the luxury compartment of the night train from Xian to Beijing Xi (Beijing West). The two big differences between the hard and soft sleeper compartments on Chinese night trains are the fact that the soft sleepers have lockable doors and only consist of 4 berths compared to 6 in the hard sleeper compartments. The bed though is just as hard. Once I had arrived in Beijing a started the search for the needle in the haystack.