September 15, 2010
Today was probably the biggest travel day of the trip. We landed in China just 13 hours after we took off, but with the time change it went from mid-day Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon. We left straight from the airport to the Beijing West (BeijingXi) train station.
The place is massive! I don't know if we can adequately describe the chaos. Fortunately the departures board was in both Chinese and English. We found our train quickly and just had to wait a bit before it boarded and took off.
We perused the shopping and eating options which included both McDonalds and KFC as well as a few convenience type stores before heading into our waiting area with two trains worth of people. Though there was plenty of seating, all the chairs were taken. It was loud and warm wait for our train to board which happened only 20 minutes before departure - 16 cars worth of people all rushing for the entrance at once!
A great train trip on the fast train to Taiyuan and then an hour and a half car ride to Pingyao and we were at the Yide hotel at 11:30 at night!