Getting used to the toilets
Not trying to gross anyone up but at every public toilet cubicle, there's a little basket by the side. It's for you to throw i the used tissue after # 1 or #2's. If you accidentally throw the piece of tissue into the toilet bowl, chances are you'll see it floating there after a few flushes. The local only warned me about the toilet thingy on the second day *embarassed* Also another warning, some public toilets, DO NOT have doors. While peeing, just ignore everyone ...
Lanzhou with Joo
My pages are made for budget tourists and if you are rich tourist, you may want to skip my pages, anyway. We were here twice in December 2001 by train of 3rd class since we are on budget travels. Our train arrived here as early as 5am in the morning after more than 10 hours of sweet & sours. The Lanzhou station has a long pavement and as usual we have to walk towards to the ticket-inspection exits, always remember to keep your ticket otherwise you will have trouble getting out. After walking out of the railway station, be ready to expect many peoples approaching you. They surrounded me to offer their taxi service and accommodations, but we stick to our plan walking ahead keep saying no thanks. Keep walking pretending as if you already know the direction until nobody following you. That’s my style otherwise I couldn’t even take a rest to think.
Make sure nobody follows me, now I can look around for my choice of accommodations. That's how we did when going to a new place. If you are rich, sure you don’t have to do like me, go ahead pick the best hotel in town. We are budget tourists looking for budget hotel, so it takes more time.
Lanzhou's Muslims Noodles
This is so popular in Lanzhou, Muslims are very active here, they live together with other ethnic, but you can obviously tell they are Muslims because they wear head veil.
Most of the hotels or hostels around the railway station are only for local Chinese not for foreigners like us. To tell you honestly, we spent 1 and half hours to get a room cost RMB90 for 3 persons. Anyway it's a 3 star hotels, sharing bathroom and toilet with a big window looking out to a wide open mountainous landscaping but unfortunately was half blocked by ugly tall buildings. The first time I look at it was before I bath but then about an hour later I come back to take a photo, the whole mountain landscaping were gone and you think what, it was caused by heavy air pollution.
My imagination tells me, this city is not as what we saw on the tourism poster where camels walking on desert carrying silks but instead it became a heavy polluted city full of high rise buildings. Today Lanzhou is just another big city of China but don't worry, we must always have hope.
Sorry for this one, I have to tell honestly. The dirtiest area to me was the surrounding of railway station. This location has an internet cafe but not easy to locate it if you don't read Chinese. Just like many other cities of China, you can enjoy fresh mouth-water-spiting or sputum anywhere on the road. Yes, the Chinese spits everywhere. You can count 1 to 5 steps a sputum then you count again you see another sputum or if you are lucky enough you can see some live performing of "Eee-Yaak--Pooii..!" As a tourist, I love traveling in China but I couldn’t agree to their unstoppable spiting culture.
Why they have so much of sputum?
I can't answer your question but I will try to explain to VTers what Eee-Yaak--Pooii is? It was the voice in between your throat and tongue. When the Chinese is about to spit, they will generate a voice out from their throat as lubricating I supposed, then follow by another voice coming out from the outer throat which is to bring out the mouth water together with phlegm. Chinese do not spit quietly, they spit in loud irritating voice. Right after the loud voice, you can see a drop of sputum very nicely placed on the well-aimed spot by the person, well done. For those of you never been to China, this is very strange but after a while, spiting has becoming part of your life even inside the bus train restaurant or just anywhere. After you already adapted into this spiting culture, everything should be okay and you will love this city.
There are a some places worth a look, the Nanguan Mosque, Wu-quan-Shan (Five spring park), the Water Wheels of Lanzhou and many more, make sure you try the famous Lanzhou Noodles by the Muslims.
Because of air pollutions, they have to do this on the street, but not everybody. Only certain peoples willing to cover their mouth and nose. I remember I read an article about air pollution and Lanzhou was on the top 10 because of the factories.