This has to be one of the wackiest train rides that I've ever had!! I was approached by a group college age local students that wanted to practice English outside the train station. So I chatted for a few minutes and then asked if they would purchase my "local" priced Sleeper ticket for me..They were more than happy to help. So I gave them my money and they went to the ticket booth. They came back and said the sleepers were sold out...So I had them purchase me a regular "Hard Seat" ticket which doesn't guarantee a seat either!! haha When I entered the train it was packed!!! I was hoping to at least sit down on this 8 hour journey as I'd just finished walking around for 12 hours and before that I had come off another night train from Xiangfan so I was beat and still cold and wet from the day of slogging through the snow and rain!
Here is the setting....Imagine a train that is absolutely full of people..now add about 30 more to the train car on top of that everyone is soaking wet!!
I made my way into the car to a bunch of stares but after I got in and tried a few phrases in Chinese I had the people that were near me smiling. After about 20 minutes the train pulled away from the station. I was scanning the car for someplace to sit as I was beat! All of the seats were taken and actually were doubled up with people. Most of the people in my car were students. .......Continued on part 2....
To get from the train station area to the caves there is a bus service that goes past the caves. I don't remember which bus but you might be able to inquire at the train station. It was easy to use and cost just pennies to get there. If you don't like city buses there are taxis too. I didn't use them. I'm sure by now there are guys hanging around the train station offering their "services".